Straighten Teeth with Invisalign in Spokane, WA
Dr. Ryan R. Love understands the desire to straighten crooked or poorly aligned teeth — and the resistance to wearing bulky, uncomfortable metal braces to achieve results. For patients that want a beautiful smile but are worried about visible orthodontics, Dr. Love offers treatment with Invisalign, which is sometimes referred to as “invisible orthodontics.” Invisalign is an excellent option for anyone with minor misaligned tooth problems that wants to maintain the appearance of their normal smile while straightening their teeth.
How Invisalign Works
The Invisalign system consists of a series of clear plastic aligners, which gradually shift the teeth into the proper position and alignment by controlled force. The aligners are removable for eating and can be easily cleaned. Many people find them more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable than traditional braces with metal brackets and wires.
The aligners are custom-crafted for each patient. Dental impressions and photographs are taken of the patient’s teeth and used to make a digital projection of how the teeth can move incrementally into the desired position and alignment. Patients usually wear a total of 20 to 30 aligners for the upper and lower teeth throughout the duration of Invisalign treatment.
Good Candidates for Invisalign
Dr. Love evaluates all potential Invisalign patients on an individual basis to determine their specific needs and goals of treatment. If Invisalign is not a suitable option, he can recommend an alternate way to straighten the teeth or create the illusion of a more even smile.
In general, Invisalign is designed for people that have problems with the position, spacing or alignment of their teeth. It is most appropriate for individuals that have any of the following concerns:
- Gaps in between the teeth
- Crowding of the teeth
- An overbite (i.e., the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth)
- A crossbite (i.e., the upper and lower jaws are misaligned)
- Relapse after traditional braces have been removed (i.e., some of the teeth return to their original position)
Invisalign treatment can be started as soon as a patient has lost all of their baby teeth; this is usually around the ages of 13 to 19, although Invisalign is not strictly for teenagers. Many patients are young professionals, or older adults that feel self-conscious of their smiles.
Here are some of the many reasons why patients love Invisalign:
- Discreet, clear aligners that do not detract from a person’s natural appearance
- Aligners are customized to the unique contours of each patient’s mouth
- No diet restrictions – the aligners are taken out when eating or drinking so patients can enjoy all of their favorite foods (including sticky and crunchy foods)
- No hygiene restrictions – the aligners are removed for tooth brushing and flossing
- Snug-fitting aligners do not shift around in the mouth or rub/scratch the soft tissues of the mouth
- Low-maintenance cleaning and care
- Less chance of dental emergencies (e.g., broken wires or brackets) that can arise with traditional orthodontics
- Fewer dental appointments required to monitor progress
- Steady improvement in tooth alignment and position
- Wearing the aligners can inadvertently curb cravings or senseless snacking, since the aligners must be removed before eating anything
- In some cases, the Invisalign treatment timeline is shorter than that of traditional braces
Invisalign Treatment Details
The first step to Invisalign treatment is for Dr. Love to gather information about the teeth’s current position. Photographs and dental impressions are taken and used to make a three-dimensional computer projection of the teeth’s movement. This projection maps out the teeth’s initial position all the way to their final desired position. The data is sent to the laboratory that fabricates the Invisalign aligners.
The aligners are created in sets, and the first set is sent to Dr. Love so he can dispense them to the patient and check for comfort and fit. Patients wear the aligners for approximately two weeks, at which point they are swapped out for a new set. While in place, the aligners gently and gradually shift specific teeth, little by little, into the desired position. Each new set of aligners represents one more step toward a straighter and more beautiful smile.
Life with Invisalign
Although Invisalign aligners should be worn for the majority of the day (Dr. Love recommends 20 to 22 hours per day), they have minimal impact on everyday life. They are comfortable, discreet and easily removed when needed.
Eating: The aligners should be removed to eat. Unlike traditional metal braces, food particles don’t get stuck in between the nooks and crannies of the aligners. There are no restrictions or foods to avoid. However, chewing gum should be avoided as it sticks to the aligners.
