Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Even in the Time of COVID, Invisalign Makes Sense

Even in the Time of COVID, Invisalign Makes Sense

Invisalign Burke, VA

Nationwide stay-at-home recommendations were announced several months ago. Since that time, time on social media has increased an astounding 61%. There may be some benefits to this but there are drawbacks, as well. If you spend any time on social media, you are being inundated with advertisements for everything from clothing to beauty treatments and more. One such advertisement that has become popular in recent years and is surging among people using this time to address their smile concerns is mail order teeth-straightening aligners. Here, we discuss why, even during the time of COVID, Invisalign makes more sense than mail-order systems like Smile Direct.

Invisalign Leaves No Room for Error

Teeth-straightening affects more than the look of your smile. When teeth are crooked, overlapping, and misaligned, they do not fit well together. This may place excessive stress on the joints of the jaw. Teeth may not meet up against one another as they should. This increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay that could result in fractures. Seeing how impactful misalignment is, we realize that there is no room for error when correcting this problem. When you see a dentist for Invisalign, you receive a thorough dental examination, high-resolution imaging, sophisticated treatment planning, and continual oversight through periodic check-ups. The process ensures that you get the results you want.

Invisalign is Approved by the American Dental Association

When considering products and treatments, it is important to look for the ADA seal of approval. This organization was established with the mission of providing people with effective, safe dental care. As an approved teeth-straightening treatment, Invisalign takes the whole mouth into consideration, including individual teeth, roots, the gums, and the joints that operate the jaw.

We understand the desire that people have to straighten their teeth conveniently and comfortably. We understand that mail-order braces can seem like both of those, as well as a low-cost option for getting a better smile. In the end, undergoing treatment with a board-certified dentist is the safest, most cost-effective option there is.

Dr. Price is not only an experienced dentist; he is a Premier Invisalign provider in Northern Virginia. To learn more about this system, schedule a consultation at our Burke office at (703)-935-2879.

Your First Month in Invisalign

Getting Invisalign is an exciting step toward a healthier, more attractive smile. You may be ready to begin your journey but feel somewhat uncertain about what it will be like to go through the teeth-straightening process. It is common to feel this way whether Invisalign is the first-line treatment or is a follow-up to traditional orthodontic care. Most people who look into Invisalign know that this treatment comes without the burden of obvious brackets and wires, and that aligners can be removed so meals can be enjoyed as usual. Still, Invisalign is all about moving teeth. Here, we discuss the initial stage in which patients get used to their new treatment system.

Inserting and Removing Aligners

Invisalign aligners are made using sophisticated software that builds a treatment plan based on high-quality images of your teeth. The point is not for aligners to fit well; the point is for them to move your teeth. Because each aligner is slightly “off” your regular, misaligned bite, it may feel challenging to insert and remove aligners at first. The longer a set of aligners is worn, the easier each gets to insert and remove. This indicates that your teeth are moving. Every time you move to a new set of aligners, you’ll notice new difficulty inserting and removing.


Invisalign is like traditional braces in one way, the aligners move teeth to create a better smile. As the changes are happening, you will feel them. For the first few days of each set of new aligners, expect mild to moderate soreness. Most patients find that this lasts no more than a week. Although soreness can feel uncomfortable, it is an indication that good things are to come; namely a healthier, straighter smile! If soreness is distracting, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen as needed until comfort improves.

Constant Wear

Regardless of soreness, it is necessary to wear Invisalign aligners most of the time. They may be removed to brush and floss and to eat. However, aligners should not be left out for too long. This can slow the progress of movement and, if it occurs often enough, can increase the time it takes to reach the estimated outcome. Just remember, the more consistent you are with wearing your aligners, the sooner you’ll get over those little bumps in the road, like soreness and tightness.

Dr. Price is a Premier Invisalign Provider serving Northern Virginia from our friendly office in Burke. To schedule your Invisalign consultation, call (703)-935-2879.

Reasons to be Thankful for a Straight Smile

Uneven, crooked teeth. It’s not that bad, right? Actually, it can be. We often talk about the value of a straight smile as it relates to cosmetics. It’s no secret that a straight smile can make a person more confident than if they had crooked, overlapping teeth. Studies also point to the social and professional rewards of having an attractive smile. But is that the only thing we’re concerned with when we talk about reasons to seek teeth-straightening? Not at all! Here, we point out a few other reasons to want your teeth to be aligned.

