Our experienced cosmetic dentists, Eric Klumb, DDS and Mike Menolascino, DDS, are committed to utilizing the latest advanced techniques at Eureka Smiles. We are proud to offer the Invisalign® system for the ultimate in inconspicuous orthodontics. This technique uses clear aligners to make gradual movements in the teeth without wires, brackets, or bands, and can be most effective for patients who do not need significant adjustments.
Invisalign® offers a unique advantage to patients seeking correction of misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and teeth crowding. With Invisalign®, the clear aligners are discreet and can be removed while eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. Plus, treatment is often faster and less expensive when compared to traditional metal braces. Invisalign® utilizes a system of clear plastic teeth aligners that are custom-made for your teeth. After wearing the initial set for about two to three weeks, we will switch out the aligners for the next in the series. Each set of aligners is slightly modified from the one before in order to gradually bring your teeth into a more desirable position. Invisalign® is typically more comfortable and much less noticeable than traditional braces, and doesn’t require as many repeat office visits for maintenance.
- Invisalign® Benefits
- Invisalign® vs. Braces
- How Invisalign® Works
- Invisalign® Results
- Wearing Invisalign® Aligners
- Invisalign® Maintenance
- Invisalign® Cost
- Retainers After Invisalign®
- Invisalign® Alternatives
- Invisalign® FAQs
What are the Benefits of Invisalign®?
Some of the benefits of the Invisalign® system may include:
- Reduced treatment time compared to traditional braces
- Virtually invisible
- Removable for eating, brushing, and flossing
- Increased comfort
- Fewer office visits required
Invisalign® vs. Braces
How Does Invisalign® Work?
As a sophisticated tooth-alignment system, Invisalign® uses measured and controlled force to gently guide teeth into the desired positioning. Each set of aligners provides subtle movement at specific, pre-planned intervals according to the details of your treatment plan. In this way, your treatment is engineered to produce the exact amount of force needed to maneuver teeth at the right time. The frequency with which you change your aligners will be mapped out by your cosmetic dentist, and you will undergo periodic office visits so Dr. Klumb or Dr. Menolascino can check on your progress. At the end of your treatment, which is typically completed in a faster time period than metal braces, you should have a straighter, more even smile as well as a healthier bite.
How Long Does Invisalign® Take?
The total treatment time associated with Invisalign® aligners will depend on the nature of your orthodontic concerns. Small misalignments are typically treated faster than bite corrections, although the exact length of time necessary to achieve your goals will be unique to each patient. Most individuals attain the best results after 9 to 15 months, with the average case taking about 12 months for adult patients. The treatment time for teenage patients may differ. Drs. Klumb or Menolascino will fully explain the details of your Invisalign® plan during a consultation.
Does Invisalign® Hurt?
Invisalign® typically does not cause pain, but most patients experience a period of adjustment during their first few days of treatment as they become acclimated to wearing the aligners. A feeling of gentle pressure when the aligners are initially worn is normal, and this is often a sign that your teeth are successfully moving into the proper positioning. Any discomfort usually subsides as individuals become accustomed to wearing their aligners.
How Do I Care For My Invisalign® Aligners?
Invisalign® aligners require very little maintenance to stay in good condition. Simply rinse your aligners in lukewarm water and brush them gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. To prevent staining, we recommend removing the aligners when eating or chewing gum and brushing your teeth after every meal. It is also advised to avoid smoking and consuming sugary beverages, such as soda and alcohol, while wearing aligners. Never rinse your aligners under hot water, as high temperatures can warp the plastic and prolong the length of treatment.
How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?
The cost of Invisalign® is determined by your orthodontic needs. Factors that can influence your cost estimate include how many aligners are appropriate for your treatment, the complexity of your case, and the degree of orthodontic work required. With this in mind, the average cost of Invisalign® at our practice can range from $3,000 to $5,000.
Our dentists believe that no patient should forgo necessary dental treatment for financial reasons. Our office will go over your options with you after your consultation and work with you to determine a suitable payment arrangement. We work with CareCredit®—a highly reputable dental financing company—as well as many insurance plans and the SmileAdvantage Dental Care program. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for any questions or concerns you may have.
