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What You Should Know About Choosing an Invisalign ® Dentist

By December 10, 2020September 22nd, 2023No Comments

girl-smiling-holding-invisalign-retainerDr. James Scramstad, a general dentist practicing Orthodontics only, has been offering Invisalign at Straight Smiles since 1996. As a Kelowna Invisalign dentist, he helps children, teens and adults get straighter smiles with the system of clear aligners. We know choosing an Invisalign provider is a big decision and to help, we’re covering some of the key things you should know, as well questions to ask at your first visit. 

In this blog, you’ll learn…

  • What is Invisalign
  • How does Invisalign work?
  • What is the Invisalign process?
  • Questions to ask your Invisalign dentist before you start treatment

What is Invisalign?

First, let’s have a quick refresher on what Invisalign is. Invisalign is a way to straighten teeth without braces. The treatment involves a series of custom, removable, BPA-free clear aligners that slip over the teeth. The aligners are worn for about 20 to 22 hours per day and taken out to eat, drink anything aside from plain water, and brush and floss the teeth. Patients usually change to a new set of aligners every one or two weeks, depending on the treatment plan. Invisalign Teen works just like regular Invisalign except it’s designed for younger patients and has features like eruption tabs to accommodate erupting teeth. A few free replacement aligners are also included in the Invisalign Teen system to give parents peace of mind. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign aligners exert steady, gentle pressure on the teeth. This force stimulates the natural process of bone remodeling. This is where the bone and tissues that support the teeth break down, allowing the teeth to move into place. The bone then reforms and secures the teeth in their new positions. Don’t worry, this doesn’t hurt at all in spite of how it sounds and it’s a biological process that happens in the body all of the time without you knowing it. 

The aligners not only control how much force is applied to the teeth, they also control the timing of the force. What does that mean? Well, each set of aligners is designed to achieve certain tooth movements and only the predetermined teeth are able to move as you wear any given set. The tooth movements are determined by Dr. Scramstad when he plans out your treatment and designs your aligners. As you make your way through the series, your smile gradually takes shape. 

It’s important to keep in mind that Invisalign is the lab that prints out the aligners. The treatment plan is designed by your Invisalign dentist and the aligners are made based on the doctor’s specifications. This highlights the importance of choosing an Invisalign provider who is knowledgeable and experienced. 

What is the Invisalign Process Like?

The Invisalign process is as follows:

Come in for an Invisalign Consultation 

At Straight Smiles, and most other practices, Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation. You’ll come by our Kelowna Orthodontic office and a team member will take digital photos and x-rays, if necessary. Dr. Scramstad will perform a thorough exam. He uses these findings and your diagnostic records to develop an accurate diagnosis. 

Dr. Scramstad will sit down with you to walk you through your or your child’s diagnosis and present you with personalized treatment recommendations. If you do decide you want to move forward with Kelowna Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment, he’ll fill you in on what to expect and how long treatment will take. A team member will then provide you with a written financial quote that outlines the Invisalign cost for your case. They’ll also chat with you about insurance coverage and help you decide on a financing plan that suits your budget. 

We’ll Create a Digital, 3D Model of Your Teeth

We’ll use our iTero® scanner to take digital dental impressions. Unlike goopy, messy traditional impressions, the scan is quick and comfortable. We use a handheld wand to capture thousands of frames per second and a virtual, three-dimensional model of your upper and lower jaw is created on our computer. Dr. Scramstad uses this representation of your smile to plan out each individual tooth movement. He can also use the iTero Outcome Simulator to show you what your new smile will look like before you ever start a day of treatment. 

Swing by to Get Your Custom Invisalign Aligners

Dr. Scramstad will send his prescription to Invisalign and the company will use computer technology to translate his instructions into a series of custom aligners. When your aligners are ready, you’ll pick them up and start wearing your aligners for about 20 to 22 hours per day. You’ll only take the aligners out to eat, drink, and brush and floss your teeth. 

Change Your Aligners Every One to Two Weeks

You’ll swap out your Invisalign aligners for a new set every one to two weeks. While Invisalign doesn’t require adjustments like braces do, you’ll still come by for regular appointments during your treatment so Dr. Scramstad can keep an eye on your progress. These visits are short and sweet. 