Straight teeth are:

  • Easier to care for. When teeth are turned or overlapping, it can be frustrating trying to reach those nooks and crannies. Even a trained hygienist has to take extra steps to get into these places and flush out debris and bacteria. When teeth are aligned as they should be, brushing and flossing get that much easier. They also gain greater effectiveness.
  • Better for the gums. The gums and the teeth go together. When teeth are not aligned, the gums can be affected in two ways. First, debris that collects in hard-to-reach places causes inflammation in the superficial gum tissue. This inflammation can cause the gums to weaken and pull away from teeth, leading to full-blown infection. Another way that misaligned teeth can affect the gums is to place too much stress on them when biting down. The excess stress also contributes to gum recession and infection.
  • Happier teeth. Teeth that are aligned work together more efficiently to disperse the force of biting and chewing. Crooked teeth don’t fit as they should against opposing teeth, which can cause unnecessary and excessive friction. This can wear teeth down more quickly than would occur if teeth were aligned.

We Make it Easy to Get a Straight Smile

Dr. Price is a Premier Invisalign provide in Northern Virginia. In our Burke office, we have helped many people get the straight smile they have wanted. With that straight smile comes improved confidence and better oral health. To learn more about Invisalign, schedule your consultation with us at (703)-935-2879.

Is Invisalign Faster than Braces?

The idea of a straight, attractive smile is very appealing to most of us. However, the timing of treatment is a big question many people have when considering orthodontics. Understandably, there is something to be said about achieving results as quickly as possible. This is one reason why so many people are drawn to Invisalign. But is Invisalign actually faster than braces? That depends. We’ll discuss that here.

Treatment Must be Customized

There are several options to getting a straighter smile, spanning the whole spectrum of conservativeness. Standard braces are often viewed as the least conservative method of straightening teeth because brackets are glued into place and strung with a wire that is only changed by the orthodontist. Invisalign is somewhere near the other end of the spectrum, a nearly-invisible aligner that can be removed whenever one wishes (sort of). An important aspect of treatment that needs to be understood is that every person has unique needs, which means all treatments have to be customized. Some of the factors that influence a dentist’s recommendations include:

  • The alignment issue that needs to be corrected
  • The severity of misalignment
  • The presence and severity of malocclusion (bite issues)
  • The general condition of the teeth and gums

Braces are typically recommended when a patient has more complicated dental issues such as severe crossbite or malposition of the molars. Braces may also be used to correct less complicated issues, including deep bites and minor tooth turning.

Invisalign is one of the least invasive methods of straightening teeth and may be recommended for mild to moderate misalignment in which teeth are either spaced too far apart or are crowded. Some patients may be candidates for Invisalign even if they have minor overlapping or turning.

So How Long Does It Take?

Many websites portray traditional orthodontic treatment as long and complicated. That’s not always the case. Some people have to wear braces for 18 months to a few years. Others, however, only have to wear braces for 6 months. The same can be said of Invisalign. Some patients need to wear aligners for about a year. Others may only need to wear them for a few months.

The difference between the timing of Invisalign and braces relates to the severity of the problem needing correction, not to the method of that correction. The primary difference between Invisalign and traditional orthodontic treatment is that one is simply more discreet, comfortable, and convenient than the other.

We’d love to help you get the straight smile you’ve always wanted. To schedule your Invisalign consultation in our Burke, VA office, call (703)-935-2879.

Three Common Questions about Invisalign

If there is an investment that can provide lifelong rewards, it is taking care of your oral health. One way to do this is to correct misalignment. When teeth are crowded or overlapping, they are difficult to clean well. Invisalign helps our patients not only get their confidence back, but it also helps them secure better oral health for many years, if not indefinitely. We are pleased to be a premier Invisalign provider in Northern Virginia. Here, we discuss a few of the questions patients frequently ask.

Can I Get Invisalign on the Top Teeth Only?