Wearing a Retainer After Invisalign®
After any orthodontic work, it is essential to use a retainer to hold the new position of the teeth. At Eureka Smiles, we use retainers that are clear or invisible for the upper teeth and a small wire cemented behind the lower front teeth to keep them perfectly aligned after treatment. Dr. Menolascino and Dr. Klumb always stress that the key with retainers is to be diligent in their use, thus ensuring your smile will remain straight for years to come.
Are There Alternatives to Invisalign®?
At Eureka Smiles, we offer a number of options to treat your various dental concerns. If you have minor misalignments in the teeth that may not warrant orthodontic treatment, porcelain veneers may be better suited to address your concerns. In addition to covering gaps, chips, and discoloration in teeth, porcelain veneers can conceal mild alignment issues to achieve a straighter and more uniform smile. For patients who do not have problems with their bite and solely wish to improve the appearance of short teeth and misalignments, porcelain veneers can be ideal. Custom-crafted to look and feel like a natural part of your mouth, these veneers can provide beautiful results in as little as two office visits.
SureSmile® is a very common alternative to Invisalign® at our St. Louis-area practice and offers many of the same advantages. This system is designed to discreetly correct misalignments using a series of inconspicuous aligners, which are worn at all times except for during meals and while brushing and flossing. With SureSmile®, patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic concerns can attain a straighter smile using clear aligners that gradually force the teeth into a healthier alignment. SureSmile® aligners are thin, flexible, comfortable, and removable, allowing individuals to eat and clean their teeth without difficulty. Similar to Invisalign®, SureSmile® treatment can also be completed faster and with fewer dental appointments than metal braces.
There are slight differences between Invisalign® and SureSmile® — particularly that Invisalign® has been in use for much longer than the latter treatment. Our dentists can discuss both systems with you and recommend an ideal orthodontic plan for your unique needs. Once you visit our practice, Dr. Klumb or Dr. Menolascino will be able to speak with you in greater detail about the best treatments to achieve your dental goals.
Additional Invisalign® FAQs
Do DIY braces work?
While “do-it-yourself” orthodontics are becoming more and more prevalent, these systems and other mail-order braces are often ineffective at best and downright harmful at worst. Orthodontics are designed to alter the alignment of both the teeth and the jaw, therefore treatments completed without the personal supervision of a qualified dentist can not only fail to straighten your teeth, but also cause a range of other — often more serious — oral health and dento-facial concerns. We encourage individuals in need of orthodontic work to speak with a dentist or orthodontist about their goals so that a safe, effective, and affordable treatment option can be identified.
Can I straighten just my top or bottom teeth?
While it’s technically possible to straighten one dental arch alone, this may not be the best long-term approach to a healthier smile. More often than not, alignments made in one row of teeth necessitate alterations in the opposite row of teeth to produce a comfortable and natural bite. Each patient will be evaluated on an individual basis; however, it’s generally best to treat the smile as a whole to attain optimal results.
Can you chew gum with Invisalign®?
Our dentists strongly recommend removing your aligners when chewing (or eating in general) to avoid distorting or damaging the flexible thermoplastic. While Invisalign® aligners are durable, they are not indestructible. Chewing gum while wearing your aligners can compromise their ability to fit snugly and even create the need for a replacement. This can prolong the duration of your treatment and needlessly delay the outcome of your new smile.
Will Invisalign® change my speech?
Although there is a brief adjustment period in which patients may have trouble enunciating, this should resolve quickly as individuals become more accustomed to speaking with their aligners in place. To become more quickly acclimated, our dentists recommend practicing your speech while wearing your aligners. With time and practice, any noticeable speech impediments should subside.
Can I drink while wearing my Invisalign® aligners?
Considering the fact that many beverages contain sugar, dyes, syrups, and other staining agents, we do not advise drinking anything other than water with your Invisalign® aligners in place. Wearing aligners while drinking can discolor or taint the thermoplastic, ultimately defeating the purpose of inconspicuous orthodontic treatment.
If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign®, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Menolascino or Dr. Klumb, please contact us today.