Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign braces:
I get an awful lot of questions about Invisalign via my comments forms. These are some of the most frequent. If you have any others that you really think should be here please comment below and I will add them to the list. Also, if you think I have got something wrong please let me know that too!
Q. How much does Invisalign cost?
A. I get so, so many emails about this and to be honest the answer varies. There are three Invisalign systems: Invisalign full, Invisalign express and Invisalign teen. Invisalign full and teen are the full Invisalign system including refinements used to treat adults or teenagers with orthodontic problems. Invisalign full is the most commonly used system. Invisalign express is for very minor orthodontic problems where very few aligners are required.
Which system you use will affect the cost, as will the experience of your provider, and you location.
On average in the US the price is around $5000 but this varies greatly by region. The only real way to find out is to get some quotes. The site realself offers a guide to prices in different areas. My own Invisalign cost $6300 Australian dollars.
Q. Can anyone get Invisalign?
A. Originally Invisalign was only for very simple cases, but as the system has developed it can now be used for almost any orthodontic problem by some providers. However, some providers only treat simple cases with Invisalign. If you have been told that you can’t have it, get an opinion from a more experienced provider. I was told that Invisalign wasn’t suitable for me and then went on to use it very successfully.
Q. Who offers Invisalign?
A. Any dentist or orthodontist who has attended Invisalign training can offer Invisalign. The company website provides a list of providers. Dentists are like a GP for teeth and do general work on teeth as well as Invisalign. Orthodontists have done specialist extra training in teeth movement (usually several extra years at university) and I therefore think that they are the best people to seek Invisalign from. Please take into account that that is simply my personal opinion though. The Invisalign website offers a ranking system to show which providers are the most experienced. For further information read my posts on Invisalign dentist or orthodontist? and Choosing an Invisalign dentist
Q. What are attachments and do I have to have them?
A. Invisalign attachments are small tooth coloured blobs of substance that are attached to your teeth to help give the Invisalign grip. You can see pictures of them on my Invisalign attachments entry. Most patients these days do require some attachments. How many you would need depends on the individual movements that your teeth need to make.
Q. Can you take Invisalign out?
A. Yes you can. In fact, you have to take them out to eat and drink anything other than water. It also means that if you have an event such as a job interview you can remove them. The aim is to wear them 22 hours a day. Click on the following link to read about a typical day with Invisalign braces.
Q. How long does treatment take?
A. As with any orthodontic treatment this varies by the problem being treated. Some minor cases take less than 6 months, more complex cases can take up to two years. Only a specialist provider can give you an indication of how long your treatment will take.
Q. Do the aligners hurt?
A. My orthodontist was very clear when I started my Invisalign that if something was hurting it meant that something was wrong. Invisalign are not meant to hurt. They do give a sensation of pressure at the start of new aligners, but this very quickly subsides and is not exactly painful, more uncomfortable. Sometimes people get a sore tongue or cheek from a plastic edge. However, if this happens you simply need to file the rough edge with a nail file and this immediately solves the problem.
Q. Will my insurance company pay for my treatment?
A. My company pays around half of mine (MBF in Australia) however it varies by insurance company. Usually if your insurance covers orthodontics it covers Invisalign but check with you insurer.
Q. Who is your orthodontist?
A. My orthodontist is in Brisbane, Australia and is called Dr Brett Kerr. His website is here but sadly, he has recently retired and isn’t taking new cases….