An Alternative to Braces

If you have always wanted a straighter, more balanced smile but do not want the hassle of traditional braces, there is an excellent solution: Invisalign®, which is available for patients in Morristown and throughout North New Jersey at Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey. Instead of brackets and wires, the Invisalign® system uses a series of clear plastic trays to move the teeth into alignment gradually. Having your smile straightened with Invisalign® can be discreet, comfortable, and effective – an excellent way to attain the beautiful smile you deserve.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® can be an effective solution for minor orthodontic problems (such as crookedness, crowding, and gaps between the teeth), as well as biting irregularities (underbite, overbite, open bite, and crossbite). The Invisalign® system uses a series of clear plastic trays, or aligners, similar to teeth whitening trays. The aligners are custom-crafted by specially trained Invisalign® technicians who use advanced computer technology to map out a patient’s entire treatment from start to finish. The imaging software depicts the final position of the teeth, and each set of aligners is crafted to move the teeth closer to that position. With periodic check-ups from your cosmetic dentist, treatment progresses inconspicuously until your teeth arrive at the desired alignment.

What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

Invisalign® aligners are virtually invisible – so unnoticeable that people aren’t likely to know that you are wearing them. They are also removable, so you can still enjoy all your favorite foods and brush and floss with ease. The aligners are custom-designed and they are made to fit comfortably, causing little disruption to your everyday life.

The results produced by Invisalign® become especially striking when patients undergo treatment in conjunction with other cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as teeth whitening, for a total smile makeover.

Invisalign® vs. Braces

Traditional orthodontic treatment involves using brackets and wires to push teeth into the proper positioning. This approach often presents many inconveniences for patients, such as gum and mouth irritation, difficulty removing food stuck between brackets, and a smile obscured by metal. Developed as a more sophisticated way to straighten teeth, the Invisalign® system is designed to work as unobtrusively as possible. Use of these clear, removable aligners typically offers a number of advantages over metal braces, including:

  • Less invasive treatment
  • Ability to enjoy an unrestricted diet
  • Ability to brush and floss without difficulty
  • Faster treatment time
  • Fewer office visits

Invisalign® can correct many of the issues conventionally addressed by metal braces— such as asymmetry, misalignments, and malocclusion (poor bite)— without obvious indication that you are undergoing treatment. If you are interested in achieving a straighter smile, one of our cosmetic dentists can help you determine whether Invisalign® is well-suited to meet your treatment goals during a consultation.

How Invisalign® works: The Treatment Process

The Invisalign® process begins with a complimentary consultation in which one of our dentists will determine whether Invisalign® is an appropriate treatment for you. If it is, you will return to our office to be fitted for your first set of aligners. At this appointment, we will take pictures and molds of your teeth and mouth, which we will send to the Invisalign® laboratory. There, technicians will use the molds to plan your treatment and craft your first set of aligners, which they will send to our office. Once you pick up the aligners, simply wear them at all times, day and night, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Your next set of aligners and each successive one will be shipped directly to your residence. You will change out the aligners as they arrive. Patients typically visit our office in Morristown for checkups approximately every six weeks. Invisalign® patients who wear their aligners as directed may finish treatment in as fast as 9 to 18 months.

Invisalign® Lite

In addition to the standard Invisalign® procedure, Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey also offers Invisalign® Lite, a new option designed to help patients whose orthodontic concerns may require less extensive treatment. Invisalign® Lite involves the use of no more than 14 aligning trays, and a single refinement is included. While this option utilizes the same teeth-straightening techniques as the full Invisalign® procedure, it costs significantly less and the total treatment time is reduced. Many of our patients have been determined eligible for Invisalign® Lite, and the treatment has helped them renew their smiles with beautiful results. One of our dentists will be happy to talk with you about your options during the initial consultation.

