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Straight Talk On Invisible Braces

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"Cost is not as much of an issue because it's less doctor time. So we're charging 20% to 25-30% more than conventional braces." Boyd says in his neck of the woods, few patients worry about the extra cost.

But that may not be the case elsewhere. "The fees are high," says Elidio Deleon, DMD, chair of the department of orthodontics at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. "Let's say basic braces are $3,000. If you want Invisalign, there's $500 for the set-up then 'X' number of dollars for each retainer. If you're in an area like California, where it's more affluent, then patients are certainly willing to give it a try. In our area, an excess of money is just not available. Money is a driving force."

Furthermore, that money could be wasted if patients aren't compliant, Deleon says. "This appliance is totally dependent on whether the patient chooses to wear it." Yet to be determined is whether Invisalign can also move teeth in complex cases -- such as when a pulled tooth has created a large space or if there is excessive crowding.

Still, there's no doubt that Invisalign has created a buzz -- even in lower-income areas. "People believe that a smile is critically important to their success and they're really jumping on it," Deleon says. "A lot of people are calling here about it." But, he adds, for every ten that do, just one has a mouth that might benefit.

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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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