Invisalign in Hampton, Virginia Beach, & Norfolk, VA

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a new and a more improved version of braces. People who were previously never comfortable with the thought of putting on braces now have the option of Invisalign. This new invention is highly recommended by any orthodontist that you would speak to as it can align your teeth using a series of clear plastic molds. Sometimes known as invisible braces, they are rapidly catching on as the braces of choice for the younger generation. If you were always hesitant in getting braces, its time you talked to an orthodontist about this new and advanced technique.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign involves placement of very thin aligners made of a plastic material that is custom designed. These aligners gradually move your teeth in a sequence that has already been determined by your orthodontist. Keep in mind that Invisalign is not a one-shot treatment but a gradual process that may take months. During the course of treatment, a series of aligners will be placed, with each aligner making small adjustments in the position of the teeth. Each series of aligners is placed roughly every two weeks. These aligners apply a set amount of force so that only the specified teeth move in the direction that has been pre-mapped by your orthodontist.


What are benefits of Invisalign over conventional braces?

A major benefit of Invisalign is that they are thin and virtually invisible to the naked eye. In addition, these aligners can be removed. Compared to conventional braces, the fact that this new option is virtually invisible is extremely appealing to patients, especially young people who do not want to go around wearing prominent braces. Talk to an orthodontist if you want to get your teeth fixed and are not interested in using braces.


How many hours per day do you have to wear Invisalign aligners?

It is recommended that you wear Invisalign aligners for at least 20 hours a day for most effective results. The one advantage of Invisalign is that they can be removed while you drink or eat. You can even remove the aligners to brush and floss which allows you to maintain good oral hygiene. Another important feature of the aligners is that unlike standard braces, there are no wires or metal brackets that can cause irritation. In addition, there is no need to make wire or metal adjustments as is done with the traditional braces during follow-up visits with your orthodontist.


For people still unsure about how this new treatment option works, you can discuss your questions and concerns with an orthodontist. Also, with today’s technology, one can virtually see the treatment and results before it even begins. This virtual preview will tell you ahead of time how your teeth will look at the end of the treatment. This can help put the patient’s mind at ease and can give them a certain idea about the end result and what they should expect.


How are Invisalign aligners placed?


The process of getting Invisalign is not complex. The orthodontist will make impressions of the patient’s teeth, and custom made retainers will be made for them. Using computer-based design techniques, the software will assess the degree of alignment the patient will need and the type of retainers that would be best suited for them. The computer program will also assess how much your teeth will move over the ensuing time period. These clear retainers act like invisible braces and gently adjust your teeth to the targeted alignment. The concept is the same as braces, but the treatment is much more advanced and does not have the visibility commonly associated with conventional braces.


How long is the treatment?

The treatment with Invisalign usually depends on the status of your teeth and how much treatment and improvement they require.  Onn average it will take about 12 months to straighten your teeth. For some simple dental problems like minor crowding or spacing, the time period may be 4-5 months. This is often known as the “Invisalign Express” program. Although the aligners are removable, they must be worn at least 20 to 22 hours per day to avoid delaying the treatment process. If they are not worn on a regular basis, the duration of treatment time will increase, and the results may not be as you might expect. That is why it is important to follow all the guidelines that your orthodontist outlines for you so that you get the best possible results.


How frequently do I have to see the Orthodontist?

Once the Invisalign aligners have been inserted, you may need to see the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks to ensure that the teeth alignment is going according to plan. Do not take these visits lightly or skip them unnecessarily. The biggest problem with dental treatment is that patients do not consider it important and tend to delay and/or cancel appointments. It is important to ensure regular check-ups to maintain good oral health.


Is the treatment painful?

The placement of Invisalign aligners is not painful, but some people may develop mild discomfort for several days after each treatment. This is typically a pressure sensation around the teeth. This is nothing that patients should worry about and is a sign that the teeth are gradually shifting into their correct place. The discomfort is mild and does not require any type of pain medication. It usually resolves within a few days.


Can I leave the aligners during sleep?

The Invisalign aligners can be worn during sleep. Since it is recommended that you wear them for about 20 hours every day for best results, it makes perfect sense that you can wear them while sleeping. In fact, it is generally recommended that you wear your aligners during sleep. However, some patients may find this uncomfortable, but you should know that you will adjust accordingly.


Do the Invisalign aligners affect speech?

