The patient experience of Invisalign treatment typically involves 6-18 months of wearing a series of custom-created transparent plastic aligners over their teeth, which gradually move their teeth towards the desired final positioning. Patients work with Invisalign-certified dentists / orthodontists at each step of the process.
Here’s what this involves:
You visit your dentist for an initial consultation, where they’ll perform initial scans and exams. After that, they’ll collaborate with experts at Align to diagnose issues and create a custom Invisalign treatment plan. Align then manufactures a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-designed to fit snugly over your teeth, exert gentle pressure, and gradually move your teeth to their final positioning.
Once your aligners arrive, you’ll visit your dentist to prepare your teeth for treatment. For example, they might temporarily secure very small “attachments” onto the surface of several teeth, providing a secure grip for the aligners to pull your teeth in the desired directions.
Once you confirm a perfect fit with your aligners, you’ll take them home and wear them for 20-22 hours per day, including while you sleep. You’ll remove them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
Although hard to believe, the clear plastic aligners exert gentle pressure to move your teeth in the desired directions. They’re made of rigid plastic that’s custom-designed by your dentist and Align with the assistance of 3D imaging technology, to ensure a comfortable fit.
Each set of plastic aligners performs minor adjustments over a period of 1-3 weeks, and then is replaced with the next set of aligners. Your complete set of aligners — the number of aligners depends on the complexity of your treatment — transforms your smile from start to finish. You’ll visit your dentist for regular in-office checkups, to ensure the treatment is progressing smoothly, make necessary adjustments, and determine when treatment is complete.
Over time, this series of many small adjustments adds up to big results: Invisalign treatment very reliably closes gaps, reduces crowding, and improves alignment. It’s that simple!
Invisalign is a popular option to address moderate cases of oral health challenges for patients with otherwise healthy teeth and gums:
While Invisalign works for many people, it’s not a good option for everyone. It’s important to see a dentist or orthodontist to diagnose and discuss your individual needs and eligibility.
Invisalign’s custom clear plastic aligners are painless and comfortable — this is a major reason why it’s so popular. Many new Invisalign patients need 1-2 weeks to become used to the feeling of the plastic trays. However, they’ll soon become an afterthought and you’ll forget you’re wearing them.
If the trays do hurt, they can always be adjusted — mention this to your dentist / orthodontist and they can adjust your existing trays and/or order new ones with a more proper fit.
You will need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day.
While this initially seems daunting, your round-the-clock compliance is what allows the plastic trays to gradually and painlessly improve your smile. The results of your Invisalign treatment depend on your compliance, so it’s critical to wear your aligners at home, work, and everywhere else, including while you sleep — and remove them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Wearing your aligners becomes easier over time. After the first couple of weeks, you’ll forget that you’re wearing them!
No! In contrast to braces, there are no restrictions about what you can and cannot eat and drink while undergoing Invisalign treatment. That said, you’ll need to (quickly and easily) remove your clear plastic aligners before eating — and it’s a good idea to remove them before drinking, too. This avoids staining your teeth with liquid trapped between your teeth and the aligners (e.g., with coffee).
We’ll provide a plastic carrying case, which you can carry to keep your aligners clean and protected when you’re not wearing them.
While DTC clear aligners can be less expensive than Invisalign, they are less reliable at achieving optimal results. Invisalign treatment is a more personalized approach that includes regular in-person check-ins with a dentist or orthodontist who’s licensed to administer Invisalign treatment. During this process, they consider your individual oral health needs and follow a customized plan designed to deliver the best possible results for your mouth’s health, function, and appearance.
On the other hand, treatment from DTC brands frequently creates unintentional issues with patients’ teeth and smiles, in some cases leaving their health worse off than before.