Invisalign FAQ

What if my new aligner doesn't fit?

First, make an appointment immediately and keep using your last aligner that fit. But why isn't the new aligner working? Here are two potential reasons.

One problem is extra aligner plastic that was missed in the dental lab and that needs to be removed by one of our Sacramento dentists. Another problem is patient compliance: if you don't wear Invisalign for 20 to 22 hours every day, minimum, you lose some of the tooth movement you've already gained. This keeps future aligners from fitting properly. In that case you may need a midcourse correction, which sometimes brings additional costs.

Either way, the solution is an immediate visit to your dentist to determine just what is the problem. Bring the aligner that fits and the one that doesn't fit and the Sacramento Dentistry Group will figure out a solution.

Can I have other dental work done while using Invisalign?

Basically, no. Your aligners are based on the mold or images of your teeth made when during your initial planning visit. Dental work during treatment will alter the shape of your teeth, preventing your aligners from working. An exception may be made for fillings, but generally all necessary dental work should be done before Invisalign treatment is started. If it is absolutely necessary to work on your teeth, a mid-course correction will likely be necessary, possibly leading to slightly higher costs for your procedure.

What ages can use Invisalign?

Invisalign has only one age limitation — all of your adult teeth must have erupted, with the exception of the wisdom teeth. As for upper age, our Sacramento dentists can treat patients into their eighties and beyond! So Invisalign really is orthodontics for everyone.

I Cracked an Aligner — What Do I Do?

If you just changed aligners, you may be able to go back to the old one while a new aligner is being created. If you are near the date for changing your aligner, you may be able to start using the new one a little early. In any case, a cracked aligner will not work properly and must be replaced. Talk to Dr. Steele to determine exactly what steps are right for your situation.

I Dropped My Aligners on the Floor — Now What?

Always clean your aligners before reinserting them in your mouth, especially if they are not hygienic for some reason, such as dropping them on the floor. Invisalign recommends the use of their own Cleaning Kit with sanitizing crystals that thoroughly clean your aligners in fifteen minutes or less. You can buy this kit from Dr. Steele's Sacramento dental office. Never use hot water for cleaning your aligners – they may deform under the heat.

I Left Home and Forgot My Aligners — What Now?

If the period you are without your aligners is short, only a few days, you should notice little difference upon your return. If the period is longer, using your aligner may feel like it did when you first started with it. If you have been gone too long and the aligner no longer fits, you need to meet with Dr. Steele as soon as possible to determine your next step.

Sometimes My Teeth Feel Loose — Is That Normal?

Your aligners are moving their teeth from their original positions to a new position. During this procedure, the jaw and gums do not hold the teeth as tightly as before. Do not worry! This is normal with any orthodontic procedure. It is perfectly safe to use your teeth in a healthy manner. When your aligners are in place, you should not notice any looseness. Once your procedure is complete, the jawbone and gums will tighten around the teeth once more.

Are There Payment Plans for Invisalign?

Sacramento Dentistry accepts payments via Care Credit, a recognized nationwide provider of credit for medical procedures. You can get more information in our Sacramento dental office or via our financing section of our website.

Will My Insurance Help Pay for Invisalign?

Most dental insurance policies have some type of orthodontics coverage. Since Invisalign is a recognized treatment for orthodontic procedures, your insurance will likely cover at least part of the cost. Dr. Steele's Sacramento dental office can provide you with specifics regarding your insurance policy coverage, or you can talk with your dental insurance provider.

What’s the Bottom Line with Invisalign?

Invisalign costs are basically similar to the expense of traditional braces. While the range for treatment is from $3500 to $8000, the average Invisalign program costs about $5000. Obviously, the length of your treatment plan and the type of malocclusion determines the actual costs. Many dental insurance companies now cover Invisalign in total or in part. Talk with our Sacramento dental office to get specific information about what your treatment would require.

Does Invisalign Work with Bridgework?

Invisalign places pressure on individual teeth to cure malocclusions. Bridgework joins specific teeth together, which defeats the purpose of Invisalign. In some cases, it is possible to combine the two, but this can only be determined after consulting with Dr. Steele in our Sacramento dental office.

Does Invisalign Work with Veneers?

It is possible for Invisalign to work with veneers, but not in all cases. You must first consult with Dr. Steele to see if treatment is possible.

Can Invisalign Fix My Teeth if I Used Braces Before?

Sometimes teeth shift in adults who had childhood orthodontic correction. Invisalign is usually a logical treatment for such issues. For younger clients, Dr. Steele must first consult with the patient to determine if Invisalign treatment is recommended.

Can Dr. Steele Remove Braces and Switch to Invisalign?

It is possible to repair malocclusions with a combination of braces and Invisalign. Consult with Dr. Steele in our Sacramento dental office to determine if such a treatment plan is possible for you.

Does Invisalign Have FDA Approval?

Since 1998, the FDA has classified our dental products as medical devices, approved for use with the general public.

Does Invisalign Contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)?