In some people, the aligners may affect speech transiently for a few days. Some people develop a lisp for several days, and as the tongue gets used to the device, the lisp will disappear. This does not occur with every patient though and even in those who experience this effect usually recover from it very soon.


Are there any dietary restrictions after Invisalign?

Because the aligners can be removed, there are no dietary restrictions. In fact, it is recommended that you remove the aligners every time you eat or drink. In addition, you should always brush and floss before inserting the aligners. This will help keep the mouth fresh and clean.


Can I smoke with Invisalign?

It is highly recommended that one not smoke or use any type of chewable tobacco as there is a real possibility that the aligners could become stained. Avoiding smoking is a general recommendation for all dental procedures but is considered especially important for this particular treatment.

Can I drink alcohol and other acidic beverages with Invisalign?

You can consume almost any type of beverage as long as you have them in moderation. However, it is generally considered sound advise that you remove the aligners first. It is important to brush and rinse your mouth after consumption of alcohol and coffee. In addition, since cola beverages are high in sugar, there is a risk of cavity formation. Therefore, it is important that you limit the intake of such drinks.


Can one chew gum with Invisalign?

Gum is definitely not recommended while you have Invisalign. The chewing gum can stick to the aligners and distort their movement. If you absolutely need to chew gum, you should remove your aligners first.


Can my aligners fall out during speaking or laughing?

The risk of your aligners falling out of your mouth is very small. The aligners are designed in a manner that they would fit firmly on your teeth and cannot be dislodged by laughing, crying, speaking or shouting.


Is Invisalign safe?

Invisalign aligners have been used for more than two decades by millions of people and have proven to be very safe. They are made of high-grade polyurethane resins, and so far no adverse effects have been reported. Invisalign aligner was first approved for use in the USA in 1998, and since then this alternative to braces has shown tremendous growth.


How do I look after my Invisalign aligners?

When you have the Invisalign aligners applied, you will be told how to clean them using the Invisalign Cleaning System. You can also clean them every time you remove them. In order to do that, you should first gently brush and then rinse them in warm water. Then they are ready to be put back on your teeth.


Can the aligners break?

Yes, the aligners can be damaged for a variety of reasons. First, never eat with the aligner in your mouth. Hard food like candy can easily cause cracks and chips. If you drop your aligners, they can be damaged, and this means you will need to get new aligners. When you remove the aligners at night, leave them soaked in water, so that they don’t dry out. Never use hot water to clean the aligners as this can permanently change the shape of the plastic and render them useless.


What is the cost of Invisalign?

The cost of Invisalign varies depending on the severity of the problem and the condition of your teeth. However, approximately speaking, the cost could range from $2500-$7000. You need to see an orthodontist and get a thorough dental exam before a price can be stated. Unfortunately, Invisalign is not covered by any insurance plan, but most dentists do offer a reasonable payment plan so that you get to achieve a great smile.


Is Invisalign treatment permanent?

Yes, once the aligners have moved the teeth into place, they will remain in that position permanently. Some dentists do recommend wearing a retainer to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original position. This, however, is dependent on the severity of the problem and the overall condition of your teeth.  Sometimes you may need to wear retainers on either the lower or upper teeth. These retainers are also custom made, and the price depends on your particular dental clinic and your orthodontist.


Who inserts Invisalign?

In order to get Invisalign aligners, you first need to see an orthodontist who is an Invisalign provider. Usually, the first consult is free where you get to ask questions and get answers. As with any medical procedure, it is important to ensure that the orthodontist is well-qualified and has experience with Invisalign. You may also want to ask to see before and after images of other patients who have had the procedure.


Dental Care at The Foleck Center

Invisalign is a terrific option for people who really need their teeth shaped up and would like those teeth fixed. At The Foleck Center, we have a strong and knowledgeable dental team that will ensure you have the best possible experience in our dental clinic. We offer the latest and the most advanced treatment options to all our patients, and we make sure that each patient is catered to on an individual basis. For us, our patients are not just numbers. We believe in patient satisfaction, and we believe in making our patients happy.  Most people don’t take dental care seriously and are afraid to visit an orthodontist for fear of what they might say or do to them. Fear no more as our dental team at The Foleck Center has your best interests at heart. Customers are our top priority, and customer satisfaction continues to be our number one source of motivation.

Call our clinic to book your first consultation. Your first visit is absolutely free. Ask anything that you are unclear about. Clear up any doubts you might have. Discuss your specific dental problems with our orthodontist. Call our dental team now and see how we can make your teeth better.