Congratulations! You’ve researched all of your options and decided to pursue Invisalign® treatment to straighten your teen’s teeth (or your own)! Now you just need to choose a provider. It is important to understand that Invisalign® is more than a product, it is also a technique, and your satisfaction depends on finding a provider who is experienced and proficient in using Invisalign® to achieve your goals for a straight and healthy smile. Likewise, Invisalign and traditional braces require an investment of time and money. It is important to know what to expect as you embark upon this treatment plan. Luckily, Dr. Diana Almy is an Invisalign® Diamond Plus Provider and is a gifted orthodontist at Fredericksburg Orthodontics and Invisalign Center.
Invisalign® is one of the most popular and successful methods for achieving straight teeth and a healthy smile, with over 20 years of research and 4 million cases to support its popularity. Invisalign® uses custom-made BPA-free clear plastic aligner trays that fit snugly over the teeth to gradually shift teeth into the correct position, either horizontally, vertically, or even rotating teeth as needed. To begin treatment, the doctor uses a scanner to create precise 3D digital images of the teeth. These images are used to create the aligner trays and for the doctor to design an individual treatment plan. Aligner trays need to be worn 20-22 hours per day for optimal (and fastest) results but are removed while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing teeth. Each aligner tray is worn for 1-2 weeks, then replaced with a set of slightly different trays, each set moving the teeth closer to the goal. This technique is very different from traditional braces and requires training and mastery for the best results.
Choosing the Right Provider
As with any procedure of this nature, you want to choose a provider with the skills and experience necessary to help you achieve your goals for a straighter smile. Keeping a provider’s skills in mind, there are also a few questions you should ask during your consultation:
- Are you a good candidate for Invisalign®? Why or why not?
- Ask to see examples of the provider’s work, particularly examples similar to your case.
- How long will treatment take?
- How often will you need to see the orthodontist? What happens if you miss an appointment?
- Ask for specific information concerning cost: What does the fee include? How many refinements are included? If you lose an aligner, are replacements included in the fee? If your treatment takes longer than expected, are there additional costs? Is the post-treatment retainer included in the fee? If Invisalign® is not working for you, what is the cost to change treatments?
- What are the payment options?
- Does your treatment plan require Interproximal Reduction (IPR)? What are the risks and benefits associated with this procedure?
- Will the treatment plan require elastics or any attachments?
Ultimately, when pursuing Invisalign® treatment, you need to find a provider with whom you feel comfortable, who answers all of your questions, and who has demonstrated experience and success in treating patients with similar needs and goals. Take your time to find just the right provider who meets all of your needs.