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What Is Invisalign®?

Invisalign treatment is an innovative orthodontic technique designed to discreetly straighten teeth without traditional metal brackets and wires. Using a series of clear plastic aligners, the Invisalign system works to gently and gradually guide one’s teeth into an ideal position over the course of a few to several months. Due to the inconspicuous nature of this treatment option, Invisalign is popular in our practice, especially among adults of all ages. From business professionals to retirees, many adults have chosen Invisalign to address alignment concerns, without the attention traditional braces can draw.

Most Invisalign patients have a particular concern they have been wanting to address. At Scottsdale Smile Center, our highly skilled cosmetic dentists customize treatment based on your unique needs and goals to help you quickly achieve the beautiful smile you desire.

Many of our patients wanting that perfectly straight smile have been extremely satisfied with their results from comprehensive treatment with Invisalign. However, we also have many patients who have more minor concerns, such as closing gaps between their two front teeth or correcting crowding that has developed over the years with their lower front teeth. Whatever the case, Invisalign treatment can be limited or comprehensive, and is priced accordingly.

Learn more about what you can expect from this state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment in the sections below, and please contact us today with any questions you may have.

Invisalign® Vs. Braces

There are a number of differences between a treatment with Invisalign compared to a treatment with braces. The most obvious being the appearance of the teeth during treatment. Invisalign offers a more inconspicuous process as the aligners are clear, while braces with metal brackets are more apparent. Metal braces are the more traditional way of aligning teeth that are affected by mild to severe orthodontic concerns. They are made up of wires and brackets, which are designed to guide the teeth into a straighter position. Invisalign can be used to correct mild to moderate orthodontic issues by using flexible plastic trays customized to each patient’s specific needs. These clear trays are also removable to make eating, drinking, and cleaning the teeth easier.

Both systems offer unique benefits depending on the needs of the patient. After your consultation with one of our experienced dentists, they will recommend an orthodontic system that can address your concerns and help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign®?

Since the plastic aligners used for Invisalign are clear, most people will be unable to see them—a benefit that makes Invisalign one of the most popular orthodontic solutions available today. In addition to discretion, Invisalign can offer many other advantages compared to traditional braces, including:

  • Removable aligners that allow patients to eat, drink, and clean their teeth with ease
  • Very thin, low-profile aligners that are much more comfortable than wires and brackets that can irritate the inside of the mouth
  • Fewer visits to the dentist during treatment since the aligners do not need to be adjusted like traditional wires and brackets
  • A lower total cost, depending upon the patient’s needs
  • Faster treatment—Invisalign patients can often achieve optimal results in less time

As an added benefit for our patients at Scottsdale Smile Center, we offer a complimentary at-home teeth whitening kit at the end of Invisalign treatment to help your new smile look its best and brightest.


What Is the Invisalign® Process Like?

During the initial consultation, one of our dentists will examine your teeth, review your expectations for treatment, and help determine if Invisalign is the best option to meet your goals. If you are a good candidate for Invisalign, a series of custom-made clear aligners will be designed and fabricated using a 3D model of your teeth. The total number of aligners will depend on your specific needs, and your doctor will instruct you on how long to wear each one before switching to the next aligner in the set.

How Long Does Invisalign® Take?

Throughout the course of treatment, you will be asked to periodically return to our office for check-ups, though these visits are generally fewer and further between than those needed for traditional braces. During these follow-up appointments, your dentist will make sure your teeth are progressing as expected.

Although the aligners can be removed when you are eating, drinking, or cleaning your teeth, wearing them as often as possible is vital to achieving the best results in the shortest amount of time. Overall, the average treatment time for Invisalign patients is about 6 months, though many patients achieve their desired results even quicker.

Does Invisalign® Hurt?

Since Invisalign does not require the placement of bulky brackets and wires on the teeth, this treatment can reduce much of the discomfort associated with braces. With that in mind, it is common for patients to experience some level of pressure or soreness in the beginning stages as the mouth starts to adjust to the aligners. However, these effects typically last only a few days, and over-the-counter Tylenol® is often enough to alleviate this temporary discomfort.

How Do I Clean My Invisalign® Aligners?

The quick and easy cleaning methods required for your Invisalign clear aligners is yet another benefit of this innovative orthodontic treatment. A gentle scrub with your toothbrush under lukewarm water should do the trick; but make sure that the water is warm and not hot—higher water temperatures may warp the plastic material. If you’re in a rush, a bit of antibacterial soap can be used as well, as long as you give the aligners a thorough rinse before placing them on the teeth again.

How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?

The cost of your Invisalign treatment will be based on a number of factors. During your consultation, our dentist will review what variables could affect the overall cost of your procedure. Once those elements have been considered, one of our team members will provide you with an estimate of the cost based on your customized treatment plan. If you would like to see if your insurance policy will help cover any costs, we would be happy to contact your provider and determine your out-of-pocket expense. Our office also accepts a wide range of payment methods, and we work with CareCredit® – a reputable lending agency that offers qualified applicants an array of convenient dental financing plans.


Are There Any Invisalign® Alternatives?

Some patients have tried Invisalign treatment and found that they are simply not disciplined enough to wear their aligners. Others are either not ideal candidates for Invisalign®, or would just like to explore alternative options that do not involve the application of highly noticeable silver braces. For these patients, we recommend exploring porcelain veneers as a possible alternative to Invisalign treatment. This option has two main advantages: treatment can be completed in just a few appointments and, if desired, the size, shape, color and/or position of your teeth can be meticulously designed to perfection. Porcelain veneers are custom-designed, hand-made, beautiful restorations that fit precisely over the front portion of your teeth, eliminating gaps, discoloration, chipping, and other aesthetic and functional concerns. Whether your goal is to attain a smile that is sexy, younger, more sophisticated, natural, or of movie-star status, porcelain veneers have enabled countless patients to attain the smile they have always wanted.

For more information on Invisalign and other treatments available at our practice, or if you wish to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists, please contact Scottsdale Smile Center today.