Invisalign – a clear alternative
Having a confident smile can change everything — and Invisalign makes the decision easy because you can get a stunning smile without most people even noticing you’re going through treatment.
We are a local Madison dentist who has been providing Invisalign since 2008. Dr. Christine Julian-Hoernke is a certified Invisalign provider.
Invisalign is the clear way to straighten your teeth as there are no wires or brackets, just a series of transparent aligners that are virtually invisible to those around you. The aligners work by incrementally moving your teeth, and each set is typically worn for two weeks at a time. Your doctor will track your progress every four to six weeks. We also offer traditional braces for adults and kids.
Although some patients will still require orthodontic treatment by an orthodontist, many minor spacing and crowding issues can be resolved in our office. Not only will straighter teeth improve your smile, but straighter teeth are also easier to clean and keep healthy!
Your Situation. Your Needs. Your Answer. Your Smile.
Invisalign is versatile, helping to correct a broad range of dental and orthodontic issues. It really works, and the proof is in over half a million smiles. But a stunning smile isn’t the only benefit of correcting your dental issues with custom Invisalign aligners — your dental health can be positively impacted as well. Learn more about several common issues below that an experienced Invisalign doctor can work with you to correct.
Overly crowded teeth: This occurs when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, crowding can prevent the normal function of teeth and cause dental decay and an increase in chances of gum disease.
Widely spaced teeth: This most commonly occurs when the jaw bone grows abnormally. When teeth are missing, this issue can also be caused by the other teeth shifting due to extra space. Widely spaced teeth can cause some periodontal diseases.
Crossbite: This occurs when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and/or the sides of the mouth. This issue can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease, and bone loss.
Overbite: What people commonly refer to as an “overbite” is known to dental professionals as “overjet.” It occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It is typically caused by genetics or over-development of the bone that supports the teeth. This issue can lead to gum problems, gum irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Underbite: This occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It is usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This issue can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars which can lead to tooth wear, and it can cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Our Invisalign dentist will work with you to create a custom-designed program that will treat your specific dental or orthodontic issue(s). Your treatment program will consist of a full set of aligners, made for you and only you.
The Benefits of a Healthy Invisalign Smile.
It is easy to see that a straight, well-aligned smile looks great — but it’s also usually healthy. There are many benefits of a properly aligned smile.
Symptoms of periodontal disease like gum swelling and redness can arise due to teeth that are too crowded or widely spaced. Clinical studies have shown that when teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit tighter around the teeth, which can lead to better periodontal health.¹ Since the Invisalign system’s greatest advantage is its ability to align teeth, your gum health may improve after Invisalign treatment.² And since you can brush and floss normally with Invisalign, unlike with traditional braces, you can more easily prevent tooth decay and related periodontal disease.
One of the Invisalign system’s best qualities is that it uses no metal bands, brackets, or wires that may trap food and plaque like traditional braces do. And since the removable nature of Invisalign allows you to maintain good oral hygiene habits, you can reduce chances of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
Improved Chewing and Speech
When left untreated, incorrectly positioned teeth and jaws can lead to speech difficulties and uncomfortable chewing issues. Invisalign treatment can improve both of these problems by better aligning teeth and jaws.
Maintain Comfort and Tooth Structure
Misaligned teeth and jaws can result in abnormal stress causing painful trauma to supporting bone and jaw joints. These issues can also cause excessive wear on your teeth, which might trigger continued problems in the future.
Commonly Asked Questions About Invisalign® Treatment
What happens if I am a candidate for Invisalign?
If you are a candidate for Invisalign and choose to proceed with treatment, your next appointment is for records. We take a panoramic x-ray, impressions, and photographs. A computer-simulated model is generated and reviewed at a subsequent appointment with the doctor.
What is treatment like?
Your Invisalign treatment will consist of a series of aligners that you switch out about every two weeks. Each aligner is individually manufactured with exact calculations to gradually shift your teeth into place. Since your Invisalign system is custom-made for your teeth only, with a plan devised by you and your dentist or orthodontist, you know you’ll end up with a smile that truly fits.
How often do I wear the aligners?
Aligners are worn all the time. They are only removed to eat or drink something other than water, and to perform your normal brushing and flossing routine. The goal is to have the aligner in place as much as possible.
What if my aligner breaks or I lose it?
If the aligner breaks or is lost, call your doctor as soon as possible during normal business hours. There is no need to call overnight or on the weekend. Your doctor will decide how to proceed. There is an additional fee if an aligner needs to be replaced.
How do I clean the aligner?
Brush the aligner with a soft-bristled toothbrush and cool water.
How are aligners made? You’d be amazed…
The aligners are made through a combination of your dentist’s expertise and 3-D computer imaging technology. Using advanced imaging technology, Invisalign® transforms your plaster models into a highly accurate 3-D digital image. Then a computerized movie, called ClinCheck®, is created to depict the movement of your teeth from the beginning to final position .
Will I have problems eating, brushing or flossing with Invisalign?
Because there are no metal wires and brackets, Invisalign® is more comfortable than traditional braces. And because they are removable, eating, brushing, and flossing are no problem. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and smile without holding back.
Will smoking stain the aligners?
Will Invisalign treatment be painful?
While Invisalign moves your teeth without the pain and anxiety of metal braces, some people will experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure — and it is also a sign that Invisalign is working as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
How much does Invisalign cost?
We know price is an important consideration for you. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to that question until you visit Madison Family Dental for your initial consultation and then plan your treatment program.
There are many factors that determine the cost of your Invisalign treatment: how extensive the issues you want corrected are, how long your treatment plan will last, where you live, and the specific treatment details prescribed by our dentists. That said, the Invisalign system is often similar in price to traditional braces.
What about insurance?
Many dental insurance providers cover orthodontic treatment to some extent. If your dental plan is one of them, Invisalign may qualify as orthodontic treatment. Talk to your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage for your treatment.
Do I have other payment options?
Generally, most dental offices provide flexible payment plans to patients, so you should check with yours to learn of any payment plans they may offer. In addition, many companies offer employees Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). An FSA allows you to set aside a portion of your paychecks in order to pay for qualified medical expenses.
The money you elect to contribute is deducted from your pay and transferred directly into your FSA and thus is not subject to payroll taxes. After incurring eligible medical costs, you can then submit your receipt for reimbursement from your FSA.
What happens after I am done with my Invisalign treatment?
Your doctor will make a set of retainers to wear, which maintain the teeth in their final position. Initially, wear the retainers like the aligners — almost all the time. Eventually, most people can wear their retainers overnight and still maintain the final teeth position. Just like with traditional orthodontics, not wearing the retainers will result in the teeth drifting back.