Summerwood Aesthetic Dentistry
Julie A. Spaniel DDS

Invisalignin Portland

invisalign portland
Invisalign Tigard OR

Do you get envious when you see someone with straight teeth? Most Americans are not born with perfectly aligned teeth, so you are hardly alone. In the past, your main option for correcting misaligned teeth was with wire braces. While traditional braces are effective, they are also a hassle in many respects.

That is why Dr. Julie Spaniel is excited to offer Invisalign, a revolutionary alternative in the field of orthodontics. Invisalign uses removable clear aligners that are custom-built to fit your mouth and nudge your teeth into their proper position over the course of several months. Visit Summerwood Aesthetic Dentistry in Tigard, OR to discover how easy it is to reattain a straight, beautiful smile.  

Explore the Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign Tigard OR

Invisalign is more comfortable than ordinary braces. Whereas wires and brackets can snag the sensitive soft tissue in your mouth, Invisalign fits comfortably and painlessly in your mouth. 

Because Invisalign is transparent, you get to avoid the awkwardness of having people stare at metal in your mouth. Usually, the people you speak with can’t even tell that you are wearing aligners. This is a way to correct your teeth without feeling self-conscious.

Moreover, because Invisalign is removable, you get to take them out of your mouth when you eat and clean your teeth. This allows for much better oral hygiene, and you can eat without worrying about food particles getting trapped between your wires.

The removability also allows you to take out your Invisalign for big events where you would prefer not to wear them. If you have a date or a big work presentation and you would feel more comfortable without your aligners, that option is available to you.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign?

Invisalign is a good treatment for patients who want to correct their bite and smile. It works best for adults and teenagers whose jaws have finished growing. Patients who have previously had braces and seen their teeth slip back out of alignment are eligible to re-straighten their teeth with Invisalign.

Invisalign may not be great for patients with undersized teeth or severe misalignment issues. Dr. Spaniel does not typically recommend it for patients who have restorative dental work in their mouth such as a dental implant or dental bridge.

How Invisalign Works – Understand the Process

At your first appointment, Dr. Spaniel will examine your mouth and confirm whether Invisalign is a good treatment for correcting your bite and addressing your cosmetic concerns. At Summerwood Aesthetic Dentistry, she has the iTero® digital scanner, which is state-of-the-art technology that allows her to take detailed impressions of your mouth so that a lab can create custom aligners that are precise to your mouth and dental imperfections. Patients agree that 3D imaging is much easier than taking physical molds of the mouth. Dr. Spaniel then devises a customized treatment plan that should help you attain your dream results.

Invisalign aligners are created with durable thermoplastic material. Once they are made, you will receive many aligners, as well as a schedule to follow to keep your progress on track. Approximately twice a month, you will switch out your current aligners and move on to the next set to ensure that your teeth are shifting in the right direction. Dr. Spaniel strongly encourages you to wear your aligners at least 22 hours per day. The more you wear your aligners, the more quickly you can complete your treatment.

The good news is that you do not need to visit Summerwood Aesthetic Dentistry each time you switch your aligners. Dr. Spaniel will schedule periodic appointments to check that the treatment is progressing as intended, but you will have far fewer appointments than traditional braces require to tighten the wires.

Most patients need between half a year and a year and a half to complete Invisalign. However, you may need to wear Invisalign for longer if your teeth are more severely misaligned or if you wear your aligners less often than the recommended 22 hours each day. Usually, patients can complete Invisalign faster than with traditional braces because there is no downtime waiting for the wires to be tightened.

Caring for Your Aligners

Invisalign Tigard OR

You should try to keep your aligners in good condition since you will need to wear each set for about two weeks total. Removing your aligners when you eat or drink (anything but water) already makes it much easier to keep your aligners clean. Once or twice per day, you should clean your aligners with toothpaste and then rinse them off with room temperature water.