Teeth-straightening is often observed as a way to make the smile look better. This is one of the benefits of treatment like Invisalign, but there’s more. It is understandable that some people would be interested in straightening only one arch. If the other is “straight enough,” why treat it? There is a good reason. The upper and lower arches need to fit together for the bite to be aligned. The bite must be aligned to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on teeth and the temporomandibular joints. If we only correct the position of one arch, we may worsen the way that the two fit together. For this reason, most dentists recommend that Invisalign aligners be made for both the upper and lower arches.

Will Invisalign Work If I’ve Already Had Braces?

Many people who underwent orthodontic treatment made a critical error sometime after the completion of their teeth-straightening process: they did not wear their retainers as advised by their orthodontist. If you have had braces before and your teeth shifted somewhat afterward, you may be an excellent candidate for Invisalign. Custom made aligners can reposition teeth and also correct various bite problems.

Is It Difficult to Maintain Aligners?

We know how to take care of our teeth by brushing and flossing. Adding aligners into the mix, even though it’s easier than brushing around metal brackets and wires, can feel like a challenge. Maintaining clean aligners is necessary even though each set is only worn for two weeks. If aligners are not cleaned regularly, they may begin to look cloudy or they may develop a foul odor. That’s no fun! In most situations, all aligners need is a good rinse under cool water. If they need a little more cleaning, a very small amount of nonabrasive toothpaste may be used on a finger to clean the plastic trays.

Now is a great time to take the leap into Invisalign. To schedule your consultation in our Burke, VA office, call (703)-935-2879.

Can Invisalign Do Things that Regular Braces Can’t?

Regardless of how appealing it sounds to have straighter teeth, many people worry about how they will get from point A to point B. Will they have to wear braces like their parents or siblings did? If so, their approach to braces is No, Thank you. There are several concerns raised by patients who want to straighten their teeth, including comfort, appearance, and oral health. These concerns are addressed in the Invisalign system, which is one of the reasons why this treatment quickly became the leading request among patients who want straighter teeth. Here, we point out the leading advantages to Invisalign over traditional braces.

Invisalign Doesn’t Have Brackets or Wires

Braces are individual brackets that are glued on each tooth. Brackets are connected through an arch wire on the top row of teeth and one on the bottom row. Every so often, the orthodontist tightens the wires to pull teeth into their new position. Invisalign doesn’t have brackets or wires; it is a set of clear plastic aligners that look like something an athlete would wear, or like the trays that are used to whiten teeth. The material from which aligners are made is virtually undetectable due to clarity, eliminating the concern that the smile will be cosmetically diminished by braces.

A More Comfortable Experience

One of the primary reasons braces can be uncomfortable is that brackets project from the teeth. Brackets are square, which gives them edges that can be relatively sharp. Unless wax is applied over each bracket, there is a good chance that tissue inside the mouth could get caught on an edge now and then. This not only hurts in the moment but can lead to persistent swelling and irritation as the injury is repeated. Aligners form around teeth so there is nothing to poke at the cheeks or catch on the lips.

Does this mean that Invisalign is completely comfortable? No. Patients should remain aware that Invisalign treatment is moving their teeth. This will incur a bit of discomfort as roots move in the periodontal ligament. Most patients can manage comfort with an over-the-counter medication as needed.

Oral Health

Another advantage of Invisalign is that it is easier to care for teeth throughout treatment. With brackets and wires, there is plenty of opportunity for food to get trapped in hard-to-reach places. This increases the number of bacteria on teeth and the gums, which means a greater likelihood of cavities and gingivitis or gum disease. Invisalign patients need only remove their aligners every morning and night to brush and floss as they normally would.

We are proud to be a premier Invisalign provider in Northern Virginia. To schedule your consultation for a straighter smile, call (703)-935-2879.

Tips to Survive Your First Week of Invisalign

We love it when we get to introduce patients to their first set of Invisalign aligners. This means that they are on their way to the healthy, attractive smile they have been wanting for a long time. By the time patients receive their first set of aligners, they are pretty well-versed in the details of Invisalign. They realize they will need to wear their aligners nearly all the time and that they will have to take them out when they eat and drink. Knowing what to expect, though, is not anything like actually living with aligners. To prevent surprise, we offer some tips here.

