Invisalign clear aligners

10 Things You Need to Know About Clear Aligners

Popular clear aligner brands like Invisalign have become the norm among popular orthodontic treatments. Even though Invisalign has been around for over 20 years, the technology is still progressing a little more each year. Today’s clear aligner treatments are now some of the best solutions for our Raleigh patients. If you’re still uncertain whether or not invisible braces are right for you, here are 10 things you need to know about aligner systems such as Invisalign.


#1 Invisalign Was Originally Designed for Adults


A lot of adults assume that they’re too old to get braces. But the fact of the matter is that Invisalign was actually designed with adults in mind. Originally the clear aligners were meant to help correct minor tooth movement or relapse, such as what might happen if a college student didn’t keep up with their orthodontic retainer.


The unique design of the transparent aligners is discreet enough that it allows adults to undergo comprehensive orthodontic therapy without people realizing they’re in braces. So if you’re a busy professional or just don’t like the idea of visible orthodontic appliances on your teeth, you’re in luck! Most people won’t be able to see anything on your teeth unless they’re looking up close from a few inches away.


#2 Treatment Times for Clear Aligners are Shorter Than Ever


As new technological advancements have come about, the average length of treatment for Invisalign has significantly improved. While the exact length of each case is dependent upon your unique tooth alignment and whether you wear your aligners as directed, our Raleigh dentists can at least give you a fairly accurate estimate during your Invisalign consultation. As soon as we know how many sets of trays you’ll need to move your teeth, you’ll know how long the overall treatment will take. On average, it’s around 12 months.


However, short-term accelerated braces options are also available in certain cases. Meaning that if you only need to straighten a few front teeth, you can use clear aligners and have a straighter smile in a period of just 3-6 months or so.


#3 Improving Tooth Alignment is Good for Your Oral Health


Yes, there are actual dental health advantages to having straighter teeth. When your teeth are properly aligned, you’re statistically less likely to get cavities, gum disease, or develop TMJ disorder compared to people with crooked or gapped teeth. If you already have certain areas in your mouth that are harder to clean — due to tooth misalignment — or are wearing down prematurely, then you could benefit from clear aligner therapy.


Some dental experts go as far as to say that adding Invisalign into your periodontal care plan is an effective way to help combat gum disease. The reason being that you’re both straightening your teeth while also enjoying the convenience of ultra easy-to-clean appliances. There are no extra areas for food or plaque to build up.


#4 There are Lines of Invisalign for Teens and Young Patients


Even though Invisalign was initially introduced and originally targeted at adults, teens have wanted to get in on the action too. Although some teenagers do have a bit of a time trying to keep up with removable aligners (fixed braces might be better in those cases) others are quite responsible. The option of wearing clear braces instead of metal brackets is appealing to some teens.


The Invisalign Teen line of aligners is similar to traditional clear trays, but with a few added perks for younger patients. For instance, they were the first Invisalign product to feature built-in wear indicators to remind your son or daughter when to change them out. They also include limited built-in replacement protection if your child accidentally misplaces a tray at school.


#5 More People Qualify for Clear Aligners Than Ever Before


The earliest clear aligners patients had to fit strict, limited criteria. There was only a certain degree of tooth misalignment that they could correct, and anything beyond that would mean wearing invisible trays wasn’t going to work. Braces were your only option.


Today that’s no longer the case. Advancements in clear alignment therapy has expanded the type of malocclusion (misaligned bite) cases that can effectively — and predictably — be treated with Invisalign. So if you were told you didn’t qualify for clear braces 8 or 9 years ago, it might be time to get a second opinion! Even more aggressive tooth discrepancies can often be corrected thanks to years of tweaking the technology. Our Raleigh Invisalign dentists have the before and after photos to prove it!


#6 The Appointments are Shorter and Less Frequent Than Braces


Anyone wearing braces knows that it takes regular adjustment appointments to keep your teeth moving along smoothly. You go in, have appliances adjusted, changed out, or wires updated, and then plan an appointment for about six weeks out.