Once you have finished with an aligner, Dr. Spaniel asks that you store it somewhere safe. Most likely, you will not need this aligner again, but in case a tooth or teeth did not move fully as intended, an old aligner may be worn again to achieve the optimal results. After your Invisalign treatment is complete, it is okay to dispose of your old aligners.  

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

The total cost of Invisalign depends on how many sets of aligners are necessary to nudge your teeth into proper alignment. Usually, the cost of Invisalign is not much different than the total cost for traditional orthodontics. Several major dental insurance providers now offer partial coverage for Invisalign. The team at Summerwood Aesthetic Dentistry can help to review your policy to verify what benefits you are entitled to. We also accept financing options through CareCredit, a leading medical lender, to help you pay for your Invisalign treatment.    

Maintaining Your Results

Teeth often drift out of place over time. For many patients, the best way to maintain a straight smile and perfect bite after Invisalign is to wear a retainer at night. The frequency with which someone should wear a retainer differs from one patient to the next, but if you would like to maintain the appearance of your smile for the rest of your life, it is a smart idea to use the custom-fit retainer that Dr. Spaniel provides to you.

Invisalign FAQs

Does Invisalign treatment hurt?

Invisalign treatment

Around half of Invisalign patients notice some mild discomfort in the form of sensitivity and tenderness. This discomfort can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and should never rise to the stage of actual pain. Keep in mind that any discomfort is a sign that your teeth are in fact moving into better alignment, which is exactly what you want to happen!

What are some reasons that a patient may not be a good candidate for Invisalign?

Invisalign requires self-discipline to achieve results — patients who doubt their commitment to wearing their aligners at least 22 hours per day may want to consider alternative treatments. Although Invisalign can help most patients with misaligned teeth, there are some cases so serious that they would see more success with traditional braces. Dr. Spaniel may not recommend Invisalign to patients with very undersized teeth, wide gaps between the teeth, a dramatic overbite, an overly rotated tooth, or a prosthetic device like a dental bridge (dental implants are usually fine).   

Are there any dietary restrictions while wearing Invisalign?

For the most part, you may eat and drink what you wish, so long as you remember to remove your aligners first. If your teeth are feeling sensitive from the treatment, you may wish to stick to soft foods/beverages that are not particularly hot or cold to not aggravate your discomfort. It is also a good idea to limit your snacking throughout the day so that you are not constantly taking out your aligners and disrupting your progress. 

Does Invisalign alter my speech?

Many patients do notice a slight lisp or speech impediment in the initial days of wearing Invisalign. It tends to be most prominent when making an “S” or “Sh” sound. This occurs because your mouth and tongue are not accustomed to wearing the device yet. As your tongue becomes more comfortable, you should find that the mild slurring goes away. The sooner you practice speaking with your Invisalign in, the sooner your speech will return to normal.

If I have previously worn braces, can Invisalign get my teeth back into alignment?

Yes, many people who have previously worn braces are good candidates for Invisalign if their teeth have shifted (or started to shift) out of place again. Invisalign can help to straighten your teeth once again without all the hassle of orthodontics. Thereafter, wearing a retainer (nightly or on a less frequent schedule) may be necessary to maintain the results.

What are Invisalign aligners made out of?

Invisalign get my teeth back into alignment

Understandably, some people worry about what materials they put in their mouth. Fortunately, Invisalign is manufactured with medical-grade thermoplastic polymers that meet the highest FDA standards for use in the human body. It is free of BPA (Bisphenol A), a potentially harmful compound found in certain plastics. Studies have not identified any negative health effects linked to wearing Invisalign.  

What happens if I skip wearing Invisalign for a day?

Although some patients ditch their Invisalign for events like their wedding or prom, doing so often will set back your treatment since your teeth then can shift back toward their previous positions. Essentially, this then prolongs the overall treatment time since Invisalign may need to be worn for extra time to counteract this backsliding

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in trying the top-rated invisible orthodontic treatment, schedule an Invisalign consultation with Dr. Spaniel. She is a leading restorative and cosmetic dentist in Oregon who loves helping her patients achieve the smile of their dreams. Please call (503) 906-8600 today