1.      Protect Your Tongue

Aligner trays are made of clear plastic that molds over the teeth. The edges of the aligners sit at the gum line, where the tongue can run along them. Because aligners are different than the norm, the tongue will do this subconsciously. This can lead to irritation or sores. To prevent this, patients can apply a small pinch of dental wax to bothersome areas. Dental wax is very hard at first. It needs to be softened by rolling it between clean fingers. After a few days, when the tongue gets used to the feeling of aligners in the mouth, this will no longer be necessary.

2.      Be Ready to Manage Discomfort

We talk a lot about how Invisalign is much more comfortable and convenient than braces, not realizing that it can create the perception that this treatment is completely comfortable. It may not be. The teeth still have to move, which means there will be pressure. Patients should expect this and prepare for it by planning to eat softer foods for a few days while they get used to new aligners. Over-the-counter medication can also help. It may also help to do gentle chewing exercises, as this can massage the gums and increase circulation to the mouth, which can relieve pain.

3.      Keep Track of Your Trays

One of the most common mishaps with Invisalign aligners is that they get thrown out accidentally. This can be a stressful mistake to make, but it can be avoided. Various retailers, including Amazon, sell Invisalign cases that can be kept in purses, backpacks, and the glove box of the car. Always having extra cases can help you create the habit of storing aligners immediately when you eat or have a snack.

Successful Invisalign treatment is all about consistency and routine. Once you establish one that works for you, your treatment should be relatively stress-free. We know you must be excited about starting your Invisalign journey. We are excited for you and are here to answer any questions you have.

Contact us at (703)-935-2879.

When is it Time to Straighten Teeth?

Invisalign Burke, VA

There are so many ways to straighten teeth today and just as many reasons to attend to tooth alignment. The question isn’t whether or not to straighten teeth, but whether or not this process may be better at any specific stage. Generally, dentists begin to observe alignment and bite when children are 7 to 10 years old. Early orthodontic intervention may be ideal in certain situations, but today’s dental technologies make it possible to straighten teeth at any age. While teeth can be straightened any time a person so desires, there are some situations when timing is just right.

Aesthetic Teeth Straightening

Whenever crooked, crowded teeth degrade the confidence a person feels about their appearance, it is a good time to find the right straightening method. If you don’t feel your best in social or professional situations, if you cover your mouth when you laugh, then it’s time to view teeth-straightening as a worthwhile investment.

An upcoming event is often the catalyst that leads people to straighten their teeth. This could be a wedding, a new job, or starting a business. Any transition in life can make us feel both excited and vulnerable.  Harnessing the power of a great smile can help.

Functional Teeth Straightening

There are both cosmetic and functional benefits achieved with teeth-straightening treatment.  It may be time to undergo treatment when you want to:

  • Have a smile makeover of any kind. Dentists often look at the alignment of teeth and how this will affect restorations like crowns or veneers.
  • Resolve chronic headaches. Studies suggest that, when teeth do not fit well together, the joints and muscles of the jaw have to work harder. The stress on these structures then expands to stress on the muscles of the face, neck, and head. Straightening teeth to fit well reduces this stress.
  • Improve oral health. Teeth that are crooked, overlapping, or spaced far apart are all difficult to clean well. Oral health can suffer when small nooks and crannies harbor plaque and bacteria. With straighter teeth, brushing and flossing become much more effective and oral health can improve significantly.

Is Now Your Time?

Now is typically the best time to take care of ourselves. If your smile and oral health could use some care, come talk to us about the benefits of Invisalign. Call (703)-935-2879 to schedule an appointment in our Burke, VA office.

Are all Invisible Aligners the Same?

Not very long ago, the only path to a straight smile was through orthodontia. Even with changes to profile and materials, braces were pretty bulky. The brackets and wires patients were required to wear at all times overpowered the mouth both physically and cosmetically. No one really loved this but the outcome was worth the cost. It still is, actually, but we now have choices in how we straighten our teeth. The choice that many people make is to do so with invisible aligners.

Invisalign, the first of this kind of treatment, was developed in 1997. That’s a long time to be around! Dentists around the world still use this system with great success. The outcome of treatment is achieved by wearing custom-made aligners 22 hours a day. Though aligners can be removed, they shouldn’t be left out for too long. Patients are advised to take them out for meals and for brushing and flossing. Occasionally, they may be taken out for pictures or other special circumstances.

