To some residents of Los Angeles, Invisalign is about more than looking good—it’s about protecting their careers. At least that was the case with Tom Cruise, who, on a 2002 visit to the orthodontist with his children, learned his trademark toothy grin wasn’t actually perfectly aligned. Rather than endure a year of paparazzi photos featuring a mouthful of metal, Cruise opted for a far less conspicuous option: invisible braces (though the clear aligners got some reinforcement in the form of tooth-colored ceramic braces). Cruise is hardly the only celebrity who’s opted to skip the stainless steel. Everyone from Khloé Kardashian and Justin Bieber to Eva Longoria and Zac Efron have worn clear aligners. Here’s the lowdown on the popular treatment. What Does Invisalign Do? Teeth have a subtle, slow-moving will of their own, shifting in unexpected directions throughout our lives. Invisible braces can correct issues that arise from this process, including gaps, overbites, and crowding. How Does Invisalign Work?A series of clear, BPA-free plastic aligners are designed to be worn 20–22 hours per day, removed only when eating, brushing your teeth, or drinking hot beverages such as tea or coffee. (Heat can cause the plastic to soften and lose its shape.) They straighten teeth in an average of 12 months, after which most patients will wear only a nighttime retainer. Although aligners alone are sufficient in most cases, some treatment plans may also involve attaching raised “buttons” to the teeth to give them more traction—an alteration that makes them slightly more noticeable, at least close up. How Much Does Invisalign Cost?The cost of Invisalign varies depending on how long you are in treatment, how difficult your case is, and who is treating you, though typically it’s comparable to the cost of traditional braces. Some sources put the average price tag in the $5,000 range, though simple cases could cost significantly less. It’s also possible your dental insurance will pay for all or part of your treatment. Where to Find ItCountless dental offices across the Los Angeles area offer Invisalign or a similar treatment. Here’s a quick cross section:In Westwood: Zakhor Dental GroupIn Beverly Hills: Get It Straight OrthodonticsIn Larchmont: Smile :DzineIn Marina del Rey and Encino: Design Dental Spa
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