The Cost of Getting Invisalign Braces in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA – Invisalign treatment has taken the orthodontic world by storm since it was first introduced. Orthodontic patients love it because the aligners are clear, comfortable and removable. But how does the cost of Invisalign compare to other treatments in San Francisco?

“Many people mistakenly assume that Invisalign is costly and therefore likely out of their budgets,” says San Francisco orthodontist Dr. Tony Cucalon. “The truth is, the cost of Invisalign treatment is very similar to that of traditional metal braces. That means for roughly the same price, you can have orthodontic treatment that won’t attract more attention than necessary.”

Most dental insurance policies also cover the cost of Invisalign treatment. If your policy covers orthodontic care, chances are very good that Invisalign will be one of the covered treatments. At Cucalon & Matin Orthodontics, our financial coordinators will work with you to ensure we have all your necessary insurance information in order to help you understand the extent of your coverage.

If you have a Flexible Spending Account, you can also use those funds toward the cost of treatment. This allows you to use pre-tax dollars on your treatment expenses.

We never want our patients to worry that the cost of orthodontic treatment is out of reach. We work hard to offer excellent treatment at prices that can comfortably fit into any budget. We also offer several ways to pay for your Invisalign treatment at our San Francisco office. That includes:

  • Interest free monthly payments
  • Credit card payments and auto-pay
  • Payment in full upfront
  • FSA plans

“Invisalign treatment is a wonderful treatment option for many patients, especially teens and adults who don’t want to draw more attention to themselves while in treatment,” says Dr. Cucalon. “The aligners are so clear they are practically invisible in your mouth, and they are removable, which means you don’t need to worry about forgoing your favorite foods during treatment. With Invisalign, you experience a comfortable, effective, and cosmetically pleasing treatment that is also affordable.”

To learn more about the cost of Invisalign in San Francisco, or to see if you may be an ideal candidate for the treatment, call Cucalon & Matin Orthodontics today at (415) 563-2348.

What Do Office Closures Mean for My Treatment Plan?

San Francisco, CA – COVID-19, the highly contagious virus that has spread into a global pandemic, has forced businesses across the country to close. Anything deemed non-essential has been shut down in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. While the decision to close practices was not made lightly, it is crucial to ensure we’re doing our part to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the virus. But, how will this impact your orthodontic treatment?

The first question you may be asking yourself is, “will this delay my treatment time?” The unfortunate answer to this question is inevitably yes, these closures will cause some delay in treatment time. However, there are some things you can do from home to ensure your treatment stays on track.

The most important way to ensure your treatment stays on track is by following all care guidelines given to you by your orthodontist, brushing and flossing properly and frequently. Keeping your mouth healthy is the first step in ensuring your treatment does not derail. Next, be sure you adhere to the diet laid out for you. If you wear traditional braces with brackets and wires, avoiding certain foods is required. Eating anything too hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy can damage your braces, which could potentially extend your treatment plan.

If you wear Invisalign, stick to your schedule for aligner wear, unless you have been otherwise directed by your orthodontist.  Remember to wear your aligners at least 20 hours a day – they can only do the job of moving your teeth when they are in your mouth. If you are at the end of your aligners, wear your current aligner until we can get you a new set.  If you need a new replacement, please contact our office and we will order one.

Even when we do all the steps to ensure we are following proper orthodontic care, it is inevitable that something may come loose or break. If you experience an issue with your braces or appliance, here are some tips to help you at home:

    • Loose or broken brackets: If a bracket becomes loose take some orthodontic wax and place the bracket back in place using the wax. If a bracket falls off completely, save it and we will put it back in place as soon as possible.
    • Poking wire: You may experience your wire extending out over the last brackets in your mouth. If this happens, the poking wire may become annoying and irritate the inside of your mouth. In this case, use orthodontic wax over the poking wire to prevent irritation. You can also clip the wire behind the bracket using the emergency wire cutter given to you at the initial bracket placement. If you do not have an emergency wire cutter, you may use a CLEAN pair of nail clippers as a replacement.
    • Loose wire: If you experience a loose wire or if your wire comes out of a bracket, you can use the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the wire back into the bracket. If you cannot get the wire back in place and orthodontic wax doesn’t provide relief, you can use your emergency cutter or a clean pair of nail clippers to clip the wire behind the last bracket it is attached to.
    • Discomfort or soreness: No orthodontic treatment is without a bit of discomfort. However, there should be no severe pain associated with your treatment. If you experience tenderness or discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication to relieve any soreness. Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can provide relief as well.