Invisalign is planned out in advance, and all you have to do to keep your teeth moving along is to change your aligners out as directed. It’s that easy. Sure, we’ll see you for the occasional check-in to make sure your teeth are responding appropriately, but you won’t need wires adjusted or bands changed out. The brief visit is enough to ensure your smile is moving along as it should and to allow you to pick up your next several sets of aligners.


#7 The Price of Clear Aligners is More Competitive Than it Used to Be


When Invisalign first came out 20 years ago, it was nearly double the price of traditional braces systems. That’s no longer the case. As clear aligner technology has become more mainstream and accessible, so has the price tag.


The cost of clear aligners is relatively comparable to that of conventional orthodontics. Plus, you may even be able to use your insurance toward the price of braces in Raleigh.


Since the cost of Invisalign depends on how many sets of trays you’ll wear and similar factors, our Raleigh dentist will need to evaluate your bite before providing you with an accurate estimate. Otherwise, it’s simply just a guess! That’s why we encourage a consultation before committing to any type of treatment, whether it’s Invisalign or something like a smile makeover.



#8 You Can Whiten Your Teeth at the Same Time


Did you know that your Invisalign or similar clear aligners brand could also double as a whitening tray? Since your aligner is snuggly fitted to the contour of each of your teeth, you can also place a small dot of whitening gel inside of each space to brighten your smile at the same time.


Just keep in mind that you’ll want to get a professional-grade whitening gel from our Raleigh cosmetic dentist’s office. It’s modestly priced (usually more affordable than over-the-counter systems) and you’ll get way better results in far less time.



#9 Your Tooth Movement is Digitally Mapped Out in Advance


Invisalign’s virtual treatment planning process virtually “moves” your teeth in the computer software to the desired location and alignment. Each tooth is individually adjusted alongside its neighboring teeth, with all of the arch being fine-tuned in each corresponding phase of therapy.


After your tooth movement is digitally mapped, a series of 3D-printed alignment trays are created for each segment of tooth movement. So long as you change your trays out as directed (usually every two weeks) and replace them with the next in the series, your teeth will follow along with the virtual care plan that was created before your treatment started. Occasionally we might need to fine-tune something here or there, but everything is scanned into the digital platform so you’ll never need any messy impressions.


#10 They’re Super Convenient


Easily straighten your smile without visible or irritating braces. Since you don’t have brackets and wires, you can eat whatever you want without having to alter your diet. Just remove your trays during meals. Even cleaning your smile is simple, because you take your aligners out to brush and floss like normal.


The smooth shape of clear aligners prevents wires or metal from irritating the inside of your cheeks and lips. Ultimately most of our Raleigh invisible braces patients say that Invisalign is much more comfortable than fixed types of appliances. If one thing is for certain, you’ll never need orthodontic wax to cover a poky wire or broken bracket!


Even though Invisalign is designed to wear all day, every day, you always have the option to take them out if you need to. Just make a plan to wear them for a minimum of about 22 hours a day.



Clear Aligners, Invisalign in Raleigh


Raleigh Dental Arts provides clear aligner orthodontic treatment for adults and teens. If you’re ready to finally enjoy a straighter smile without the hassle of metal brackets and wires, you’ve come to the right place! Treatments like Invisalign make it convenient and comfortable to straighten your teeth in an efficient and predictable manner.


Request a consultation with our Raleigh dentists today to find out if Invisalign is right for you. Flexible payment options are available!


Tarun Agarwal

Dr. Tarun Agarwal, DDS is considered one of the top dentists in the country. He is a recognized speaker, author, and dental leader. He has been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and News 14 Carolina. Dr. Agarwal has been awarded '40 under 40' Business Leaders by the Triangle Business Journal. He is regularly invited to teach other dentists around the world and recently built a training center within the practice dedicated to sharing his expertise. Most importantly he is a loving husband and dedicated father of three wonderful children. His biggest accolade was being voted 'Best Dad in the World' by 2 of his 3 kids.