What are invisalign braces?

Invisalign® is a revolutionary way to straighten teeth without the brackets and wires of traditional braces. Developed by a college student looking for a better way to correct minor alignment problems, Invisalign hit the market with FDA approval in 1999. Since then, Align Technology has continued improving the product and expanding the capabilities of Invisalign treatment. Invisalign cost more than braces when it was first introduced, but now it is comparable.

Exploring the Bottom Line — Invisalign Cost vs. Braces Cost

The national average for Invisalign treatment ranges between $3,000 and $8,000. Several factors affect the price, including location and whether you are treated in an urban or rural area. While that may seem high, please note that it is the complete treatment plan from start to finish, including all trays and exams.

At Pitner & Carroll Orthodontics, our pricing stays within the normal ranges and may even be slightly lower. Other factors that impact the cost of Invisalign treatment include:
  • Degree of alignment correction necessary
  • Number of trays needed for a complete treatment plan
  • Following the treatment plan
When compared to the cost of traditional braces, the national average pricing on the metal bracket and wire tooth-straightening systems ranges between $2,500 and $6,000. Invisalign requires fewer in-office appointments, which means time savings for you.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Traditional braces work using tension from the archwire to pull teeth into alignment. Invisalign uses gentle pressure applied against teeth to push them into new positions. The gentle, constant pressure is more comfortable than braces, and the almost invisible tray aligners provide a very incognito treatment method.

Trays are sequenced in sets containing an upper and lower tray. You will wear each tray set for one to two weeks, then shift into the next set in the sequence. Trays should be worn at least 20 to 22 hours daily but can be removed for meals, drinking, and oral hygiene.

Invisalign Process — How We Make Plastic Magic for Your Mouth

Invisalign is completely custom for each mouth! To make your custom tray aligners, Dr. Pitner follows a specific process that ensures quality and fit. The aligner system provides predictable results without disrupting your entire lifestyle.

The first step is to create a 3D map of your mouth. This model can be manipulated using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a treatment plan. This process could take a couple of weeks when orthodontists were using manually created tray models. The process only takes a few minutes now using an intraoral scanner and digital imaging.
We can create your customized treatment plan using the 3D model of your mouth. The ClinCheck® software for Invisalign allows her to map each movement of your teeth. You’ll even be able to see your final smile before you get your first set of trays.

The Equipment and Materials

Digital scanning, imaging equipment, and software combine thousands of images into one 3D model. The scanner can take up to 6,000 images per second! When Dr. Pitner finishes the scan, you will see a 3D image of your mouth on the computer screen. Amazingly, this entire process only takes a few minutes.

We will create a custom treatment plan for you. Depending on the degree of alignment correction necessary, you may have only a few tray sets or as many as 70 or more. Each tray set is designed to apply specific pressure to your teeth gently but firmly. As you shift from one tray set to the next, you may notice a slight difference in where the pressure is applied.

Invisalign uses a unique polymer called SmartTrack® material. This particular polymer is unique to Invisalign aligner trays. Researchers tested more than 260 materials over eight years to develop the SmartTrack material. When combined with SmartForce® attachments, Invisalign delivers the same reliability as traditional braces. SmartTrack material’s durability means that Invisalign can effectively correct minor and complex alignment problems.

Your Path to a Beautiful, Straight Smile

The simple, straightforward process in a nutshell:

  • We use a digital scanner to create a 3D “map” of your mouth.
  • Using the model and ClinCheck software, Dr. Pitner will create a custom treatment plan.
  • You get your tray aligners in sequenced sets and begin wearing them daily.
  • Depending on your treatment plan instructions, you switch to a new set of alignment trays every one to two weeks.
  • Your teeth gradually shift into alignment, creating your perfect dream smile!
You can start working on that dream smile by scheduling your free consultation at one of our three locations.
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