Invisalign FAQs


Are Invisalign braces good?
Are Invisalign braces covered by FSA?
Are Invisalign braces painful?
Are Invisalign retainers?
Are Invisalign refinements free?
Are Invisalign braces worth it?
Are Invisalign and braces the same thing?
Can Invisalign fix overjet, underbite, overbite, crossbite, midline, etc …?
Can Invisalign cause TMJ?
Can Invisalign fix a gap?
Can Invisalign move teeth up?
How long does Invisalign take?
Do Invisalign buttons stain?
Do Invisalign prices vary?
Do Invisalign attachments fall off?
Can you have Invisalign with crowns?
Can you have Invisalign with veneers?
Can you have Invisalign while pregnant?
How are Invisalign trays made?
How does Invisalign look on the teeth?
Do you have an Invisalign question that we did not address?

Are Invisalign braces good?

Yes. Invisalign does its job well. The aligners accomplish a wide variety of tooth movements, from the simplest to the most complex.

Invisalign moves teeth in the same way that braces do: by putting pressure on the teeth. It differs from traditional braces by using a pushing rather than a pulling motion.

The end result is the same.

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Are Invisalign braces covered by FSA?

Yes. A flexible spending account allows you to use money on health care spending that does not qualify for dental insurance benefits.

Because there are many proven health benefits of straight teeth over crooked ones, Invisalign fees count as health care spending.

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Are Invisalign braces painful?

Any movement of teeth can cause tenderness and a pressure-type sensation in the teeth and jaw bones.

However, moving the teeth with Invisalign is less painful that braces. The brackets and wires of traditional braces cause cuts and ulcers on the inside of your lips, cheeks and tongue. Invisalign uses smooth, plastic aligners, so cuts and ulcers are less likely to occur.

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Are Invisalign retainers?

No. Invisalign aligners are not retainers. You wear each aligner for two weeks at 22 hours a day. After this length of wear, the aligners will weaken and begin to crack or lose their shape.

They are not strong enough to hold your teeth in position. When the teeth have reached the position you and your dentist approve, then true orthodontic retainers will be made for your nightly wear.

These retainers are made specifically to hold the teeth in place. Aligners are made to move teeth.

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Are Invisalign refinements free?

Yes, to a certain extent. Included in your initial treatment fee are several allowances for the fabrication of new aligners.

Some of these are called mid-course corrections, which are made before your treatment is completed if your dentist suspects the teeth are not moving as expected.

Other new aligners are necessary when the initial treatment is completed, but the teeth have not moved to the satisfaction of both the patient and the dentist. We call these additional treatment aligners refinement aligners.

Invisalign allows your dentist to order mid-course corrections and refinements within a certain time frame. This means it is important to stay on schedule with your Invisalign treatment.

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Are Invisalign braces worth it?

Yes! An investment in your smile is one that while pay off for the rest of your life!

Think of anything else that you can spend several thousand dollars on. Whatever it is, it will depreciate in value, deteriorate and need replacement, or become obsolete within 10 years.

Your smile will only go up in value! The money you invest in straightening your teeth with Invisalign is never wasted. Because straight teeth are healthier than crooked teeth, you may even save money by lowering your dental risk and needing less dental treatment throughout your lifetime.

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Are Invisalign and braces the same thing?

No. While the end result of orthodontic tooth movement may be the same, the means of getting there is not.

There are many differences between Invisalign and traditional braces. Read our previous post on how they differ.

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Can Invisalign fix overjet, underbite, overbite, crossbite, midline, etc . . .?

Yes. In the hands of a skilled dentist, Invisalign fixes many alignment problems. There are certain bite problems that are easier to fix with braces than Invisalign and vice versa.

Neither Invisalign nor braces can correct complicated bite problems caused by an improper relationship between the upper and lower jaws.

Invisalign accomplishes the necessary tooth movements with the right treatment plan, the expertise of an Invisalign dentist, and the perfect compliance of a patient.

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Can Invisalign cause TMJ?

No. Tooth movement of any kind does not cause TMJ disorder or dysfunction.

It is possible for any orthodontic movement to aggravate some TMJ problems that already exist.

If you have problems with your TMJ, it is important for you to go over them in detail with your dentist before starting any Invisalign treatment.

Some patients noted more clenching or grinding of their teeth while wearing aligners. This is a common occurrence.

You should notify your dentist at once if you begin to experience pain, clicking or popping in your jaws, or any jaw locking.

