Are you thinking of getting clear aligners to correct your teeth? Most people have questions regarding the initial Invisalign consultation, especially if this is your first time. This guide is designed to provide the answers to questions you might have about the process so you know what to expect and be better prepared before you visit a dental office for the consultation.
What to Expect
The first step to a beautiful and straight smile is to schedule your Invisalign consultation. This is the first step towards a long process to fix your smile and to improve your overall oral health. A consultation is also necessary for all dental concerns because your dentist will need to assess your medical and dental history so that they can recommend the best course of treatment plan.
1. Schedule Your Consultation
Before you can begin your consultation, first you need to book your initial consultation. You can do this by going to the official Invisalign website if you are looking for trusted dentists in your area. If you already have a dental office in mind, then you can go to their website to set an online appointment (if available). Another option is to call the office directly so they can let you know the available dates for your appointment.
2. The Treatment Coordinator Will Assist You
Once you arrive at the clinic or Invisalign lab, you will be greeted by one of the treatment coordinators. They are available to make your Invisalign consultation smooth and seamless for the entire duration of the process.
If this is your first visit, they will gather information about your dental history. This will be kept under your personal records for reference in the future. It will also include your personal health history, insurance information (if available), and your specific concerns for the visit. Basically, they will collect your information to make it easy for the orthodontist to review them upon your visit.
During the interview, provide all the necessary information required, as well as other information that you think might be beneficial for your orthodontic consultation.
3. Your “Smile Analysis” is Performed
This is the most important step of your Invisalign cosultations. The smile analysis is essentially an orthodontic exam that involves taking dental X-rays of your upper and lower teeth, mouth, jaws, and face. The detailed X-ray will include information about your teeth and bone structure (including the jaws, as mentioned above).
Once the smile analysis is over, the orthodontist will present to you the findings of their exam based on the scan of your teeth. This is a short presentation that basically summarizes the state of your teeth. They will explain to you if there are any problems or missing tooth that should be addressed. In addition, they will suggest a treatment plan or the most effective method of correction.
Aside from a 3D scan of your teeth, some orthodontists use other tools to perform a comprehensive analysis. The most common one is a bite registration. It will involve you biting into a paste that is applied onto your teeth. You will be asked to bite down into the paste so that the doctor can see the formation of your bite. Whether you have an underbite, overbite, or something else, it will require a different treatment approach.
In some cases, your dentist will also take several photographs of your teeth. A photograph of your entire face will also be taken along with your teeth as part of the evaluation of your smile.
Do take note that this a personalized treatment plan. This is why it is important to do the scan and analysis of your smile because every aspect of your dental health will be looked into. The goal is to provide restoration of your teeth and smile instead of just cosmetic enhancements.
Depending on where you get your consultation in, you can also get a free “smile simulation”. This will provide you with a visual representation of what your teeth will look like once the suggested treatments are implemented to your smile.
4. Ask Questions
At the end of your initial Invisalign consultation, your orthodontist will encourage you to ask questions about the treatment or Invisalign, in general. It is important that you ask as many questions as you need answered. Most orthodontists welcome these questions so they can provide adequate information to the patients about the treatment and what it can do for them.
The Invisalign appointments for consultation are typically free. However, this can vary from one dentist to another. Make sure you make the most of the consultation so you can get a good idea if this is the best possible solution for you.
5. Cost and Payment Methods Explained
The cost of Invisalign is one of the major causes of concern for patients who are considering this method of correcting their smile. During your consultation, you will be able to discuss the cost of the procedure and financing options available.
For financing your treatment, you will be able to select a payment plan and discuss payment options that best matches your budget. This will help you to prepare for the treatment and it will commence as soon as you are ready to begin.
How to Prepare
An initial consultation is a must before you undergo treatment with the Invisalign system. It is a crucial step before you can start wearing Invisalign aligners. This is a guide on how you can prepare for the consultation.
Know Your Goals
During your consultation, you also have a role to play to ensure that you get the highest rate of success. It is important that you know your goals so that you can help your dentist design the ideal treatment plan.
Every person has different goals for undergoing this treatment. Here are a few examples of goals for your guidance:
• Whiter set of teeth
• Properly aligned teeth
• Beautiful but natural smile
• Correction of bite issues
• Fixing a slanted jaw
• Improving the size of your teeth
• Reduce the amount of gum show when you smile, etc
Remember: there is no goal too small or too silly. Do not be shy to tell your orthodontist about what you want to achieve at the end of your Invisalign treatment. The dentists also want to know your goal so they can develop the best method of correction that will achieve your desired result. The more specific you are about what you want, the better.
Prepare Your Questions Beforehand
As mentioned above, it is important to ask as many questions as possible when you want to get Invisalign treatment. This is important so you can be informed about the procedure and prepare for it. In fact, orthodontists encourage you to ask questions as it also helps them get a better understanding of your goals.
However, it is very common for most patients to forget what questions to ask during consultation. It is a good idea to prepare a list of questions that you might have before your appointment. This will ensure that you won’t forget any important question so you can get the answers you need.
A lot of people have such high hopes for undergoing Invisalign that they set unrealistic expectations about the treatment. As a result, they tend to be discouraged when during consultation they realize that Invisalign is not the solution they were looking for. And this is also helpful because that is what a consultation is for – to inform you if this is indeed the right treatment approach for your concerns.
This is why it is important to have a consultation prior to treatment to ensure that you are not wasting your time or money. It is also a good idea to know a bit about what Invisalign is and what it can fix before you proceed with the consultation.
In general, Invisalign is recommended for crooked or misaligned teeth, underbites, overbites, and other types of malocclusion. If you fit any of the above conditions, then the Invisalign consultation is intended to know the extent of the problem and other specifics of the treatment.
Know Your Budget
It is important to research the cost of Invisalign beforehand. A lot of patients go into the Invisalign consultation and end up being surprised at how much the treatment costs. Therefore, it is a good idea to know more about the cost of this treatment in your area so you have an idea of how much you need to spend and if it fits into your budget. It is also a good idea to check if your dental insurance covers for this payment.
Consider Cheaper Alternatives
If you have undergone Invisalign consultation and you have determined that the payment plans are beyond your budget’s reach, you can seek second opinion or consider other forms of treatment plan. There are a few notable alternatives for your orthodontic treatment before you visit a dental office.
Candid offers FDA-approved aligners that make for a cheaper alternative to Invisalign aligners. It is also a good alternative to traditional braces and metal braces because it is an affordable yet high-quality solution for a wide range of dental problems. Many of those who have tried it claim that it is just as effective as Invisalign but not as expensive. You will be given a set of aligners that are customized for your upper and lower teeth measurement. You can visit a dental office for your consultation and fitting or do it virtually.
Aside from Candid, Byte is another cheaper alternative to consider before you book your Invisalign consultation. It promises faster results as compared to more expensive treatment plan like Invisalign. The treatment period is approximately 2-4 months for those needing mild to moderate corrections.