There are many options for patients who want to avoid metal braces! The most popular alternative orthodontic treatment is Invisalign®, which are clear plastic aligners designed to straighten teeth. After an examination of your teeth, your dentist will determine which option is best suited to your wants and needs.
According to the Invisalign® website, the cost for treatment is approximately the same as the cost for metal braces. A portion of this cost may be covered by your insurance. Please call us to set up a consultation and discuss potential payment plan options.
The first step is to schedule a consultation with your doctor, so they can devise a treatment plan that is best suited to your individual dental needs. Once approved, you will receive your first set of aligners. Your doctor will then regularly monitor the movement of your teeth and new aligners will be ordered according to the progress made in your treatment plan.
Invisalign® aligners are made of clear, flexible plastic. The company received a patent for this material – SmartTrack® – to be used exclusively for Invisalign treatment purposes. These aligners are FDA approved and nearly invisible!
Your doctor will give you an estimate regarding how long your Invisalign® treatment should take, which will depend on your specific needs. The average length of time for treatment is approximately 12-18 months. However, some patients may see results far sooner. Remember to wear your aligners exactly as instructed by your doctor to obtain the best results.
Your doctor will most likely recommend that you wear retainers following your Invisalign® treatment. This is a precaution that will prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positioning. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions exactly to ensure long-lasting results.
You must wear your aligners for up to 22 hours daily. You may remove them for eating, drinking and regular oral hygiene.
No. Unlike braces, you may eat whatever you like as long as you remove the aligners before eating. Prior to placing the aligners back on, it is important to brush your teeth and the aligners after you eat.
Like any orthodontic treatment, there is a short adjustment period. The more you speak with the aligners on, the quicker you will adjust.
There will be some pressure and minor discomfort for a day or two after each initial insertion. This is a sign that your teeth are moving sequentially into their final position.
It is recommended that you remove your aligners prior to chewing gum as the gum will stick to the aligners.
We discourage smoking with aligners as the cigarette smoke will tend to discolor them.
Brushing them with toothpaste will keep them fresh and clean.
Regular office visits are every five to six weeks. This will ensure that your Invisalign treatment is progressing as planned.
All orthodontic patients are instructed to wear their retainers at night indefinitely. Sleeping with your retainers in at night will ensure a healthy bite and maintain the new position of your teeth.
Yes, if their teeth, including second molars, have grown in completely.
Dr. Joseph S. Grimaud is a third generation St. Louis dentist with more than 30 years of experience. Dr. Grimaud's family has been providing dental care to patients of all ages since 1912. Dr. Grimaud currently works alongside three sisters and three nieces.