Invisalign sure has a lot of immediate appeal.
It’s invisible at normal conversational distances. It’s entirely removable. There are no metal brackets or sharp wires to poke your mouth. And you can eat whatever you want, too. But how do you know it’s the right treatment for your smile?
Are you going to have to pay for all that convenience with your hard-earned cash? And how do you know you can trust what the orthodontist or dentist is telling you during your consultation? Don’t they have a financial incentive to tell you a certain narrative that is likely to benefit them?
You’re right to be asking these questions. You only get one smile after all – it deserves great care.
5 questions to ask your Orthodontist or Dentist about Invisalign.
At Dr. Peter Brawn, we believe that everyone deserves a smile they love. And that’s why we want to arm you with 5 questions to ask your Invisalign orthodontist or dentist. These 5 questions (and your new knowledge) will give you the power to judge for yourself if Invisalign treatment is the best for you, if your orthodontist or dentist knows their stuff, and if you’re going to get the great care your smile deserves.
In this post we’ll cover topics like:
- How long Invisalign treatment takes
- The cost of Invisalign in Canada
- Insider insights that will give you the edge in evaluating your options
(We’ll also share the most underrated factor in Invisalign treatment that most people don’t even think to consider.)
These 5 questions will give you what you need to feel confident and prepared to talk with your orthodontist or dentist and make the decision about Invisalign that’s best for your smile.
1. How long does Invisalign take?
This is a great question to start with when sitting down with your orthodontist or dentist to discuss your treatment. There’s a wide range of timelines that doctors might give and it’s good for you to have a clear expectation of how long your Invisalign treatment is going to take for you to see results.
Here’s what to listen for after you ask this question.
First thing first: don’t trust a doctor who hasn’t seen your teeth yet.
It’s ok if they give you a general range of orthodontic treatment times or say things like, “Most of our patients finish in…”. But if a doctor tells you how long your treatment will be before they’ve seen your teeth, be skeptical. No amount of training or experience can give an orthodontist or dentist what they need to predict your length of treatment without first examining your teeth.
Average Invisalign treatment times
The second thing for you to know is how long the average Invisalign treatment is currently. This one’s pretty straightforward. Average Invisalign treatment is very similar to the average treatment time of most other common forms of orthodontic treatment (including braces) – 18-24 months. It’s very possible that your Invisalign dentist or orthodontist will give you an estimate somewhere in that time range.
You should also know that average treatment times are going up. A recent study in the United States showed that average orthodontic treatment times had risen to be 22-24 months, so at the very high end of the original range.
Can you do better than average?
Yes! And this is what you should look for when you’re deciding on the orthodontist or dentist to do Invisalign with. Here’s what to listen for…
If your Invisalign orthodontist or dentist tells you that you might be able to complete your treatment in 12 months instead of 18-24 or 22-24 months, they aren’t trying to pull a fast one on you. It’s completely possible.
Most of our patients at Dr. Peter Brawn finish Invisalign treatment in about 1 year (just 12 months).
When an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But not with Invisalign. There is clinically proven technology available that allows orthodontists and dentists alike to reduce your treatment time by as much as 50%, sometimes even more. So don’t tune your doctor out because you know how long average treatment takes. Instead, get excited! You’ve found a good one.
2. How much does Invisalign cost?
You deserve to know exactly how much you’re paying to get straight teeth and a great smile. It shouldn’t be confusing or ambiguous to figure out what Invisalign costs. It ought to be simple and clear.
Here’s what to look for as you get answers and estimates about your Invisalign cost.
What’s included in your Invisalign treatment fee.
The key here is to make sure that you aren’t surprised about anything. Going in, you deserve to know exactly what is included in your treatment plan, and also what isn’t. Doctors handle Invisalign packages in all kinds of ways, and knowing what is included will allow you to compare the quotes you receive so that you can choose which orthodontist or dentist is right for you – based on what matters most to you.
A real, final price for Invisalign.
We know all too well that medical estimates can be vague, hard to follow, and not very specific. With Invisalign, you don’t need to settle for that terrible runaround. Invisalign fees and pricing ought to be simple and clear.
Look for a dentist or orthodontist who will give you a clear price – not a range or partial fee. With Invisalign, it’s completely possible to personalize and design your entire Invisalign treatment plan upfront. Your treatment plan doesn’t need to start ambiguous, so there doesn’t need to be anything ambiguous about the price either. It’s not like braces where you have to ‘see as you go’.
Be sure to ask about additional fees.
The list is long of services that some orthodontists and dentists charge for. There are many different ways doctors handle fees. By asking a simple follow-up question like, “What isn’t included in your Invisalign package that might apply to me?” you can learn about how the practice handles fees and if there might be any ‘hidden’ ones that could surprise you later.
3. How often will I need to come in for appointments?
This might be the most underrated factor when it comes to great Invisalign treatment.
Many people don’t consider it much at all going into treatment, but then often remark on it (either positively or negatively) by the end.
Life is short and your time is valuable. Don’t waste your days sitting through more appointments with your orthodontist or dentist than you need to. Many people assume all doctors handle appointment visits basically the same, but that’s far from the case!
If you choose your Invisalign doctor well, you can save yourself from days-worth of appointments.
