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Should I get Invisalign?

Adult Invisalign PatientDid you know that your teeth don’t know whether plastic or metal are pushing on them?  Your teeth experience the same kind of forces with Invisalign as they do with traditional braces.  The cells that are responsible for moving your teeth have no idea what you have on your teeth.  They just respond to the pressure.  So let’s talk about some common questions about clear aligners, like Invisalign.

How does Invisalign move teeth?

Invisalign uses a series of clear, plastic trays to slowly align your teeth.  Each tray is designed to move your teeth a little bit.  You wear each tray for 1-2 weeks, depending on how quickly your biology allows your teeth to move.  As you progress through your series of trays, your teeth will straighten!

Is Invisalign faster than braces?

If you look at, you will see many claims about the speed of aligners.  However, most of the claims have a little asterisk (*) after them, so you have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find out what they really mean.  For example, the website claims that aligners can straighten your teeth “in as little as 6 months.”  But when you scroll down, you see the note: “Based on mild to moderate malocclusion (defined as crowding and spacing up to 6mm, and overjet and overbite up to 6mm and assuming one week wear), treatment times vary depending on Invisalign product type, wear time, case complexity and must be determined by your doctor.”

So just be weary about claims of Invisalign being faster for braces.  There are some things that Invisalign does better and faster than braces.  But there are also things that braces do better and faster than Invisalign.  Drs. Oakley and Christenson can evaluate your teeth and your bite and let you know which treatment option will get you the best result and how long you can expect to be in treatment.  No two mouths are the same!

Is Invisalign more expensive than braces?Smile with braces and smile with Invisalign

At Christenson Family Orthodontics, treatment fees are not based on aligners versus braces.  Fees are based on the complexity of the case and the estimated treatment time.  Drs. Oakley and Christenson will explain to you the pros and cons of braces and aligners based on YOUR teeth.  We want you to choose your treatment plan based on your desired outcome, not based on a difference in cost.

Is Invisalign covered by insurance?

For the majority of dental insurance plans, if “orthodontics” is covered, the plans do not specify what appliances (brackets, aligners, expanders, etc.) can be used.  So in general, if you have orthodontic coverage, then orthodontic treatment with Invisalign is covered.  At Christenson Family Orthodontics, our insurance specialist will research your insurance policy and let you know if you have coverage and how much.

Does it matter if a dentist or orthodontist does my Invisalign?

Orthodontists are dentists that have completed two years of additional specialized school, after four years of college and four years of dental school.  Orthodontic training includes studying how the direction and amount of force being applied to a tooth affects how the cells around the tooth respond.  Even though computer programs help plan treatment with aligners (like Invisalign), an orthodontist knows best what force vectors will straighten your teeth.

Orthodontists are also trained to focus on the bigger picture.  There is a lot more to orthodontics than aligning your front teeth.  Orthodontists can improve the way your teeth come together and function.  We also understand the limits of how far we can move your teeth without potentially compromising the future health of your teeth, gums, and supporting gums.  Your smile deserves an orthodontic specialist!


Drs. Christenson & Oakley welcome you to Christenson Family Orthodontics

Call today to schedule your complimentary consultation with our orthodontists, Dr. Christenson and Dr. Oakley.  We can’t wait to help you get the beautiful, healthy smile that you’ve always wanted!