The desire to straighten crooked or poorly aligned teeth (without having to wear bulky and uncomfortable metal braces) is something that Dr. Andy Stein knows all too well. Invisalign is a practical solution for patients who want a beautiful smile while taking advantage of the technological advancements in what’s become known as “invisible orthodontics”. It’s an excellent option if you’re wanting to fix slightly misaligned teeth without compromising your smile in the process.

How does Invisalign work?

The Invisalign system consists of a series of clear, plastic aligners that gradually shift teeth into the desired alignment by controlled force. You can remove the aligners when eating and they are easy to maintain and clean. Compared to the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces, they’re a much less intrusive and more aesthetically pleasing orthodontic solution.

Invisalign aligners are custom-designed for each and every patient so that they meet your dental needs. First, impressions and photographs are taken of your teeth, then used to make a digital projection of how your teeth can be moved into the desired alignment. Throughout the treatment process, most patients will wear between 20 and 30 aligners for their upper and lower teeth to achieve the desired result.

Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?

If you’re interested in the Invisalign system, Dr. Andy Stein will assess your teeth for their suitability and explain to you the possible results of treatment. In cases where Invisalign is not suitable, he will suggest an alternative way to straighten your teeth and achieve the results you’re after.

Generally speaking, Invisalign is suitable for people with gaps in between their teeth, crowding of the teeth, an overbite or crossbite. It may also be suitable for patients who have experienced teeth returning to their original position after braces and/or retainers have been removed.

When can Invisalign treatment begin?

Invisalign treatment can be started as soon as a patient has lost all of their baby teeth, which usually occurs between the ages of 13 and 19. In addition to teenagers, it can also be used to re-position the teeth of older patients who feel self-conscious about their teeth or want to tweak their smiles.

A step-by-step guide to the Invisalign treatment process

After Dr. Andy Stein has assessed your teeth for suitability, a series of photographs and dental impressions will be taken and used to make a 3D computer projection model of your teeth’s movement. This is like a time-lapse that will show your teeth’s initial position and their gradual movement to the desired position. After your data is collected, it’s then sent to the manufacturer who will create your personal Invisalign aligners.

The first set will be sent to Dr. Andy Stein so he can check that it’s comfortable and fits you correctly before the additional sets are created. Each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks before being swapped for a new set, gradually shifting specific teeth into the desired position to create a beautiful smile.

Most Invisalign patients complete their treatment in less than a year, although it’s important to keep in mind that the total treatment time will depend on your specific orthodontic problem and its severity. Compared to traditional metal braces, the treatment times are generally significantly less.

While it’s recommended that you wear your Invisalign aligners for the majority of the day (at least 20 to 22 hours), they shouldn’t impact your day to day life. Unlike traditional braces, they are discreet and can easily be removed when needed.

When to remove your aligners:

Eating: It’s recommended that you remove the aligners to eat and avoid eating chewing gum, which can stick to the aligners. However, there are no restrictions on foods and you won’t get bits stuck in between the aligners, which is a common complaint of traditional metal braces.

Tooth brushing and flossing: The aligners should also be removed when brushing your teeth and flossing as part of your normal dental routine. The good news is that there are no metal brackets or wires to clean around, like with traditional braces.

Cleaning your aligners:

Your Invisalign aligners can easily be cleaned with a special cleaning kit. Alternatively, you can simply brush and rinse them in lukewarm water regularly.

Invisalign FAQS

  • What are Invisalign aligners made from?

    Invisalign aligners are made from a thermoplastic material and resemble teeth whitening trays. Aside from being high-quality, they are also BPA-free and biocompatible.
  • How much does Invisalign treatment cost?

    The cost of Invisalign treatment varies depending on the specific needs and orthodontic problems of each patient. During your initial consultation, Dr. Andy Stein will provide a customized pricing quote.
  • Does insurance cover Invisalign treatment?

    Each dental insurance coverage is different, so you should check with your provider as to whether they will cover Invisalign. Some plans will provide similar coverage for Invisalign as is available for traditional metal braces.
  • Does Invisalign treatment hurt?

    Invisalign treatment is not painful and there are no wires that can potentially scratch the inside of your mouth. But there may be a short period of discomfort as your teeth adjust to the new aligners before settling down.
  • Does Invisalign treatment affect speech?

    Some patients may notice a temporary lisp as you adjust to speaking with your new aligners but this generally disappears within a few days.
  • How often will I need to see Dr. Andy Stein?

    Dr. Andy Stein likes to check the progress of each Invisalign patient every six to 10 weeks, during which time you’ll be able to chat with him regarding any questions or concerns you may have.
  • How are Invisalign results maintained?

    Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, it’s important to maintain the final tooth positioning. Dr. Andy Stein consults with each patient individually about maintaining your results, which may include wearing a retainer during sleep.

Start your Invisalign treatment today

If you are interested in achieving straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile in less than a year, Invisalign may be for you!

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Andy Stein to discuss your specific needs today by calling (509) 747-5586.

    Meet Dr. Andy Stein

    He aims to treat his patients based on the highest level of research evidence available.

    Stein Family Dentistry in Spokane
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