That’s time you can be spending how you want, rather than sitting through another check-up.
Typical appointment frequency
Most practices have patients return between every 4-10 weeks for follow-up appointments. If you have a quick conventional treatment – 18 months – that can still be up to 18 visits. And average Invisalign treatment times can take even longer.
Here’s something else you need to know about typical check-ups: for most orthodontic practices, in-person appointments are the only way they monitor progress. Which means they only get 4-10-week snapshots of your teeth, at best. It also means that progress occurs more slowly.
Unless you’re friends with your Invisalign orthodontist…
You probably don’t want to see them every month. That might be even more often than you see some of your actual friends.
We hear you loud and clear – you probably don’t want to be spending your time in monthly orthodontic appointments for two years of your life. We’d feel the same way.
The good news is – there’s a better way. There’s great, proven technology out there that allows doctors to monitor your progress remotely (Dental Monitoring is the one we use). It’s simple for patients and takes hardly any time at all. You’ll get a notification to take photos of your teeth. And your Invisalign doctor gets a high-res image to monitor progress and determine when you’re ready for the next step.
Here are just a few of the biggest benefits:
- Better, more frequent monitoring of your teeth.
- Dramatically reduced aligner change periods – i.e. faster progress.
- Quick identification of issues that pop up.
- Way fewer appointments!
Instead of having to come in as often as every month for an appointment, now for you, it’s every few months – maybe even less. You get back time in your life and your treatment improves.
If we were looking for an Invisalign doctor, one who uses remote monitoring to improve progress and guarantees us fewer appointments would be a must.
4. How many days do your patients normally wear a set of aligners?
Ok, why does this matter? There are two big reasons that fewer days in a set of Invisalign aligners benefits you. It’s an absolute must-ask question for your orthodontist or dentist.
Here’s a breakdown of why.
Invisalign treatment can include 40 sets of aligners – sometimes more
Here’s some quick, easy math for you. Typical orthodontic offices will start with patients changing their set of aligners every 7-14 days. With 40 sets of aligners, your best case scenario would be about 280 days. That’s best case. It could be more like 560 days. Watch out if your treatment requires more than 40 Invisalign aligner sets…
So, if your Invisalign orthodontist or dentist can deliver you aligner changes in less days, that’s a huge advantage for you because of how much that can speed up your treatment. For instance, our patients start by changing their aligners every 4 days. That’s almost 50% better than your best case scenario with a typical orthodontist or dentist, and way better than how slow it can be – with zero loss of results for your smile.
One important note here – be sure to ask a follow-up question about how your doctor accomplishes their faster aligner changes. You want to be confident in their ability to truly deliver. It’s ok if you don’t understand the technical nature of everything they tell you. Instead, listen for specificity and for real-life examples.
If a doctor is very exact and specific with you about their process, and can point to real cases where they’ve accomplished shorter aligner changes in the past with great smiles as the outcome, you can walk away confident that your smile is in good hands.
Faster aligner changes = clear Invisalign aligners
A big appeal of Invisalign for many people is that the clear aligners are essentially invisible at normal talking distances – a huge advantage over other treatment types like braces. But if you’re wearing your aligners for 7-14 days, aren’t they bound to get dirty?
Yep, they sure are.
But that all goes away when you’re changing your Invisalign aligners every 4 days instead of 7-14. Your aligners will never get dirty. No staining, fear of discoloration, or gross aligners to deal with. You change aligner sets quickly, and your Invisalign stays fresh.
So be sure to ask your orthodontist or dentist how many days their patients normally wear a set of aligners. Look for an Invisalign doctor who offers you less than 7-14 days so you can keep all your same social plans without compromising your Invisalign treatment in the slightest.
5. What kind of results will you deliver for me?
Maybe this seems like an obvious question. Or maybe it seems really direct. But we believe that every patient should ask this question of their orthodontist or dentist before starting any kind of orthodontic treatment – including Invisalign.
It’s a complete and total myth that you aren’t able to know what your smile will look like after treatment before you start.
With the technology we have today, and advancements in the effectiveness of orthodontic appliances like Invisalign, it’s entirely possible to predict what your smile will look like after treatment before you even begin.
In fact, we show everyone who comes in for a free initial consultation a simulation of their smile before and after Invisalign. It only takes a few minutes and each of them walk out the door knowing exactly what their smile could look like with Invisalign before they ever even pay us a dollar.
Look for an Invisalign orthodontist or dentist who gives you that kind of confidence. Not:
- Confusing language
- Vague timelines
- ‘Wait and see’ approaches
You don’t have to settle for those lines anymore. You deserve clear and direct answers about results. Ask your orthodontist or dentist about results – and listen for one who gives you clear, specific, actual answers.
At Dr. Peter Brawn, we believe everyone deserves a smile they love. And we believe it ought to be easy for you to get the answers you need to make a great decision.
Don’t wait years for a smile you love and spend hours in long orthodontist appointments with no end in sight. We have an Invisalign solution for you.
If you want a great smile that isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg or consume years of your life, get Invisalign in half the time today. Sign up for a free Invisalign consultation and we’ll show you exactly what your smile can look like when you’re done – free of charge, no commitment required. Most of our patients finish treatment in about 1 year (or less).