In this feature, we look at traditional wire and bracket dental braces vs Invisalign clear aligners.
Invisalign Express: The Fast Track to Straight Teeth
Invisalign Express is a shorter-duration orthodontic treatment that works in the same way as traditional Invisalign aligners. It is an ideal option for people with minor crowding or spacing issues including issues that occur from orthodontic relapse and for those who require teeth straightening before undergoing restorative or cosmetic procedures, such as composite bonding or tooth veneers.
Whereas a traditional Invisalign treatment requires 20 to 30 aligners to move teeth into the correct position, Invisalign Express is specifically designed for people whose crowding or spacing problems can be corrected in 10 stages of aligners or less. As a result, the length of time required for treatment is only about six months.
Are You a Candidate?
Invisalign Express is designed to quickly correct simple orthodontic problems. Therefore, certain clinical criteria must be met, including:
- Less than two mm of spacing or crowding per arch
- Minimal rotation of the cuspids, bicuspids and incisors
- Less than two mm of midline correction required
- Less than 1.5 mm of dental expansion required per arch
If crowding, spacing or malocclusion (bad bite) issues are more complex, then a more traditional option might be a more appropriate orthodontic treatment. Your dentist will determine the treatment plan that’s right for you.
Be advised that many cases require removal of tooth structure between the teeth (called interproximal reduction, or manicuring) to create space. Some cases also may require attachments be added to the teeth to create a better fit and control of individual teeth.
What's Involved With Treatment?
After consultation with a specially trained orthodontist or Invisalign dentist, pictures and impressions of the teeth are taken and digitalized. Then, 3D technology is used to map tooth movements from the beginning to end of treatment, forming the basis for creating the customized aligners. On average, treatment takes approximately six months.
The near-invisible Express aligners are custom-designed based on your treatment plan to perfectly fit your teeth. Aligners must be worn every day for between 20 and 22 hours, except for when eating, drinking hot liquids, brushing, flossing, playing sports or attending special occasions. The aligners are exchanged for a new set every two weeks and work continuously to straighten the teeth.
Advantages of Invisalign Express
During treatment, you can keep up your active lifestyle and smile during social activities. What's more, because the aligners are easy to remove, they promote better oral hygiene, as well as a pain-free experience with less irritation to the gums and mouth.
What it Costs
As with all orthodontic treatments, costs for Invisalign Express vary based on geographic location and the type of dental insurance you have. Because the Express treatment requires fewer aligners, the cost for treatment is less than traditional Invisalign treatment, ranging between $1,800 and $3,500, with $2,500 being the average.