woman holds Invisalign aligner

What is Invisalign & How Does it Work?

Team Invisalign

Traditional metal braces were once the only orthodontic treatment option available for straightening teeth. Patients had to deal with years of discomfort from metal brackets and wires as they pushed and pulled their teeth into proper alignment. Thankfully, metal braces are no longer the only solution for achieving your dream smile! Here's how Invisalign works and what to expect during your initial consultation.

Your First Appointment

We'll assess your teeth and bite at your consultation appointment to see if you're a good candidate for Invisalign. The majority of orthodontic patients can benefit from Invisalign therapy; however, for patients with especially complex cases, traditional metal braces may still be the best option.

We will take digital impressions of your teeth and bite if you are a good candidate for Invisalign and you’re interested in moving forward. These computerized scans take only a few minutes to complete and provide a more precise model of your mouth than the uncomfortable, messy impression material and trays used in the past.

On our computer, your dentist will use your digital impressions to create a three-dimensional model of your mouth. You'll be able to see a preview of how your teeth will look when Invisalign treatment is done and this model will also aid us in developing a treatment plan for you and monitoring your progress.

Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign will fabricate your aligners after your dentist has created your treatment plan. Once you get your aligners, you'll swap them out for the next set every two weeks, or as directed. Invisalign aligners gently move your teeth along a predictable course, and many patients who previously wore traditional metal braces say that Invisalign is a more comfortable process.

Wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day, removing them only for eating, drinking anything other than water, brushing, or flossing. Unlike braces, which are cemented to your teeth, Invisalign aligners only work when you wear them; wearing them for the correct amount of time each day will keep your treatment on track.

Every four to six weeks, you will have a check-up appointment at our office so we can keep an eye on your progress. Aligner therapy requires close monitoring to ensure that your teeth move as expected.

Your Invisalign Results

According to Invisalign, most patients need to wear aligners for 12 to 18 months on average; however, each patient's Invisalign treatment plan is customized to meet their specific needs. The length of your treatment depends on the severity of your orthodontic issues and your willingness to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day.

Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, you’ll receive a set of Vivera retainers, which are also made by Invisalign. These retainers are made of a high-quality clear plastic and look almost identical to your aligners. For the first few weeks after treatment, you'll have to wear your Vivera retainers all day, but after that, you'll only have to wear them at night. After a while, you'll just need to wear them a couple of times a week to keep your smile looking perfect!

Learn More About Invisalign

Are you interested in learning more about Invisalign? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.