What is the best option to straighten your smile?
In your quest for a straighter smile, you’ve likely encountered plenty of options that claim to offer the ultimate fix.
One of the most popular and oft-discussed options is the Smile Direct Club, a teledentistry program that provides clear aligners designed for mild to moderate teeth correction.
As with any dental solution, this one can be a little complicated to understand, and you likely have plenty of questions. If you’re considering Smile Direct Club or any competing clear-aligner treatment, such as Invisalign, we’re here to help. Today, we’re sharing our answers to 8 of the most common questions surrounding teeth straightening, including what to expect as you begin this journey.
1. What is Smile Direct Club?
Smile Direct Club is a three-step process that helps you create custom-fitted clear aligners from home. You can choose to visit one of the company’s SmileShops for an in-person scan, but Smile Direct also states that you can do it yourself at home. Using the scan, Smile Direct Club can create a 3D image of your teeth and send it to a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist, who will approve your custom treatment plan.
Your aligners will arrive at your doorstep, and Smile Direct claims that the treatment can be completed in just four months.
2. What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is another short-term orthodontics solution, although it isn’t performed via telemedicine. Rather, you’ll first visit your orthodontist in person for a comprehensive exam, where you’ll play a role in mapping out your treatment plan.
Then, your orthodontist will use advanced 3D imaging technology to create a digital impression of your teeth and jaws. Using this impression, they can plan for future adjustments and create a series of custom aligners. You wear these aligners throughout the process to ensure correct positioning.
3. What are the advantages of Invisalign?
There are a few distinct advantages that Invisalign wearers are able to enjoy. Let’s take a look at a few!
One of the major advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are made from a patented material called SmartTrack.
This flexible material is only found in Invisalign clear aligners and helps make them easier to wear and take off. A few of the benefits it provides include:
- Gentle, constant force.
- Improved tooth control movements.
- More snug fit.
- More predictable teeth straightening.
- Quicker treatment time.
In addition, Invisalign aligners are designed to shift, not only tilt, your teeth into place. As a result, you can enjoy the results for a longer period of time. When your teeth look great and function at their best, you’re also better positioned to enjoy optimal oral health!
It might sound like a super technical term, but interproximal reduction (or IPR) is relatively simple in theory. This is a common orthodontic practice that involves mechanically removing a small amount of enamel between your teeth. This adds extra space that enables your teeth to naturally and comfortably realign.
If your teeth are crowded or misaligned, IPR treatments are usually required. While not every clear aligner solution offers this service, IPR can be performed in conjunction with your Invisalign procedure.
The process of moving teeth is very technical and involves myriad factors. In addition to the external part of your teeth that you can see, your orthodontist must also take into account the root of your teeth, as well as your jawbone.
What is the structural integrity of your jaw? What about its density? What does your root alignment look like? Your bite might be misaligned because of the way your teeth grew in, or there could be an underlying issue with your jaw placement.
These are important questions that can only be fully answered through in-person consultations and X-rays. It’s difficult to accurately diagnose your condition and prescribe a treatment plan without these kinds of in-depth conversations and analyses. If a clear alignment brand assumes these details through a teeth impression alone, it could mean pursuing a plan that isn’t 100% designed to fit your needs.
4. What is the expected treatment time for Invisalign?
How long should you expect to wear your Invisalign clear aligners? With this solution, you’ll wear each aligner for about two weeks. Then, when that time is up, you’ll graduate to your next aligner. Your orthodontist will specially customize each aligner to ensure that your teeth gently shift into their new positions at precisely the right time.
Typical Invisalign patients will use around 18 to 30 aligners during the course of their treatment, and their treatment periods usually last between nine and 15 months. These are rough estimates, and your orthodontist can help you create a tailored treatment plan that may differ slightly according to your needs.
5. How much does Invisalign cost?
If you’re considering pursuing an orthodontic treatment for you or your child, we’d love for you to book an appointment at First Dental Associates. During your appointment, one of our expert dentists will provide a comprehensive exam and create your custom treatment plan.
At this time, our team can share important information on the costs associated with your plan. As each patient is different, there are multiple factors that will influence the final price, and an in-person visit can help you understand all of these details.
In terms of dental insurance, while policies can differ, most plans that include orthodontic coverage will also cover Invisalign to the same extent as they would cover traditional braces.
6. Why choose clear aligners?
One of the biggest benefits of straightening your teeth with clear aligners is that the solution is practically invisible! Compared to metal braces, these aligners are barely noticeable. In addition, most patients also report that they are more comfortable and easier to wear, too.
Another benefit? You can also enjoy your new smile sooner! Clear aligners require less time than metal braces, and you’re the one who stands to benefit the most from this fast-acting power.
7. When are metal braces best?
Even with the development of clear aligners, conventional metal braces are still very effective. In fact, they are even preferred in certain situations where regular aligner use might not be feasible.
For instance, if you have a young teenager, you may prefer metal brackets simply because they aren’t removable. Keeping up with your aligner and remembering to put it on and take it off at the right time can be a lot to manage, especially for younger children.
In addition, metal braces often work best when there are more complex dental issues that require correction.
8. What are the advantages of working with an orthodontist?
Whether you choose to straighten your teeth with traditional metal brackets or clear aligners, it helps to have your orthodontist perform your exam and follow your treatment through to completion. A dental professional is not only well-versed in every aspect of the procedure, but is also familiar with your teeth and gums.
In addition to being part of the Academy of Orthodontics, many orthodontists (including Dr. Sadeghi) are also Certified Preferred Invisalign providers. This way, you can rest assured that you’re getting expert care at every turn.
Straighten your teeth and improve your confidence.
Are you ready to achieve that straighter, more confident smile you’ve been dreaming about for years? If so, the right solution is within reach!
Whether you choose a telemedicine service like Smile Direct Club or work directly with your orthodontist for a custom Invisalign solution, the key is finding a plan that you are comfortable with and can commit to maintaining. For more information on the orthodontic solutions we provide, feel free to contact us today.