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  • Nidhi Pai, DDS

Invisalign FAQs

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

How does Invisalign work?

The first step with Invisalign is to do three models or impressions. Afterward, we send the impressions to Invisalign and they produce a check for us. We carefully go over how the teeth are aligning with each other and what’s the best alignment for the patient. After making the treatment plan, we discuss it with the patient. Every aligner has a prescription. It moves the teeth little by little in the right direction. It’s a series of trays that the patient uses. Every tray is worn for one week, and they see the progress week-by-week until the final outcome and perfect bite is achieved.

How much does Invisalign cost?

Invisalign can cost from $6,000-$9,000 depending on your local area. In our Palo Alto, CA office, it costs $6,500.

What is the difference between braces and Invisalign?

With braces, you align teeth with the help of the wire and you put the brackets in every single tooth and the wire moves the teeth back and forth or up or down. The main difference between braces and Invisalign is that the wire can just do one movement at one time. So if we have to pull the tooth out, you can only do that movement with the help of one wire. The wire is changed every 2-4 weeks depending on the dentist’s preference. With Invisalign, they are clear aligners. You have buttons on the teeth but they are also used with clear composite so it’s not that visible. You are able to take the trays out when you’re eating food and then put it back so that gives you a lot of flexibility to enjoy your meals. Also because it’s digitally designed, you can have multiple movements in one tray. You can have a rotation with one tooth, an extrusion with one tooth, and intrusion in another tooth. That makes the treatment go by super fast and shortens the time significantly with the Invisalign trays and it’s more comfortable.

Can you be too old to get braces or Invisalign?

No, absolutely not. My oldest patient, age 77, is getting Invisalign because he has too much crowding in his front teeth so it’s getting harder for him to clean at home. The treatment is going very well. The hygienist is also very happy because there’s less damage to his gums. You can’t reverse the damage which is already done due to crowding or a bad bite. However, moving forward, at least we are preventing more damage from happening. You’re never too old to fix your teeth and I encourage people even in their 70s to continue aligning their teeth.

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