In light of the strong demand for convenient, discreet treatment, several other invisible aligner startups have recently emerged. SmileClubDirect is one of the most well-known. This type of system seems even more convenient and cost-effective because it cuts out the “middle-man” and puts orthodontic care in the hands of the patient through mail-order services. Seeing that the middle man in this scenario is the dentist, elimination may not be the best thing for the patient.

Invisalign Details

Invisalign’s RealSelf “Worth It” rating is over 90% with thousands of patients having undergone this treatment. The duration of care may range from as little as 6 months to a year and a half. What sets Invisalign apart from other systems is the degree of expert involvement in both the planning and active phases of treatment. This involvement of a trained dentist allows patients to address mild to complex issues including crowding, overlapping, gaps, and bite issues.

One of the important details about Invisalign that is directly related to results is the fact that this system goes beyond plastic aligners. In many cases, attachments are also worn. These transparent handles are affixed to teeth in a specific way that gets gripped by the aligners to achieve more complex movements. Dentists report that Invisalign attachments achieve much more than aligners could on their own.

Direct-to-Consumer Aligners

Aligners like those that are offered by SmileDirectClub have a RealSelf rating of about 57%. The average course of treatment lasts 6 months. Millions of dollars have been made by direct-to-consumer companies, even though patients have no meaningful contact with a dental professional. According to some people (we could hardly call them patients) self-treated with SmileDirectClub aligners, the lack of interaction made them wonder if anyone was overseeing their treatment at all. Some clients reported having a difficult time managing their care without a clear point-person to speak with about questions or concerns.

These concerns are more like complaints. What is concerning to dental professionals about direct-to-consumer aligners is that no x-rays are taken before treatment begins. Clients are asked only to submit photos to receive their prescribed aligners. Without x-rays, there is no way to know if the client has gum disease, impacted teeth, or root issues that could affect the outcome of treatment. Some dentists report seeing patients who self-treated with this type of aligner system only to find that, while their smile looks better, the teeth at the back of their mouth no longer meet.

The bottom line about aligners is that they are a big deal. Moving teeth is a big deal. When done correctly, teeth-straightening can improve function, hygiene, and appearance. When done incorrectly, teeth-straightening can create bite and joint problems that then require corrective treatment.

Choose Invisalign for your healthiest smile. Choose Dr. Stephen Price because he is Burke’s Premier Invisalign Provider.

Taking Care of Invisalign Aligners is a Breeze

Invisalign  Burke, VA

Braces may have an important role in a person’s long-term dental health, not to mention their appearance and confidence, but that doesn’t mean any patient is particularly excited about sporting a mouthful of metal. We meet a lot of people who express an interest in straightening teeth without braces. As a premier Invisalign provider in Northern Virginia, Dr. Price has had the pleasure of helping many of them do just that.

Invisalign is an excellent treatment option for anyone who wants to improve their smile. However, no treatment is without some degree of commitment. With Invisalign, this commitment revolves partly around the care of aligner trays. Keeping aligners looking good, feeling good, and smelling good doesn’t have to be a chore. Some simple strategies include:

  • Brush them. Aligners are removed when you eat and when you brush and floss your teeth. After brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush to very gently brush the inside and outside of your aligners. This removes bacteria that could become plaque on the devices. Because aligners can be scratched, a very light touch must be used when cleaning them.
  • Rinse them. You may not always be in a place where you can brush your aligners before inserting them. Maybe you’ve just finished a nice meal out with family or friends and you don’t carry a toothbrush with you at all times. Maybe the idea of brushing your teeth in public is unappealing. That’s ok. Before inserting your aligners, rinse them with lukewarm water. While you’re at it, also swish some water around in your mouth, trying to get in between teeth. This process takes about one minute and goes a long way to prevent the accumulation of bacteria.
  • Remember to floss. Brushing is great and flossing is, too. To skip flossing is like brushing only half of your mouth. You wouldn’t do that, now, would you? Flossing after as many meals as possible (or rinsing your mouth) dislodges debris that could attract bacteria where they don’t belong.

We love talking about Invisalign! To learn more about this system and how it can work for you, schedule a consultation in our Burke office at (703)-935-2879 



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