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Can Invisalign fix a gap?

Yes. Invisalign is successful in closing unsightly gaps. Patient compliance is especially important in this application of Invisalign.

Gaps have a tendency to re-open if not properly retained. Wearing your retainers nightly is mandatory to keep the gap closed.

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Can Invisalign move teeth up?

Yes. Moving teeth up (or down for lower teeth) is called intrusion. Invisalign intrudes teeth using anchors on adjacent teeth called “attachments” or “buttons”. These attachments give the aligner something to hold onto as they put upward pressure to intrude teeth into the jawbone.

Intrusion is a relatively complicated process, and it may take longer than other tooth movements. Be patient.

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How long does Invisalign take?

The length of Invisalign treatment depends on the complexity of the case. Minor corrections can be as quick as 2-3 months. Severe cases can take years.

Average treatment time for adults with crowded teeth is between 12 and 18 months.

Good compliance (wearing your aligners 22 hours a day and following all of your dentist’s instructions) will shorten your treatment time. Poor compliance will make your treatment take longer.

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Do Invisalign buttons stain?

Yes. Invisalign buttons or attachments can collect stain just like our teeth. If you drink large volumes of dark beverages (coffee, tea, red wine, dark sodas) or smoke, you should expect your attachments to discolor.

The good news is the buttons come off at the completion of your treatment! Any staining of the buttons goes away completely because the buttons disappear completely.

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Do Invisalign prices vary?

Yes. The manufacturers of Invisalign offer a range of lab fees based on the number of aligners made. The number of aligners corresponds to the length of treatment.

A long, complex case will have a large number of aligners and therefore, a high lab fee. A short, simple case may have as few as five aligners and a correspondingly low lab fee.

Ask your dentist what Invisalign options he or she offers.

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Do Invisalign attachments fall off?

Sometimes. It is possible for buttons or attachments to detach from the tooth. Do not be alarmed. Simply call your dentist and schedule a visit to have them replaced. In the meantime, keep wearing your aligners as usual.

The purpose of attachments if to create a certain angle of force and movement on the tooth. If it is not replaced, the tooth will not move to its prescribed location.

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Can you have Invisalign with crowns?

Yes. The only hindrance crowns present to Invisalign is the placement of attachments or buttons. The attachments are easily adhered to tooth enamel and not as easily adhered to other structures.

Crowns that cover dental implants or serve as part of a bridge cannot move. Invisalign is able to stabilize those teeth and move the rest. This is an advantage of Invisalign over traditional braces.

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Can you have Invisalign with veneers?

Yes. Veneers would need the same consideration as crowns. As stated above, you would have a greater chance of attachments coming off if they adhere to veneers.

Aside from the attachments, teeth with veneers will move just as well as any other teeth.

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Can you have Invisalign while pregnant?

Yes! Invisalign is perfectly safe to use during pregnancy. There are no injections, no medications, and no dental materials in Invisalign which patients are able to swallow.

A few Invisalign patients complain of an increased gag reflex during pregnancy and find the trays trigger that gag reflex. In these cases, treatment can be paused until the gagging and nausea of morning sickness have subsided.

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How are Invisalign trays made?

Invisalign aligners are custom made to fit your teeth perfectly. The dentist takes a dental mold or digital impression of the upper and lower teeth. The dentist then sends them to the lab along with a mold of the way your teeth bite together.

If a mold of your teeth is mailed, the lab will use a three dimensional scanner to convert it to a digital 3D model of your teeth.  If the dentist uses a digital impression, there is no conversion necessary.

A dental lab technician at AlignTech manipulates these digital models of your teeth to create the perfect smile with the proper alignment of the teeth. The movements orchestrated in these manipulations are broken into stages of small movements.  Each stage translates to an aligner.

The lab technician completes the entire tooth movement process on the digital models. Then he or she uses CAD/CAM technology to create the physical aligners.

This technology used to create the aligners provides a higher level of accuracy and a minimal margin for error.  That is all just fancy terminology to say the aligners fit your teeth really well!

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How does Invisalign look on the teeth?

As the name implies, aligners are almost invisible! Most people will not recognize that you are wearing something on your teeth. The material used to make the aligners is transparent. So even though they cover the teeth, you don’t see them.

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Do you have an Invisalign question that we did not address?

Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our Invisalign doctors. We are happy to answer all of your questions in person.

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Ready to learn if Invisalign is right for you? Contact us today!