Invisalign FAQ

All About Invisalign

We’re sharing the answers to the questions we hear most often from our Richmond, VA Invisalign patients. Read on to learn more or, for even more information, schedule a free consultation at Gardner & La Rochelle Orthodontics by calling us at (804) 282-0505 or texting us at (804) 577-1171.

Q: How does Invisalign work?

A: Dr. Gardner, Dr. Tang or Dr. La Rochelle maps out your tooth movements on a 3D model of your mouth. They send their prescription to the Invisalign lab, which then prints out a series of custom clear aligners based on the doctor’s specifications. The aligners apply steady, gentle pressure to shift the teeth into place. Each set of aligners is designed to achieve certain tooth movements and as you make your way through your trays, you get closer and closer to your end results.

Q: Are there food restrictions with Invisalign?

A: Nope! You’ll take the aligners out to eat and drink anything aside from plain water so you can continue to eat whatever you’d like during your treatment.

Q: Does Invisalign hurt?

A: Invisalign doesn’t hurt. However, when you first start treatment or after putting in a new set of aligners, your teeth can be a little bit sensitive. This just means your Invisalign is working!

Q: What are the benefits of Invisalign?

A: First and foremost, the aligners are virtually invisible and most people won’t notice you’re wearing them. They’re also supremely comfortable. Since they’re removable, your oral hygiene routine will stay the same and there are no food restrictions. Because there are no brackets and wires, you won’t have to worry about irritation or injuries to the mouth if you get hit in the face. The aligners don’t get in the way of playing sports or an instrument. Lastly, computerized treatment planning ensures maximum precision for outstanding results.

Q: Can I smoke while wearing Invisalign aligners?

A: No. Smoking will stain your aligners and they won’t be clear anymore.

Q: Can I chew gum with Invisalign?

A: Yes. There are zero food restrictions with Invisalign. We would recommend taking your aligners out though to avoid a mess.

Q: How often will I need to visit Gardner & La Rochelle Orthodontics during Invisalign treatment?

A: While it will depend on your specific treatment plan, most patients visit our Richmond orthodontic office every eight to 10 weeks. These appointments are quick and easy.

Q: How long does Invisalign treatment last?

A: The length of Invisalign treatment depends on how complex your case is and how well you follow the instructions for wearing your clear aligners. At your consultation, once we’ve examined you and taken diagnostic records, we’ll be able to let you know how long your Invisalign treatment will take. For some patients, treatment lasts less than a year, while for others, it takes about the same amount of time as braces.

Q: How much does Invisalign cost?

A: We’d love to give you a number but your Invisalign cost will depend on how severe your orthodontic issues are and the length of your treatment. At your Invisalign consultation, we’ll take diagnostic records, examine your bite and develop a personalized treatment plan based on your diagnosis. This will allow us to let you know the exact cost of Invisalign. In an effort to make treatment work for your budget, we accept most insurance and offer flexible financing options.

Q: How often do I have to wear my Invisalign aligners?

A: For the best results, we recommend wearing your aligners for about 22 hours every day. Only remove them to brush and floss your teeth, eat, drink anything aside from plain water, and to wear a mouthguard while playing sports.

Q: Will Invisalign affect my speech?

A: Most of our Richmond Invisalign patients don’t notice a change in their speech. However, some do feel as if they have a slight lisp when they start treatment. This will go away once you get acclimated to wearing your aligners and your speech will return to normal.

Q: How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?

A: There are Invisalign cleaning systems that you can buy. However, the easiest and most affordable way to clean Invisalign aligners is to simply brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and then rinse them in lukewarm water whenever you take them out to brush your teeth. We don’t recommend using toothpaste because it can be abrasive and cause scratches.

Q: Will I have to wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment?

A: Yes. The only way to maintain your results for life is to wear a retainer. Teeth have a natural tendency to shift back to their old places when treatment is finished unless a retainer is used to hold them in position. Most patients only need to wear their retainer at night. We offer clear, removable retainers that are similar to your Invisalign aligner so the transition will be easy.

Q: How do I know if I’m a candidate for Invisalign?

A: To determine if Invisalign treatment is right for you, schedule a free consultation with us online, by calling us at (804) 282-0505 or by texting us at (804) 577-1171. The good news is, we’re Diamond Plus Invisalign providers at Gardner & La Rochelle Orthodontics, which means we’re among the top 1% of providers in the entire country. Thanks to our depth of experience and understanding of the nuances of the treatment, we can treat even very complex cases with clear aligners, so most patients are a candidate at our practice. If you’ve been told that you weren’t a candidate elsewhere, visit us for a complimentary second opinion!

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