It’s no secret that Invisalign clear aligners are the top orthodontic choice for teens and adults. With Invisalign, you can avoid bulky brackets, uncomfortable wires, and the embarrassment of food stuck in your braces. 

If you’re hoping to straighten your teeth, but dread the thought of traditional metal braces, our San Francisco Invisalign dentist can help! Want to learn more? Here are 5 of the most common questions we receive about Invisalign:

1. How do clear aligners work? 

The Invisalign system is designed to slowly move your teeth into their proper positions. Dr. Levi will scan your teeth so your aligners can be specifically designed for your smile. Each new aligner gradually moves the teeth into their new positions. Then, after about two weeks, you’ll receive a new aligner that continues the movement.  By the end of treatment, your smile will be perfectly aligned! 

2. Do clear aligners work as fast as braces? 

Every patient is unique. Therefore, every treatment timeline is different. Based on your specific needs, Dr. Levi can determine approximately how long your Invisalign treatment will take. 

For patients with mild alignment issues, treatment could be completed in six months. Others require up to 18 months. 

This timeline is typically the same as traditional braces, but sometimes even shorter. The key to achieving your new smile as fast as possible is to comply with your dentist’s treatment guidelines. 

3. Can I remove the aligners whenever I want? 

Technically, yes. The aligners can be taken out at any time. However, to achieve optimal results and to ensure you are ready for your next set of aligners, you must wear them for at least 22 hours per day. 

The aligners should only be removed while eating, brushing your teeth, flossing, or cleaning the aligners. If you have a special occasion that you’d like to remove the aligners for, talk to Dr. Levi about how long you can leave the aligner off without undoing any progress. 

4. How much does Invisalign cost? 

The cost of Invisalign is similar to braces. However, an exact estimate can only be provided at a dentist’s office. Factors that affect the cost of your Invisalign treatment include: 

  • The complexity of treatment
  • Your provider’s experience
  • Your compliance with the treatment guidelines
  • Insurance coverage

If cost is a concern for you, talk to our dental team about your budget. We’re happy to discuss our wide range of financial options

5. Can children wear Invisalign? 

Dr. Levi uses Invisalign First trays to improve the smiles of children between 6-12. These trays improve a child’s smile as he or she grows and can help with crowding, spacing, and narrow dental arches. 

6. Am I a candidate for Invisalign? 

Thanks to modern technology, Invisalign aligners work for almost everyone. Invisalign clear aligners correct all kinds of orthodontic issues, including: 

  • Gaps
  • Protruding teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites 
  • Overcrowded teeth

In severe cases, traditional metal braces may be necessary. 

You may also be unsuitable for Invisalign if you cannot commit to wearing the aligners for at least 22 hours per day, have dental restorations (like a bridge or dental implant), or have TMJ issues.

To learn if Invisalign clear aligners are the best option to improve your smile, contact our friendly dental team today to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Levi.