How soon before the wedding should brides start looking into invisalign?
It’s usually recommended at least one year prior to your wedding because the average adult orthodontic treatment in the U.S. is 11-12 months. One year or earlier is best because then there is ample time to whiten your teeth prior to your special day, too. If it’s less than one year before the wedding, the teeth may not be perfect but at least they’ll be better for the hundreds of photos. My brides and grooms continue to finish their treatment after coming back from their honeymoon.
Who is the right candidate for invisalign?
That’s a great question because everyone is a candidate for invisalign but not every doctor is the right candidate to do it on them. You see, invisalign is a technology company that owns the computer software and the plastic material the trays are made from – which you wear while straightening your teeth. Everyone is a candidate for invisalign orthodontic treatment but please be careful when choosing your doctor for complex cases since invisalign is only a ½ day course doctors take. The most important part of a doctor’s training is the 3 years of specialty after dental school when they’re studying to become an orthodontist. For more difficult cases, please make sure that first you choose an orthodontist and one who has the experience level to create your beautiful smile.
Is there anyone who should avoid getting invisalign and why?
As long as your teeth are healthy and you have no cavities or gum disease, there isn’t any medical reason not to choose invisalign. There are several advantages to straightening your teeth with a clear removable braces than something fixed to your teeth like traditional braces. See below
How does invisalign work?
I always say, “Teeth are not that smart! If you have pressure on a tooth over a consistent period of time, teeth move.” Teeth don’t know what exerted the pressure or whether the pressure came from traditional braces or a series of clear plastic invisalign trays. As long as you wear the clear plastic tray, called an aligner, it will move your teeth into the direction your doctor designed and measured for your final smile. This is important to know because choosing an orthodontist is like choosing an artist. Orthodontic treatment is a combination of medical science and art. If you went to 5 different invisalign doctors, you would have 5 different looking smiles. It is no different than picking a plastic surgeon. If you went to 5 different plastic surgeons for a nose job or rhinoplasty, you would have 5 different looking noses. (Doctors should have their own signature smile and therefore, ask your doctor for their Look Book at your consultation for cases they finished so you can see firsthand what your finished smile could potentially look like.)
A mold or computer scan is taken of your teeth. Your doctor will write a treatment plan on how your teeth and overall smile should look and email it with your case to Costa Rica, where the software implementation is done. After your doctor has completed measuring and designing your smile with their lab technician in Costa Rica, they accept your case. The accepted case’s files are then sent to invisalign’s manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico. The plastic is made in Mexico and then shipped back to your doctor’s office. My patients are usually surprised at how detailed the invisalign system is and how many different channels it goes through creating their perfect smile. I reference it to being like a football game where the doctor is the quarter back for the team.
Is there any discomfort or pain?
Because the movement is more gradual with each tray, there is less discomfort with invisalign than with traditional braces. After all, there isn’t any irritation from braces or pokey wires to get used to. My patients who have had braces before say that it’s like riding a bicycle and even getting used to speaking with it is easier. Patients who speak more than one language also get used to speaking with the aligners faster and say that there’s an easier adjustment period. Otherwise, I ask my patients to please give themselves one week to get used to speaking with them, removing them to eat and cleaning them.
How long does it take to see results from start to finish, typically?
Again, great question! This is a very subjective question and lurks in the eyes of the beholder…the patient. One third of my patients notice a difference within the first one third of their treatment. Another third notices a difference half way through their treatment, while my last 1/3 are so busy with work and life around them that they look in the mirror at the end and say, “OMG!” All in all, I can promise you that showing my patients what they used to look like in the beginning …at the end of their treatment is such a WOW factor that their comments never get old and still till this day is my favorite office visit with them. It’s like watching your art come to life!
How much does invisalign cost?
Invisalign should be the same as traditional clear braces. Clear braces are made out of ceramic or plastic. Plastic stains and ceramic doesn’t. Invisalign should cost the same as clear ceramic braces. The fees are based on treatment time. A patient in treatment for 6 months should theoretically pay ¼ of the fee a patient would pay for 24 months. The problem is that because of discount websites and misleading advertising, patients see ads for $2999 and think they can have one year of orthodontic treatment. I try to advise patients, friends and even people that stop me in other states, while I’m lecturing, “Buyer beware.” If it sounds to good to be true than it probably is. $2999 is for a minimal 3-6 mos. case without any fine tuning of it. It’s most likely a general dentist and not an orthodontist that took ½ day course and it works well when doing combination treatment like veneers or crowns and very minimal orthodontic movement is required. Orthodontists went to school for an average of 3 additional years full time to study facial symmetry and esthetic signature smiles that are functional and healthy, in addition to just looking good.
Can you please explain the pros of invisalign over regular traditional braces?
Pros or Advantages:
- There aren’t any food restrictions because you remove them to eat. Feel free to bite into corn on the cob or an apple anytime. When you’re done, make sure your teeth are clean and pop your clear braces back in.
- Brushing, flossing and keeping your teeth clean is easier
- There isn’t any loose or pokey wires that rub the inside of your cheek or lips
- Your visits to the office aren’t as frequent
- They are less noticeable and more esthetic than traditional braces
Cons or Disadvantages:
Your outcome and smile is based on two things.
- Compliance!! How disciplined and good you are at wearing your clear trays or aligners. If you think you won’t wear them the recommended 22 hours per day, then maybe traditional braces might be a better choice for you.
- The design and measurements of your doctor’s treatment plan for you. (Therefore, please take your time choosing your invisalign doctor and choose wisely…cost being the least influential decision maker. See below)
Can invisalign fix your bite or only straighten your teeth?
The majority of patients come in for an orthodontic consultation to look better. It is an orthodontist’s obligation and sworn oath to fix malocclusions or “bad bites” because of health reasons and not just for “prettiness”. When teeth are where they are supposed to be they look great but are also in a healthy occlusion or healthy bite. Crowded teeth accumulate more bacteria causing more gum problems linking it to heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies.
What other cosmetic dentistry would you suggest for a bride?
My number one suggestion prior to your wedding day is professionally whitening your teeth at your dentist’s office. I would recommend it 5-7 days before the wedding day…and PLEASE avoid red wine during that week. I would avoid it even on my wedding day. You’re wearing a white dress with perfectly pearly straight white teeth. The last thing you need is red wine. J
Do you have any general tips for how brides can maintain a healthy and radiant smile for their wedding?
- Use baking soda and peroxide the morning of your wedding. It will neutralize your breath and cause your teeth to sparkle. Feel free to use it once or twice throughout the day, too.
- Wet your toothbrush with a capful of hydrogen peroxide (yes, the one that comes in the ugly brown bottle) and dip into a box of baking soda. (yes, the boring box some people keep in their refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh) . . .after all, where do you think they invented toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide? J
- My second favorite piece of advice is after applying your lipstick, use a chapstick with a fresh minty scent on the inside of your lips. Being a bride, you will be the center of attention and everyone will want to speak to you. Like most brides, you probably ate minimally – if at all – before you walked down the aisle. Also, when you’re nervous, you create less saliva which acts as an agent to naturally wash away the bacteria causing bad breath. Therefore, since you’ll be so close with everyone and everyone wants to talk to the beautiful bride, use a flavored chapstick, after you applied your lipstick! You and your guests will thank me later.
To setup your no-obligation bridal smile consultation for Invisalign, please contact the offices of Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling, DMD by phone at 888-STR8-SMILE or use our contact form to receive more information. Dr. Jacqueline ha dover 12 locations throughout NY, NJ and Long Island.