If you’ve ever thought about straightening your teeth, chances are you’ve heard about Invisalign. This state-of-the-art teeth straightening system provides a more discreet, metal-free alternative to braces and can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. So if you’re looking for proven, effective orthodontic treatment without sharp wires or brackets, Invisalign aligners are the perfect option. But before you go all-in with Invisalign treatment, you probably have some questions about how the technology works and if it’s the right choice for you.
Dr. Okuda and Dr. Noorda are highly experienced Invisalign providers in Henderson and Las Vegas, having treated thousands of patients with the Invisalign system. Here, Okuda and Noorda Orthodontics shares everything you need to know about how Invisalign works so you can make the best decision for your oral health.
What is Invisalign Anyway?
When you think of orthodontic treatment, the first thing that comes to mind is probably 80s-style, chunky metal braces. Well, Invisalign is basically the opposite. This type of orthodontic treatment uses clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten your teeth — discreetly and effectively. They’re made from a flexible, food-grade plastic that’s custom-made to fit your teeth. Every one to two weeks, you switch to a new set of aligners to guide your teeth into the desired position.
Perhaps the best thing about Invisalign is that you can live your life just like you always would, with just a few minor changes. With braces, you need to make a lot of adjustments to your lifestyle, from how you brush and floss your teeth to what you eat. With Invisalign, you can take your aligners out to eat, brush and floss as usual, and pop them back in when you’re done (just make sure to brush your teeth first!).
How Does Invisalign Work?
So how exactly does the Invisalign process work? It’s high tech but incredibly simple. First, you’ll meet with Dr. Okuda or Dr. Noorda for a complimentary consultation. Your Las Vegas and Henderson orthodontist will take photos of your teeth and jaw to get a better understanding of what needs to be done. We’ll also take 3D x-rays of your mouth using our i-CAT™ imaging system. These diagnostic tools will help us develop a diagnosis. Your consultation is also your opportunity to ask all your questions about Invisalign, including cost and payment options.
If all sounds good, we move on to phase two. Using an iTero® scanner, we’ll take digital scans of your teeth and gums. Then we’ll input the information into our computer program to create a digital, 3D model of your mouth. Dr. Noorda or Dr. Okuda will plan out your treatment directly on this model. They will even be able to show you what your smile will look like at every stage of your treatment!
Once we’ve created your customized treatment plan, we’ll send it to Invisalign where your aligners will be made. When they arrive at our office, you can come pick them up and officially start treatment. You’ll wear the aligners for about 20 to 22 hours per day, taking them out to eat, and to brush and floss your teeth. The number of aligners necessary will depend on your unique smile needs
Pros and Cons of Invisalign
So far, Invisalign sounds pretty good, right? That’s because it is! But as with any orthodontic treatment, there are pros and cons. Let’s start with all the good things about Invisalign.
Invisalign is a comfortable treatment option. Invisalign aligners are significantly more comfortable than braces. No poking wires or brackets to scratch your gums. Of course, as your teeth gradually shift, you may experience some mild discomfort, but the aligners are custom-made for you to be as comfortable as possible.
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. As the name suggests, Invisalign is almost invisible. You’ll be surprised at just how discreet your aligners are.
Your aligners are removable. As we’ve mentioned, since Invisalign aligners are removable, they easily fit in with your current lifestyle. Just remove to brush, floss and eat, and brush your teeth before putting them back in.
Invisalign aligners are easy to maintain. Invisalign is a super low maintenance orthodontic treatment. All you have to do to keep your aligners in good shape is brush with toothpaste and lukewarm water after every meal.
Treatment is convenient. With braces, you need to visit your orthodontist every month to get your brackets tightened. Not only is this disruptive to your daily life, it’s also an uncomfortable experience. With Invisalign, you’ll visit us every six to eight weeks so we can monitor your progress, but your appointments will be super quick and painless.
The benefits of Invisalign are pretty clear, but what about the negatives? Let’s take a look at the downsides of Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign can be more expensive than braces. Invisalign tends to cost slightly more than braces, but the cost ultimately depends on your unique needs. During your consultation, we’ll be sure to discuss the cost of your treatment to make sure you’re comfortable. Okuda and Noorda Orthodontics also accepts most insurance plans and we’re happy to provide flexible payment options.
It’s easy to forget to wear your aligners. The one downside to removable aligners is that it’s easy not to wear them for the required 22 hours a day. But for Invisalign to be effective, you have to wear them at all times, other than when you eat, brush or floss.
You may experience some discomfort. With any orthodontic treatment, there will be some level of discomfort as your teeth move towards their final place. When you switch to a new set of aligners, you may experience some pressure or sensitivity. That said, this discomfort is much more mild than you’d have with braces and tends to go away in a day or two.
Overall, Invisalign is one of the best orthodontic treatments available, especially if you’re looking for a more comfortable, discreet and convenient alternative to braces. Still have questions about whether Invisalign is right for you? Book a virtual consultation with Okuda and Noorda Orthodontics today.