Tooth Brushing and Flossing: The aligners should also be removed for tooth brushing and flossing. There are no metal brackets or wires to clean around.
Cleaning the Aligners: Aligners can be easily cleaned with a special cleaning kit, or simply brushed and rinsed in lukewarm water.
Total Invisalign Treatment Time
Many Invisalign patients are able to complete treatment in less than a year (although total treatment time depends on the specific case, orthodontic problem and severity). Compare this to traditional metal braces, which may be worn for two years or longer.
Does Invisalign treatment hurt?
There may be a short period of minor soreness or discomfort as the teeth adjust to the new aligners, but in general, Invisalign treatment should not be painful. There are no wires to tighten or brackets to scratch the insides of the mouth.
Does Invisalign treatment affect speech?
Some people do notice a temporary lisp as their tongue adjusts to speaking while wearing the aligners. However, this generally disappears within a few days.
What are the aligners made of?
Invisalign aligners are made from a thermoplastic material. They are BPA-free, biocompatible and extremely high quality. The aligners resemble teeth whitening trays.
How often does Dr. Love see Invisalign patients?
Invisalign patients typically see Dr. Love every six to 10 weeks. At these appointments, he monitors the treatment’s progress and addresses any questions or concerns.
How much does Invisalign cost?
The cost of Invisalign varies, based on the specific needs of the patient, the extent of their dental problems, total treatment time and more. Dr. Love can provide a customized pricing quote during a consultation at his practice.
Does insurance cover Invisalign?
Insurance coverage varies by provider, so Invisalign candidates should review their personal coverage plan. Some plans offer coverage for Invisalign that is similar to coverage of traditional metal braces.
How are Invisalign results maintained?
Dr. Love consults with each patient individually about maintaining Invisalign results. He may recommend wearing a retainer that looks similar to the aligners during sleep.
How does Invisalign compare to other “invisible braces” systems (e.g., ClearCorrect)?
Invisalign and ClearCorrect are both appealing options, as the results, treatment timelines and costs are comparable. The clear aligners in the two systems look very similar and function about the same.
However, there are certain key differences between Invisalign and ClearCorrect, such as the material used to construct the aligners. ClearCorrect aligners are made from thinner materials that are very discreet yet less durable than Invisalign aligners. Some patients find that the ClearCorrect aligners are more prone to breaking, cracking and poking into the edges of the gums than Invisalign aligners. Also, Invisalign has been around longer and has a longer track record of success than ClearCorrect.
Can any dentist offer Invisalign?
Dentists can undergo special training with Align Technologies, the company behind Invisalign, to learn how to prescribe and monitor Invisalign treatment. Dr. Love is extremely experienced prescribing Invisalign to his patients and helping them achieve gorgeous, straight smiles with the clear aligners.
Schedule an Invisalign Consultation
If you are interested in a straighter, more beautiful smile, but don’t want to wear traditional metal braces, Invisalign might be right for you. You could have straight, perfectly aligned teeth in less than a year!
Dr. Love believes that the right dental technology can make treatment quicker, safer and more comfortable for his patients. He invests in high-tech systems and tools that help him to be more efficient and treatment outcomes more accurate.
The revolutionary CEREC system enables him to plan, create and place top-quality crowns and bridges in a single visit. Tools such as cone beam CT scans help Dr. Love to capture three-dimensional images of the teeth, soft tissues and bone of the jaw for more precise treatment planning. Systems like the Sirona guided implant system help Dr. Love carefully map out treatment for more predictable dental implant results. Thanks to these key pieces of technology, Dr. Love’s patients save considerable time, money and effort on dental treatment.
Best dentist ever. I can't say enough nice things about him. Everyone in the office is amazing.
Always friendly and they do amazing work!!!
Such a great place! They always take good care of us whenever we need them! Thanks for all the love Dr. Love!
Ryan has been my dentist for a number of years now… Love his professional manner, technical skills and ability, and great professional and friendly staff. If you're looking for a top flight dentist I would strongly recommend Ryan and his team!!