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5 Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist Before Getting Braces or Invisalign

By April 28, 2021February 16th, 2022Blog

Got news that you or your children need orthodontic care? Chances are, a whole flood of questions come to mind, from “How do braces work?” to “How much does Invisalign cost?” So where do you start? At Davis Orthodontics, we want to help answer all your questions. Here, we’ve gathered a list of the 5 top questions our orthodontist has been asked about getting braces and Invisalign treatment to get you started. 

1. What types of braces do you offer and which one will work for me? 

Is your idea of braces a memory from your own teenage years? Chunky metal brackets, a thick wire… perhaps some headgear for added flair. You’ll be happy to know that, today, you have options! Modern braces are designed to be as discreet and comfortable as possible, and way less obvious than in generations past. Dr. Buddy Davis, Dr. Adam Hardin and Dr. Sarah McKee want the best experience for our patients, so we offer the following four types of braces:

Ceramic Braces:

Clarity™ ADVANCED Ceramic Braces have small transparent ceramic brackets and a thin wire so you’ll barely see them. Clarity ceramic braces are customized to your teeth and smile goals.

Lingual Braces:

Want to look like you’re not even wearing braces? Maybe lingual braces are for you. Incognito™ Braces are attached to the back of your teeth, so unless you say a big “aaaahhh” and someone peers closely into your mouth, you can’t see them. We find that lingual braces are popular with adults who don’t want the appearance of braces but do want the benefits!

Traditional Metal Braces:

While we do offer traditional metal braces, let’s use the word “traditional” lightly. Metal braces are still a popular choice because they’re effective, however, smaller brackets and thinner wires on modern braces make them unobtrusive and more comfortable. With metal braces, many of our younger patients like customizing them with elastics colors that fit their style and personality.

Self-ligating Braces:

Self what?! Self-ligating braces use brackets and wires but don’t need elastics. The brackets have little doors that hold a memory wire in place, which also means no adjustments are needed throughout treatment. You could call them a “set-it-and-forget-it” type of braces, with the brackets designed to reduce friction and improve comfort.

2. How do braces work and how long will braces take? 

Braces work by putting constant pressure on your teeth. The archwires are designed with your final smile position in mind and the brackets that hold them are positioned onto each tooth to encourage the archwires’ movement. This tension is what gradually pulls each tooth into place over time. The million dollar question: how long will braces take? We’ve found that treatment goes from 6-30 months, and on average about 2 years. 

Want to know the science behind how braces work? Well, the pulling motion activates the periodontal ligaments around each tooth’s root. The force stretches the ligaments on one side of the root, and compresses the ligaments on the other side. This stretched ligament/compressed ligament situation signals osteoblasts to build new bone cells on the stretched side while osteoclasts break down bone cells on the compressed side so teeth can shift into place.

Chances are, you might be wondering, do braces hurt? Most patients feel initial discomfort, and when your braces are adjusted or tightened, you might feel uncomfortable. But the soreness goes away quickly and you can relieve it with over-the-counter pain relief. Or take it easy by eating soft foods!

3. How does Invisalign work?

Now that we’ve got the braces basics covered, let’s talk about Invisalign. More than likely, you’ve heard about Invisalign or at least know what Invisalign clear aligners look like. So if you’re a candidate for Invisalign, we’re sure you’ll want to know more. Typically, Invisalign does work for less severe misalignment, minimal crowding and will work for an overbite. But, thanks to our expertise with clear aligners, we can treat more complex cases with Invisalign, too!

With Invisalign, you’re fitted with a series of clear, BPA-free plastic aligners that fit over your teeth and are nearly invisible. You’ll wear your aligners for 22 hours every day, changing them every two weeks. Each set creates a push force on your teeth, moving them in place for the next set. Typical Invisalign treatment time ranges from 12 to 18 months. One of the fun things about Invisalign is that because the orthodontist digitally maps out each tooth movement, you can see your Invisalign before and after right from the beginning and in real time.

4. How much do braces and Invisalign cost?

We get it. Orthodontic treatment is a big commitment all around — a time commitment, a commitment to a new oral care routine and a financial commitment. The fantastic thing about all this commitment? The payoff — a lifetime with a healthy, confident smile! 

So brass tacks: how much do braces cost? And how much does Invisalign cost? Braces treatment depends on your individual treatment needs and which type of braces you choose. Typically, the more complex or severe your case, the more it will cost. Similarly with Invisalign, your cost depends on how many sets of aligners you need from beginning to end, which is an indicator of how much movement has to happen with your teeth. The cost range for Invisalign is usually around the same as ceramic braces.

5. Can you finance braces or Invisalign?

With us, the answer is, yes, you can finance braces and Invisalign. At Davis Orthodontics, we think everyone deserves a chance at a smile they’re proud of, so we have flexible financing options so you can afford your dream smile. Some may shy away from talking about price but at Davis Orthodontics, we want our patients to have full clarity and confidence about their orthodontic care. After having transparent conversations about what your orthodontic treatment will cost, we can work with you to create an in-office, interest-free payment plan that fits your budget. Now, you might have heard about orthodontists offering no down payment braces, but, as enticing as this may sound, check if no down payment braces means higher monthly payments. With Davis Orthodontics, there are no surprises!

Orthodontic Insurance and FSA/HSA for Braces

Our staff will check to see what your orthodontic insurance coverage is like for braces and Invisalign and will file claims for you. And you’ll be pleased to know you can use your FSA or HSA for braces. You can even use your orthodontic insurance and FSA/HSA braces money together towards your braces cost, which can significantly lower your out-of-pocket balance. Just remember to account for the fact that your HSA doesn’t expire but your FSA does at the end of every year. Finance your remaining balance for braces or Invisalign with the individualized payment plan we worked out together. 

Our Orthodontist Answering All Your Braces and Invisalign Questions 

We’re here to make sure our orthodontist answers all your braces and Invisalign questions are answered. With 15 years’ experience and locations in Simpsonville, Greer, Clemson, Spartanburg, Walhalla, Greenville and Anderson, Dr. Buddy knows everything you can expect from your orthodontic treatment. Along with Dr. Adam, Dr Sarah and the Davis Orthodontics team, you’ll find expert knowledge and a patient ear. Contact us today for a free, in-person initial consultation or virtual appointment.