Invisalign® Teen

For our teenage patients, Invisalign® can be an ideal way to attain a straighter smile and healthier bite with minimal intrusion to one’s daily life. As these aligners are inconspicuous and removable, Invisalign® can allow teens to play sports, continue eating the foods they enjoy, and smile with more confidence when compared to metal braces. Plus, depending on the nature of your concerns, Invisalign® often achieves the desired aesthetic in a faster time period than traditional techniques.

How long does Invisalign® take?

The total treatment time required by Invisalign® will depend on the extent of concerns being addressed. Generally speaking, mild misalignments and minor orthodontic issues are typically corrected faster than more complex cases. Your cosmetic dentist will inform you of the estimated length of your Invisalign® treatment in person, but on average, most adult patients complete the process in 9 to 12 months. As teenagers’ teeth are often still developing, the approximate treatment time may differ in younger patients.

How much does Invisalign® cost?

The national average price of Invisalign® ranges from $3,000 to $8,000, although your exact cost estimate will be calculated according to your unique orthodontic needs. Factors that can affect the cost of treatment include how many Invisalign® aligners are necessary to obtain the desired result and the complexity of your case. Once you meet with one of our cosmetic dentists, our office will be able to provide you with a personalized quote prior to the start of any dental work. In addition to accepting an array of insurance plans and payment methods, our practice also works with highly reputable dental financing companies—such as CareCredit® and Citi® Health—to accommodate our patients’ diverse needs. These programs offer many flexible payment plans with low monthly installments for qualified applicants to allow affordable treatment that can conform to your budget. If you have any other questions about the price of Invisalign® treatment, please don’t hesitate to call our practice and speak to a friendly member of our team.

Do you offer an Invisalign® alternative?

Invisalign® is generally the best orthodontic treatment for patients who have issues concerning their bite or jaw alignment. It can also be the most appropriate solution for extensive tooth positioning problems found throughout the mouth. That said, porcelain veneers can sometimes be a good Invisalign® alternative to correct minor dental flaws, such as a gap between teeth, individual tooth-crookedness, or spot discoloration on the enamel. Veneers are a cosmetic treatment designed to hide minor aesthetic imperfections using thin porcelain shells, which are bonded to the fronts of the enamel to mimic the look of full, healthy teeth. This can save some individuals with gaps or mild misalignments from undergoing more invasive orthodontic techniques. However, porcelain veneers are solely meant to correct cosmetic issues, and concerns regarding the health or function of a tooth are best treated with an orthodontic or restorative procedure.  

Additional Invisalign® FAQs

Caring for your Invisalign® aligners is very simple—just rinse the aligners under lukewarm water and gently brush the plastic with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Never expose Invisalign® aligners to hot water, as high temperatures can warp the material and interfere with your treatment. Aside from the simple daily oral hygiene habits required to keep your natural teeth healthy (such as brushing and flossing), Invisalign® requires very little maintenance to remain in good condition.

Invisalign® aligners are translucent, which can potentially lead to discoloration if the plastic is exposed to staining agents. However, avoiding accidental staining is just a matter of removing your aligners before eating food or drinking high-sugar beverages, such as juice, soda, and alcohol. As an extra layer of caution, it is also advisable to brush your teeth after eating pasta, blueberries, beets, and other meals that are likely to discolor your aligners.   

Yes, wearing a clear Invisalign® retainer after your teeth are straightened is key to maintaining good results and preventing recurrent tooth misalignment. For most patients, wearing a retainer is only necessary at night while asleep. Dr. Romano, Dr. Bizzarro, or Dr. Dunn will give you specific instructions on how often you should wear your retainer based on your individual treatment plan.

You may notice a slight difference in your speech at the start of treatment, but most patients are able to speak normally after a few days of growing accustomed to wearing their aligners.

Invisalign® is designed to be a much more comfortable orthodontic system than metal braces and patients usually don’t experience pain from their aligners. You may feel slight pressure during the acclimation period, but this is generally a sign that Invisalign® is properly guiding your teeth into the correct positioning. If you wear your aligners as often as instructed, the feeling should subside within a few days.