If you experience a true emergency, such as severe pain or injury, please call our office at 415-563-2348 or email

While we are unsure when offices will reopen, we anticipate and hope re-opening our offices in early June. In the meantime, we are available to address any concerns or issues that may arise and will do our best to communicate any information about office re-openings. If you would like to talk to Dr. Cucalon, Dr. Matin, or staff in person, we are now offering virtual appointments. To schedule visit our website We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces again in the meantime stay safe and healthy.

Can Adults Get Orthodontic Treatment?

San Francisco, CA – Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished there was something you could do about your crooked or misaligned smile but worried you were past the age for braces? We have good news for you. You are never too old to get a straighter, properly functioning smile.

It’s true we typically think of adolescents when we think of braces, but today more adults than ever before are discovering the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Nearly one in four orthodontic patients today are adults. That’s because no matter your age, orthodontic treatment can always be beneficial. It is important to note that treatment as an adult may look slightly different than treatment for children and teens, however.

Here are some things to think about when it comes to orthodontic treatment as an adult:

  1. Adults have denser bone tissue. This can make treatment time slightly longer than it would for a younger patient as the teeth are guided through the bone to their new locations.
  2. Adults may have additional dental issues that can affect treatment. Your orthodontist can work around any issue, but it is important to know that if you have had any restorative work done previously, or if you have missing teeth or gum disease, your treatment plan will be a bit more involved than a younger patient with a completely healthy natural smile.
  3. Adults do not have the advantage of a jaw that is still growing. If your orthodontic issue is due to a discrepancy in jaw growth, your treatment may be more involved and could potentially include jaw surgery in order to create the most harmonious smile.

The good news is, in the hands of a skilled orthodontist, no curve ball will be too great to strike out orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will create a custom treatment plan that takes into account any underlying issues you may have, and if needed, he or she will work with other specialists to ensure your smile is as healthy as possible before, during and after treatment.

Most adults are pleased to know the variety of treatment options that are available today. If you don’t want to draw more attention to your smile with standard metal braces, clear aligners may be a good option. Clear aligners use a series of clear plastic aligners to gently guide your teeth to their ideal locations. Patients love it because the aligners are virtually invisible and removable, so they fit seamlessly into every lifestyle.

Not every treatment option that you have read or heard about may be ideal for your unique situation. Your orthodontist will determine which options may be right for your smile needs. Dr. Tony Cucalon, Dr. Rosie Matin of Cucalon & Matin Orthodontics are experienced in treating patients of all ages.

If you are tired of hiding your smile, call today (415-563-2368) to schedule your complimentary consultation or fill out our request a consultation form.

Avoid DIY Straightening Options

San Francisco, CA – When you have a question about something, chances are the first place you turn for an answer is Google.  With the internet almost always at our fingertips, we can find the answers to any questions. But how to perform our own orthodontic treatment shouldn’t be one of them.

Today, a quick search on YouTube will yield videos of users giving their quick fixes for getting a better smile. These videos are concerning to orthodontists. Our goal is to provide excellent care that will yield a healthy, stable smile that will last a lifetime. Taking advice from someone without true orthodontic experience can be dangerous.


One trend that is popping up on YouTube tells viewers that gaps in teeth can be closed simply by using rubber bands wrapped around the teeth on either side of the gap. YouTubers claim they have successfully closed large gaps just by using these rubber bands. This is worrisome for several reasons because the rubber bands can shift, leading to a host of problems, such as gum disease and bone loss. You may also be creating an even more unstable bite than you had before.

The DIY orthodontic trend is so alarming the American Association of Orthodontists issued a consumer alert telling patients that the trend can leave them at “substantial risk for irreparable damage.”

But YouTube videos are far from the only thing that we are worried about. In fact, there is an even more alarming trend out there today. There are currently companies on the market that aim to take advantage of our busy lifestyles and desire to have everything delivered right to our fingertips. Companies deliver aligner kits right to your door, at a fraction of the cost of aligners like Invisalign.

Chances are good you’ve seen ads for a company like this – they’re on TV, social media, and even show up in a Google search for Invisalign. ​

While many orthodontic patients love the convenience clear aligner therapy offers, we do not recommend using direct to consumer companies for this. During this process, you never meet with an orthodontist. In fact, you provide your own impressions from which your aligner sets are made. There are never in-person follow-up appointments to ensure your treatment is progressing as it should.

That should be alarming to you. If you never meet with an actual orthodontist, how can you be sure the treatment you are paying for is actually even working? 