Show Off Your New Smile and Get Fitted for an Invisalign Retainer

When you take out your final Invisalign tray, you’ll have a straighter smile to show for it. The only way to maintain your new smile for life is to wear a retainer since the teeth have a natural tendency to shift back to their old positions. A retainer will help lock in your bite and, eventually, you’ll only need to wear it a few nights per week. We’ll take a final scan with our iTero scanner and then create a removable, custom, clear retainer, sometimes referred to as an Invisalign retainer, that works in a similar way as your aligners. 

Questions to Ask Your Invisalign Dentist  Before You Start Treatment

When choosing an Invisalign provider, there are some questions you’ll want to ask to make sure it’s a good fit and you’re going to get the results you want. To help make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of what to ask your Invisalign dentist before you start treatment. Dr. Scramstad is always happy to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to ask as many as you’d like at your Invisalign consultation. 

How experienced are you with clear aligners?

When you have your first Invisalign consultation, ask the doctor about their experience with clear aligners. As we said, Invisalign aligners are just a tool and Invisalign merely prints out the aligners based on your doctor’s specifications. Your treatment plan is created by your Invisalign dentist, so your outcome depends heavily on their planning, as well as you wearing the aligners for the prescribed amount of time. Visiting an experienced Invisalign dentist like Dr. Scramstad can make all of the difference. 

Dr. Scramstad has been treating patients with Kelowna Invisalign and Invisalign Teen since 2006.  He has spent well over a decade mastering the nuances of clear aligner therapy. He’s able to design a smile that complements your unique facial features. While aesthetics are important, he also taps into his expertise to create a healthy, stable bite. This way, your smile won’t just look great, it will function at its best and you’ll have improved oral health too. 

What can Invisalign treat?

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen can treat a wide range of issues. While it does depend on the severity of your case, it can also depend on the comfort and experience level of the Invisalign dentist. For example, while one dentist may be well versed in Invisalign overjet teeth correction, another may not be and might use braces for these cases instead. So, if you’ve been hoping for a way to fix an open bite without braces using aligners or you have your heart set on getting Invisalign for a crossbite, ask if the doctor has experience in successfully treating cases like yours with clear aligners.

Are braces or Invisalign a better option for me?

Once you’ve established that your orthodontic issue can be treated with clear aligners if you’ve been debating about Invisalign vs. braces, ask if the outcome or treatment duration will vary if you choose one option over the other. Your doctor can let you know whether braces or Invisalign will give you the best, most efficient result in your unique case. That being said, in many instances, we can achieve similar outcomes regardless of whether you choose Invisalign or braces. 

How long will Invisalign take for my case?

When it comes to how long Invisalign takes, it depends on your diagnosis and how complex your case is. For instance, for minor overjet teeth correction Invisalign will likely take less time than it will for a moderate to a severe crossbite. Your Invisalign dentist will be able to tell you how long Invisalign will take at your consultation after they’ve evaluated your bite and diagnostic records. 

How much does Invisalign cost?

Much like the duration of treatment, the Invisalign cost depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of your case and, thus, how many aligners you’ll need. Things like location also play a role. The Invisalign cost in BC, Canada, for example, may be slightly different than it would be in Quebec. The only way to determine the exact Invisalign cost is to have a consultation. Dr. Scramstad will be able to outline your treatment fees after developing an accurate diagnosis and proposed treatment plan.

At Straight Smiles, we strive to make our Kelowna Invisalign affordable. We accept assignment/insurance and Donna, our insurance expert, will be able to determine if your plan has coverage and, if so, how much. If your insurance covers Invisalign treatment, it can really reduce your out-of-pocket cost. We also accept a variety of forms of payment and offer in-office, interest-free financing plans with low down payments and low monthly payments. No matter which Invisalign dentist you go to, ensuring they can help you fit treatment into your budget will make the teeth-straightening process stress-free.

Now that you know the ins and outs of choosing an Invisalign provider and you’re prepared with a list of questions to ask at your consultation, are you ready to kick off your smile journey? If so, schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with our Kelowna Invisalign dentist Dr. Scramstad today! 

Dr. James Scramstad

Author Dr. James Scramstad

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