Frequently asked questions about Invisalign orthodontic treatment
Q. How much will Invisalign treatment cost me?
A. Costs for Invisalign treatment vary depending on how complex your case is. Simple cases fall may fall into the “Invisalign Lite” category of treatment and treatment can cost as little as $5,000. Complicated cases can involve a large numberof aligners and complex auxillary techniques to help the Invisalign move the teeth. Costs for these types of cases can be as much as $14,000. Without at least seeing you in person there is no way to even guess how much your treatment might cost. What we recommend is people come in to see Dr Tiang for an initial consultation which only costs $80. He can then visually assess your case and give you an approximate idea of what the cost might be in your case. Obtaining a proper black and white final quote requires analysis of full orthodontic records (including moulds of the teeth, xrays and photographs). This is the next step after the consultation but costs more so having that low cost iniital consultation will help you to decide if you want to go to this expense.
Our standard arrangement is to allow patients to pay for their Invisalign treatment over the course of the treatment. For instance, for a case which costs $6000 and will take 10 months, there is usually a initial deposit charged of about $2500 and then the remaining $3500 can be paid off over 10 months at $350 per month. There is no interest charged on this. If you would like to have longer to pay for the treatment or want to spread out the deposit over time as well then we can offer finance through an external medical finance company at very competitive interest rates.
Q. How long will Invisalign take to straighten my teeth?
A. Treatment times for all orthodontics vary according to case complexity. Approximate treatment times can be estimated after analysis of orthodontic records but we can never say for certain how long a treatment will take. Of course simple cases are shorter and more complicated cases are longer. Dr Tiang has treated cases as quickly as 5 months and cases which have taken over 2 years to complete. Come to see us for a consultation if you want to get more of an idea of what might be involved for you if you were to have Invisalign.
Q. My teeth are particularly crooked. Would it be better for me to see a specialist orthodontist?
A. Invisalign is essentially a completely new technique in orthodontics. It works completely differently to braces and so it is very important to see someone who is trained and more importantly experienced in Invisalign specifically. The Invisalign company have a system where more experienced practitioners (ie. dentists/orthodontists who have treated a large number of cases) are awarded the “Platinum” and “Platinum Elite” titles (in the Asia Pacific region). Who these practitioners are can be seen on Invisalign’s own website. Otherwise be sure to enquire as to how many cases your orthodontist or dentist has successfully treated with Invisalign to find out how much experience thay have had with it. Because of how relatively new the technique is, specialist orthodontists are not necessarily the most experienced in Invisalign.
Q. My teeth aren’t that crooked. I might as well just shop around for the best price since my case is easy and anyone can do it, right?
A. Orthodontics is actually a complex field involving many if not all of the teeth at one time and also the jaws, jaw joints and basically everything in the area around your mouth. Straightening the teeth is only one aspect of orthodontics. Clinicians providing Invisalign should also be trained to correctly diagnose your situation so that they can know what effects straightening your teeth might have on the best of your mouth. Orthodontics can affect things such as the way your teeth bite together and even your facial appearance. They also need to be able to discuss your other options, such as braces, with you so you can make an informed decision as to what the best treatment is going to be for you. Be sure to enquire as to how experienced your dentist or orthodontist is in the entire field of orthodontics.
Q. How can Invisalign use a flimsy piece of plastic to move teeth?
A. Research has shown that minimal force or pressure is actually required to move a tooth orthodontically. The most important thing is that the force applied is for prolonged periods of time if not all the time. Braces is obviously there all the time as they are glued to the teeth and with Invisalign it is very important to wear the aligners for as much of the day as possible. Even the thin plastic of an Invisalign aligner is easily enough to move a tooth. What actually occurs is that when a force is applied to a tooth for a prolonged period of time, your body will respond by actually removing the jaw bone from behind the direction of the force creating a space in the bone for the tooth to move into. Your body will then create new bone in the space where the tooth moved out of.
Q. How invisible is Invisalign really?
A. Of course Invisalign is not truly invisible. The Invisalign aligners are made from a smooth, shiny plastic which is obvious if you are looking for it. However, in our experience and from the comments of the majority of the dozens of patients we have successfully treated with Invisalign, other people won’t notice you are wearing Invisalign unless you draw attention to the aligners. During normal day to day activities it is unlikely anyone will see you are wearing anything on your teeth. We’ve even had our patients go their entire treatment without any of their colleagues or work associates finding out they were straightening their teeth. Invisialign is not invisible but it is unnoticeable enough.
Q. Does Invisalign orthodontic treatment hurt?
A. In order to move a tooth, pressure needs to be applied to that tooth. For some people this pressure can be a bit sore but we have never had a patient actually report pain. Most patients don’t even class the pressure as even being uncomfortable. The pressure only lasts for the first few days of each two week aligner cycle so overall, for people with a normal pain tolerance, the treatment is pretty much pain-free. Invisalign aligners also have a huge advantage over regular braces in that there are no spiky bits or sharp edges to dig into your lips and cheeks so the treatment is way more comfortable than braces.
Q. Am I too old for Invisalign?
A. The biological ability of your body to allow a tooth to move when pressure is applied is there throughout your entire life. Therefore you can never really be too old to have your teeth straightened. We have patients well over 50 years of age having their teeth successfully straightened with Invisalign. The speed at which things move gets a bit slower as we age but it is never to late to go for straight teeth.
Q. Am I too young for Invisalign?
A. With the recent introduction of the new Invisalign teen product, patients as young as 10 years old can have Invisalign. The age will vary as the age at which certain adult teeth come through is different from person to person. However, we recommend parents consider having their childrens’ teeth looked at (for orthodontic purposes) from the age of 7 onwards. The reason for this is that we believe the ideal time for orthodontic treatment to happen is when the jaws are growing at their fastest. This is also the general consensus of most the worldwide orthodontic community. The teeth willl move most efficiently and quickly at this time so it makes a lot of sense. The upper jaw bone tends to have a growth spurt at about age 7 or 8 and the lower jaw bone later so approximately 7 years old is a good time to just have a consultation with someone to assess your child. There are some simple early treatments which can prevent thousands of dollars of orthodontic treatment later in life.
Q. What is a Clincheck?
A. A Clincheck is a tool developed by Invisalign to aid dentists in planning treatment for their patients. It is a computer simulation of the intended movement of the teeth from beginning to desired ending ie. straight teeth. It shows aligner by aligner each miniscule tooth movement which has been planned during a patient’s treatment. It can also be shown to patients to demonstrate what result Dr Tiang is aiming for in their treatment. Usually Dr Tiang shows the Clincheck to his patients for the final go ahead on their treatment. The Clincheck shows the teeth in 3D and you are able to view the teeth from any direction. You can also string together the movements from one aligner to the next, creating a sort of movie showing the teeth move from beginning to end.
Q. What payment options do you offer for Invisalign treatment?
A. Our standard payment option (which most people go for) is to ask for an initial deposit of around $2500 and then divide the rest of the treatment cost out into equal monthly payments spread over however long the treatment is calculate to take. This repayment usually works out to be about $350-400 per month and can be paid by EFTPOS, cash, Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, cheque or internet banking (or a mix of any of these). There is no interest charged on this. Otherwise we can offer financing through an external specialist medical financing company who will allow you to pay the treatment off over 36 months and with no initial deposit. However they do charge interest for this.
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