Am I a Candidate for Invisalign?

Our Raleigh Invisalign options make it possible to enjoy a straighter, healthier smile at just about any stage of life.  Invisalign offers more versatility than conventional braces, making them a popular choice for our adult patients.

What’s the Best Age for Invisalign?

Are there requirements when it comes to age for Invisalign treatment? The qualifying age for Invisalign is someone who is at least in their teens. But most patients are adults. Invisalign was actually designed with adults in mind, because of its low-profile and “invisible” appeal. However, newer modifications of Invisalign do allow for younger patients to use them instead of braces.

Raleigh Dental Arts strictly works with adult Invisalign cases. Since adults have different oral health concerns, straightening their smiles are different than your typical teenage orthodontic patient.

There’s no best age for Invisalign when you’re an adult. You can be 30, 40, or even post-retirement by the time you decide you want straighter teeth. Invisalign works whether you’ve had braces in the past (and experienced relapse) or never worn orthodontic appliances at all. Invisalign was specifically involved with adults in mind!


Finding Out How Long Invisalign will Take 

Some adults don’t want to get braces if they know they’ll be in appliances for as long as two years. Fortunately, our Raleigh Invisalign dentists can give you an estimated timeframe during your orthodontic consultation. If finding out you only need Invisalign for 12 months is all you need to put your mind at ease, the key is to meet one-on-one with our preferred providers. Short-term alignment treatment may not take any longer than six months!

The minor time investment that you put into Invisalign is well worth it. Being able to enjoy better aesthetics, healthier TMJ function, and reduced chances for enamel wear are great for your smile’s future. The tradeoff you get for investing a year in removable aligners will make you wish you had done it even sooner!

Since Invisalign treatment lengths vary from one person to the next, a personal consultation is one of the keys to figuring out how long your unique case will require. At Raleigh Dental Arts, it’s fairly common for most cases to span from 12-18 months, with 24 months being the longest (and least common.)


Invisalign and Cavities/Tooth Decay

“Can I get Invisalign if I’ve had cavities in the past?”

As long as active tooth decay has been treated, you can move forward with getting Invisalign. However, we can’t fit you with Invisalign trays if you have active cavities or dental infections. Decay is a bacterial infection that can easily spread into adjacent teeth or erode the tooth structure affected.

Wearing Invisalign — or any type of removable aligner system — over areas of active decay can lead to serious consequences. Never begin any type of teeth straightening treatment without first scheduling a thorough examination with your family or cosmetic dentist.

Once we’ve treated any cavities (usually with a small white filling) it’s safe to move forward with treatment. More aggressive areas of tooth deterioration may require a crown or root canal and should be assessed on an individual basis.


Using Invisalign as Part of a Perio Treatment Plan

Oddly enough, Invisalign can be combined as part of an effective periodontal treatment plan. If you have gum disease, crowding and crooked teeth can increase your chances of continued infection. Why? Because those areas between teeth are more challenging to clean and maintain.

With Invisalign, you can address tooth misalignment/rotation/crowding while also having the added perk of an easy-to-clean system. Simply remove your aligners to brush and floss regularly! No extra tools are required.

Combining Invisalign with your soft tissue periodontal treatments could improve your outcome and delay further bone or gum detachment. Chances are you’ll probably complete your deep cleanings first, but Invisalign can be incorporated alongside your periodontal maintenance program. The key is to first have all of the buildup professionally cleaned off so that you’re focused on daily home care and maintenance.


Invisalign & Missing Teeth

If you’re considering Invisalign, missing teeth don’t have to get in the way of successful treatment. Often times the two go hand in hand. For instance, you might be planning Invisalign with missing teeth because you’re getting a dental implant and need to create extra space for the installation. Or perhaps the “gap” that’s left is relatively small, so you’ve decided it’s best to just go ahead and close it in with orthodontic therapy.

Invisalign and missing teeth can be successful with the right planning. The key is to look ahead and know which steps you’ll be taking next to replace your missing teeth. In most cases, you won’t be getting an implant or fixed bridge until after your Invisalign treatment is complete. Although it requires a careful approach, the results can be impeccable!  When it comes to Invisalign, missing teeth aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker. You just want to be sure to work with an experienced Invisalign provider who can help you customize the experience and avoid any complications.

Existing Dental Work and Invisalign

“Can I get Invisalign braces if I have a dental crown/bridge/implant?”

That’s a great question. And the answer is, “it depends”. In most cases, it is possible to go ahead and align your bite, even if you have existing dental work. The key is to work with a highly experienced Invisalign provider who can oversee the process. Mail-order aligners that ship to your door doesn’t offer the same level of safety when it comes to complications surrounding crowns and bridges. There’s a slightly higher risk of something going wrong in those cases.

But working with our Raleigh Invisalign providers makes it possible to safely straighten your teeth, even if you’ve had recent dental work completed. Since each aligner is pre-programmed, specific movements can be set or changed when it comes to your dental crown or bridge.

Keep in mind that Invisalign uses mild to moderate pressure to adjust the alignment of your teeth. It’s crucial that existing restorations are checked for their integrity. If you have any new decay or leakage around the edges of your crown/bridge/etc., you may not qualify for Invisalign before those issues are addressed.


Will My Teeth Move After Treatment?

People with moderate to severe malocclusion (crooked teeth) may be worried that their teeth won’t stay in alignment after treatment. It’s true that “relapse” is a real thing. Orthodontic relapse is when teeth shift and drift back into their previous position. But even if you have severe misalignment, you can prevent orthodontic relapse.

Just like our conventional braces patients, every Invisalign case also includes a custom retainer. Wearing your retainer keeps teeth where they’re supposed to be and prevents them from relapsing. As long as you wear your retainer as prescribed, you shouldn’t see any major issues.

To make matters even better, your Invisalign retainer will feature the same transparent, custom design that you’re used to. That way you can wear it whenever, wherever, and it blends in with your smile.


Invisalign and Your Budget

One of the biggest factors that come into play regarding Invisalign is the cost. “How much will Invisalign cost?” is probably the number one question we get at our Raleigh office. Since the price of Invisalign does determine whether someone can move forward with treatment, it’s important to get a personalized quote that fits your specific needs. Although we can easily throw out price ranges (the average Raleigh Invisalign case costs about $4,000) it may be more or less, depending on the way your teeth bite together and how much movement needs to take place. For instance, you might have a minor case that requires less time and fewer trays, reducing your overall costs to around $3,000.

Raleigh Dental Arts works with your insurance coverage so that you can take advantage of the benefits you’re entitled to. Yes, some insurance plans do cover Invisalign. However, we also provide flexible payment options (including monthly financing with interest as low as 0%) to fit Invisalign into just about anyone’s budget!

If you’re worried that you’re not a candidate for Invisalign because of the cost, think again. It’s more affordable than you thought it was.

More People Qualify for Invisalign

These days there are lots of mail-order and online teeth straightening systems that are modeled after Invisalign’s clear aligner strategy. But not all of them provide the same level of oversight. As a result, you could experience serious complications, delays, or damage to your teeth.

More people qualify for Invisalign orthodontics because of the diverse range of options available. There’s literally something for almost every smile, whether it’s minor tooth movement (accelerated orthodontics) or a more complex malocclusion case.

You’re Never Too Old for a Straighter Smile

No, you’re never past the age for Invisalign treatment! Find out if you qualify — and if Invisalign is right for you — by reserving a consultation at Raleigh Dental Arts today.

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.