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Everyone deserves and wants to have a balanced, beautiful smile. However, the prospect of undergoing years of orthodontic treatment with traditional metal braces can be unappealing. Fortunately, now there is an excellent alternative to metal braces: Invisalign. Available at our practice, the Invisalign system gradually straightens the teeth while remaining virtually invisible. Cosmetic dentist Michael Fulbright, D.D.S. and his team have undergone the training required to achieve amazing smile makeovers using Invisalign.

WHAT IS INVISALIGN® ORTHODONTICS?

The Invisalign system uses a series of small, clear, plastic trays that gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment. The trays are custom-made by Invisalign technicians, who use state-of-the-art computer imaging to visualize the teeth’s final position. The technicians craft each set of aligners to gradually move the teeth toward this final position. The aligners fit comfortably and are barely noticeable, so they can be worn to social occasions with ease. Plus, since the trays are removable, patients can still enjoy their favorite foods and floss normally. Invisalign is popular among many of our adult patients because the aligners are both effective and inconspicuous. 

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Invisalign® Vs. Braces

Both Invisalign and braces have proved to correct many orthodontic issues, while also helping patients achieve straighter and healthier teeth. However, Invisalign offers unique benefits to the right candidates that braces do not. Traditional metal braces utilize wires and brackets to move teeth into a desired position. What patients complain about most often with metal braces are the many appointments required for proper maintenance and the discomfort that can be associated with the treatment process. With Invisalign, any potential discomfort is often significantly reduced, as clear plastic trays are used to gently guide teeth into a straighter position. They are much less noticeable than braces, which allows patients to enjoy everyday life without worrying about the appearance of their smile. Invisalign may not be able to correct more severe orthodontic concerns, but this system has a track record of improving a number of common problems and creating exceptional outcomes. Dr. Fulbright can evaluate your orthodontic needs to determine whether or not Invisalign is right for you.

If you are like me and your teeth have moved in the many years since you have had braces see Dr. Fulbright for invisalign. His office is very professional and I’m so impressed with the technology he has at his fingertips. They used lasers to get a record of my teeth to send to invisalign. So easy and so much better than those gross clay like trays other places still use. 5 star experience!

Christine Shultz

April 27, 2017

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The Invisalign® Process

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Patients who decide to undergo treatment with Invisalign visit our Redondo beach dental office for an initial appointment to have a mold made of their teeth. From this mold, the Invisalign technicians custom-craft the patient’s aligners. When the trays are ready – usually in about three weeks – patients return to our office to pick up their first set of aligners and receive detailed usage instructions.

Dr. Fulbright delivers four sets of trays at a time while the patient wears each set for two weeks, having to come in only once every two months. The aligners should be worn day and night at all times and removed only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Throughout treatment, patients visit our office periodically so we can monitor their progress and make adjustments if necessary.

How Long Does Invisalign® Take?

Patients who wear their Invisalign aligners as directed can often achieve results in as little as six months to one year. However, it is important to note that everyone has different needs, and therefore, the length of treatment will vary from patient to patient. Factors that can dictate the length of treatment include the severity of orthodontic concerns, how often the aligners are being worn, and how quickly the teeth are moving into place.

Invisalign® Aftercare

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We provide exceptional treatment with Invisalign. Many patients have had their smiles transformed with the virtually invisible Invisalign system. To schedule a consultation with our skilled cosmetic dentists, contact the practice of Michael Fulbright, D.D.S.

How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?

The total cost of Invisalign is determined by a number of variables. The national average of a treatment with Invisalign tends to range from approximately $3,000 to $8,000. The exact cost may be higher, lower, or right in-between this range, and will be based on your individual needs as determined by Dr. Fulbright in your consultation. Some factors that will likely affect the price of your treatment will include:

Once all of these variables have been taken into account, Dr. Fulbright will create your custom treatment plan and someone from our staff will assemble a cost sheet specified for you. Some insurance providers will cover up to $3,500 of the treatment, and our staff can go over your policy with you to see if coverage is offered. For patients who would like to space out their treatment payments, our office offers dental financing options such as CareCredit® that can help qualified applicants fit the procedure into their budget. We also accept all major credit cards as payment methods.

Invisalign® Teen

Invisalign Teen was created to suit the unique orthodontic needs of teenage and adolescent patients. The clear aligners make the technique popular for this age group because their peers cannot often see the treatment at work. Teens can also participate in physical activities and enjoy their favorite foods with less discomfort and more confidence. If they wanted to snap a picture with friends, they can easily pop the aligners out and put them back in after the photo. The advantages of Invisalign Teen are numerous, and the system can be very effective. Bring your teen into our office today for their consultation with Dr. Fulbright.

Invisalign® Alternatives

At Fulbright Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry, we offer two orthodontic systems for patients looking to straighten their teeth: Six Month Smiles® and Invisalign. Both options are designed to discreetly align teeth and be more comfortable than traditional orthodontic methods. There are some key differences between these two options that can aid in the decision-making process. Six Month Smiles uses fixed brackets and wires, unlike Invisalign, which uses removable trays. The total treatment time of Six Month Smiles is designed to be approximately six months, as the name implies. This is achievable because of the continuous and gentle force from the fixed brackets. Invisalign, however, allows patients to remove their aligners, which could potentially hinder the treatment process if they are not worn for the recommended time of 22 hours per day. While Dr. Fulbright can make a recommendation as to which system may best address your needs, the choice is completely up to you.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions On Invisalign® 

How noticeable are Invisalign® aligners? 

Invisalign aligners should be virtually invisible, hence the name, due to the treatment’s state-of-the-art technology designed to improve teeth alignment without the use of prominent wires or brackets. While the visual appearance of your aligners is discreet, you may experience a small lisp when getting acclimated to your Invisalign® treatment. Any slight differences you notice while speaking should fade after a few days as your mouth adjusts to the aligners.

Is Invisalign® covered by insurance? 

Invisalign® is considered an orthodontic treatment, and orthodontic procedures are often covered by dental insurance policies. As with any dental treatment, what is covered by insurance is based on your individual policy. During your initial consultation, we can discuss your options based on your insurance plan and your individual needs.

What is Invisalign® made of? 

Invisalign® aligners are made of a specific type of medical-grade plastic, which is comprised of a multilayer aromatic thermoplastic polyurethane and copolyester material.These advanced materials make the aligners as flexible, discreet, and comfortable as possible.

How will Invisalign® affect my speech? 

While remaining essentially invisible to the eye, your aligners can slightly impact your speech initially. Though Invisalign® shouldn’t cause any significant speech impediments, you may notice a minor lisp at first. This effect likely won’t have a lasting impact and should dissipate within a few days as you continue to wear the aligners.

What can I eat and drink with Invisalign®

Because Invisalign® is unlike traditional braces and doesn’t consist of wires and brackets, you should be able to continue with your regular diet. However, it’s important to avoid food and beverages that may stain your teeth and your aligners. Remove your aligners when consuming items like berries, coffee, wine, or tea, and especially any hot substances that could cause them to warp. Another key factor is remembering to brush and rinse your teeth before putting your aligners back on.
 

Do I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign®

It is recommended that you wear a retainer following your Invisalign® treatment. Without a retainer your teeth could begin to shift back into their original position, rendering your treatment ineffective. The retainer will help keep your teeth in the position to which your aligners moved them. In many cases, after several months of continuous use, patients may need to wear them only at night while sleeping.

Ultimately, it is our goal to help you receive the orthodontic care you need and to create a more beautiful smile. If you have any further questions about Invisalign or any other orthodontic treatments we offer, please contact us today.