Direct-to-consumer companies have good intentions – providing patients with the tools they need to get the smiles they want in a seemingly convenient way. However, orthodontics should be left to the care of the professionals who have dedicated their lives to studying how teeth move and how to achieve ideal smiles for every patient. Without seeing an orthodontist in person, it is hard to know whether a patient’s smile is healthy enough to begin orthodontic treatment, if clear aligner therapy is the correct choice for their issue, or if there are other issues that may limit their results.

It would be wonderful if there were a quick fix for everything in life. Unfortunately, orthodontics is a process that involves time and requires the expertise of a trained orthodontist. Orthodontic treatment is about much more than just creating a pretty smile. It is also about creating a stable bite that will last a lifetime. Do-it-yourself options like direct to consumer aligner kits may seem like they can save you time and money, but if something goes wrong, you may just be creating an expensive and painful problem that is going to send you into the hands of an orthodontist anyway.

Trust your smile to a well-trained orthodontist, not an ad you saw on Instagram, and you’ll be much happier, and with a healthier smile, in the long run. 

Cucalon & Matin Orthodontics Response to COVID-19

Most recent update March 23rd​​

As we are all coming to terms with the new guidelines and restrictions of life these days, here at Cucalon & Matin Orthodontics we want to maintain our availability to you as much as possible. We are developing video appointments, phone conferences and making greater use of email communications.

  • If you have questions about your treatment, please email Dr. Cucalon directly at 
  • If you have questions about appointments please email
  • If you have an orthodontic emergency please call the office at 415-563-2348

Important: Please include the patient’s full name in all communications.

At this time we are only allowed to see emergency appointments in the office. Emergencies include:

  • Significant pain (unmanaged by wax or clipping a wire at home)
  • Infection
  • Physical injury and limited function

We are all in this together and not alone.

Orthodontic Treatment Can Improve Your Self-Esteem

San Francisco, CA – Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you. A warm greeting with a smile tells people we are friendly and open. But if you don’t like to smile because you are unhappy with your teeth, you may be inadvertently sending people the wrong message. Orthodontic treatment can improve your smile, giving you the self-confidence to greet the world and those around you.

“Orthodontic treatment is powerful,” says Dr. Tony Cucalon. “I see that everyday when I look at my patients and see how their new smiles have transformed their lives. Improved self-esteem is one of the reasons many patients seek out orthodontic treatment, whether for their children or for themselves in adulthood.”

Crooked, crowded and misaligned teeth don’t just wreak havoc on our oral health, they can be damaging to our mental health, as well. If you are unhappy with the way your teeth are aligned, you may be so focused on trying to hide them that you aren’t embracing the world around you.

Studies show us that teens with low self-esteem are more likely to then suffer from depression and other mental health issues. In fact, one study showed that having low self-esteem between the ages of 15 and 18 was a risk factor for depression at the age of 21.  Orthodontic studies have shown that self-esteem increases for patients after undergoing treatment.

  • One Invisalign study saw 50% of participants say they felt others viewed them as more attractive and successful after undergoing treatment.
  • The British Dental Journal published a study that found:
  • 19 million people felt their self-confidence could be boosted by dental or orthodontic work to improve their smiles
  • Nearly one in three adults said that having more attractive teeth would help them overcome embarrassment about their personal appearance
  • 46% of adults believed an attractive smile could improve their appearance.

“There is a lot of science and psychology behind the benefits of smiling,” says Dr. Cucalon. “The simple act of smiling releases endorphins, which boosts our mood (and can even jumpstart our immune systems). And better yet – your body can’t tell the difference between a real smile and a fake smile. Just the act of smiling, even if it starts out forced, can trigger your body to release those mood-boosting endorphins. So if you are hiding a smile that you think is less than perfect, you’re missing out on a lot of happiness!”

If you’re still not convinced, take a look at these other interesting scientific facts about the benefits of smiling:

  1. Smiling can trigger the reward mechanism in your brain. In fact, researchers believe that smiling is even better for providing pleasure than chocolate!
  2. Smiling has a spiraling effect. Smiling lets your brain know you are happy, and in turn, your brain tells you to smile even more!
  3. Smiling may improve your health. Those endorphins don’t just make us happy, they keep us healthy, too. Smiling can lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. So smiling more may keep you healthier!

“Your smile is powerful – not just for you, but for those around you, too,” says Dr. Cucalon. “One small gesture like a smile can, and does, change the world. At Cucalon & Matin Orthodontics we know that to be true and are so proud to be in the business of smiles.”

If you are ready to improve your self-esteem and get the smile you deserve, call Cucalon & Matin Orthodontics today at 415-563-2348.