Absolutely not. BPA was commonly used in plastics up to the last decade, when concerns arose about its effect on human endocrine systems. Invisalign products and our Vivera Retainers contain no Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers. All of our products are made with medical-grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resins. Tests show that they are biocompatible and pass all thresholds for human wear in the mouth. Feel free to consult with Dr. Steele or your medical health professional if you have any concerns.

How Many People Have Used Invisalign?

Over one million people have been successfully treated for orthodontic problems with the Invisalign system. Dr. Steele's Sacramento dental office has many good reviews from patients using Invisalign. And with Invisalign’s expansion into China, the number of happy smiles will likely increase exponentially!

How Do I Clean My Aligners?

Dr. Steele's Sacramento dental office can provide you with the official Invisalign Cleaning Kit. You can also just brush your aligners as you would your teeth, rinsing them thoroughly afterwards to remove any residue or debris.

Does Food Residue Stain the Aligners?

Yes, leftover foods in your mouth, such as pasta sauces or dark berry fruit, can stain the aligners. This is one more reason why it is very important to brush your teeth after every meal and before reinstalling your aligners.

May I Chew Gum with Invisalign?

Dr. Steele does not recommend gum chewing with Invisalign, as gum sticks to the aligners. You may chew gum with the aligners removed, just as you would for eating.

May I Drink Alcohol or Soda?

While alcohol, or any drink with high sugar content, will not damage the aligners, drinking sugary drinks excessively can lead to tooth decay. This is preventable if you clean the teeth and the aligners soon after drinking these substances, so as to not trap bacteria-feeding sugar against your teeth.

May I Smoke with Invisalign?

Dr. Steele does not recommend smoking while you wear Invisalign aligners. Smoking often leads to discoloration of the aligners, reducing one of their chief advantages — transparency.

Do I Eat What I Want with Invisalign?

Absolutely! Keeping your favorite foods is one of the big advantages of Invisalign. Traditional foes of braces, such as corn, apples, popcorn, sandwiches and sticky foods, are not a problem. You remove your aligners to eat, and replace them after cleaning your teeth.

Do I Speak Normally with Invisalign?

Many patients report a slight lisp for the first couple of days as their tongue gets used to the aligners. After this initial adjustment period, your tongue will adjust and you should sound like yourself.

Do I Only Wear Invisalign While I Sleep?

You do wear Invisalign while you sleep. You also must wear Invisalign during the day. For effective orthodontic treatment with Invisalign, you must wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours every day.

What Happens After My Treatment?

Retainers are a fact of orthodontics. Some patients qualify for a clear retainer very similar to our Invisalign aligners. Others will need a conventional retainer system. Some individuals will only need to wear a retainer when they sleep. The length of post-orthodontic treatment time and type of retainer can only be determined by a consultation with Dr. Steele in our Sacramento dental office.

What’s the Minimum Age for Invisalign?

While there is not a minimum age, there are minimum requirements for using Invisalign. All your baby teeth must have been replaced by permanent teeth and your second molars must be at least partially erupted. These requirements allow most teenagers to use Invisalign.

Do the Aligners Slip and Fall Off?

The aligners fit firmly in place. If they didn’t, Invisalign would not work! Laughing, talking, sleeping and other normal activities should never cause them to loosen or fall off.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

Generally, Invisalign is painless with no sharp or irritating surfaces to affect your cheeks and gums. Some patients, however, do report minor discomfort when they start using a new set of aligners. This sense of “pressure” is a normal side effect of teeth being moved into their new positions. It passes within a few days and can be treated using over-the-counter pain medications.

Are There Many Office Visits?

You only need to visit Dr. Steele's Sacramento dental office every four to six weeks. These consultations ensure that your Invisalign treatment is proceeding as planned.

Do I Wear My Aligners All Day?

You may remove your aligners for short periods, but for treatment to be effective, Invisalign must be worn for 20 to 22 hours every day.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

Average adult treatment time with Invisalign is one year. Treatment for teenagers varies based on their initial condition and is best determined after a visit to our convenient Sacramento offices.

How do aligners straighten teeth?

Invisalign’s patented system applies controlled force where and when it is needed to be most effective. The strong, thermoplastic aligners provide force in a specific direction to specific teeth at pre-determined points in the treatment procedure. Proven simulation software assists Dr. Steele to create an effective and predictable treatment plan for your orthodontic condition. New aligners that you receive approximately every two weeks continue your treatment process.

What are aligners?

Invisalign aligners are clear thermoplastic medical devices. Employing a material unique to Invisalign, these aligners look like teeth-whitening trays, but are custom-fit to your teeth with the help of Dr. Steele.

Why Choose Invisalign?

Most of Dr. Steele's Sacramento orthodontic patients can use Invisalign to correct their malocclusion. As a result, they gain convenience, comfort and confidence over the use of traditional braces. Braces are a permanent installation — once they are applied, they do not come out of your mouth until the procedure is complete. Invisalign uses a nearly invisible and completely comfortable attachment system on your teeth and clear aligners over your teeth. You can remove these aligners for eating, cleaning (of both your aligners and your teeth) and for special occasions. Like braces, Invisalign needs to be in your mouth for an extended period of time. Unlike braces, you can “take a break” from Invisalign. The advantages are clear and the treatment is transparent with Invisalign!

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