Dr. Howell is proud to offer customized treatment for orthodontics, including clear aligners like Invisalign® in Meridian and Mountain View. We recommend Invisalign for teens aged 16 years and up and for adults who want a discreet, quick way to straighten misalignment issues.

What is Invisalign?

By now, you probably have heard of Invisalign and how many patients have seen amazing results from this clear alignment system, but you may be wondering what it is exactly. Our team at Howell Orthodontics is happy to answer any of your questions regarding Invisalign – but put simply, this system uses custom-designed clear aligners to gradually move your teeth into the proper position. Even patients with severe misalignment can see great results in just a few short months!

teen girl invisalign

How Does It Work?

Once you and the orthodontist decide that Invisalign will work for you, Dr. Howell will take updated 3D digital X-rays of your mouth. Instead of using molds or imprints, these 3D images are then sent to an Invisalign lab to be made into custom aligner trays that you will wear for 20-22 hours every day.

Every two to four weeks, you will move on to the next set of aligners in your custom series as your teeth begin to move and realign. Patients typically reach their dental goals within 9-12 months.

Benefits of Invisalign

There are so many amazing benefits that Invisalign® aligners offer – but only you can decide what is most important for you. For some, their discreetness is what sets this system apart from traditional braces, for others, they may love the comfort and flexibility. Whatever your reason, benefits abound.

  • Discreet – the aligners are clear, making Invisalign a great option for working professionals or older teen students who want to straighten their teeth without drawing attention.
  • Flexible – you don’t have to worry about your diet or lifestyle with Invisalign. While you should still avoid tobacco products, sugar, or things that are generally bad for your health, Invisalign allows you to remove your aligners while you eat, drink, or for special occasions like speaking engagements or photos. Just be sure to wear them consistently for at least 22 hours every day for a successful outcome.
  • Comfortable – Invisalign is custom-made to fit your teeth, making them the most comfortable orthodontic option.
  • Durable – unlike traditional braces that may break or need replacements (such as wires, bands, or brackets), Invisalign doesn’t have any of the extra elements that could break.
  • Cost-Effective – much like the reason for their durability, you may pay slightly more for Invisalign than traditional braces but over the long term, you will end up paying less. Not only is treatment time much shorter, but you won’t have to replace brackets or wires when and if they break.
  • Fast – traditional braces take 2+ years to reach a successful outcome, while Invisalign patients typically reach their desired goal within 12 months.

crooked teeth

Which Orthodontic Issues Can Be Treated?

In general, Invisalign aligners can be used to treat the same orthodontic issues that are normally treated with braces. Our dentist may recommend this treatment to correct:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gapped and spaced teeth
  • Certain problems with the bite, such as an overbite, open bite, underbite, or crossbite

Are You a Good Candidate for Invisalign?

During your initial visit, Dr. Howell will determine whether you are a good candidate for this treatment. This treatment is often a good choice for adult patients and older teens who are interested in a virtually invisible orthodontic treatment. Because this treatment requires a high level of discipline (as aligners can be removed but need to be worn for 22 hours daily), we do not recommend this for patients under age 16. We welcome you to call our offices in Meridian, ID, or Mountain View, ID to schedule an Invisalign consultation! Don’t forget to visit our Facebook.

Invisalign FAQs

Depending on the orthodontic issue or severity of misalignment, treatment is usually successful and complete within 12-15 months on average. Again, every patient is different.

We recommend that patients wear their aligners for a minimum of 22 hours every day. This allows for removing the aligners for eating, certain speaking engagements, or special occasions. Just remember to put them back in after.

This is one of the major benefits of Invisalign over traditional braces. Unlike traditional braces, you can remove your Invisalign aligners when eating – which means there aren’t any dietary restrictions. However, sugar still causes cavities and there are foods that just are not good for your teeth or overall health – so having a good sense of what is healthy and what isn’t is helpful.

You may notice a difference in how you speak as you adjust to wearing the aligners. After the first week or two, however, your speech should sound normal.

Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces. Some patients will like or need traditional braces more, especially if their misalignment is severe.

The orthodontist will explain to you how to care for your Invisalign aligners. The best way to care for them, however, is to wear them, remove them when eating, and practice good dental hygiene.

Do not use toothpaste on your aligners. You can clean your aligners by simply rinsing them with water, keeping them safe in an aligner container when not wearing them, or asking your orthodontist for a recommendation on an aligner cleaning solution, such as a denture cleaning product.

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