What is Invisalign and How Does it Work?


If you are considering an alternative option to braces, your dentist may recommend Invisalign treatment. Invisalign clear aligners are an effective solution for a variety of teeth alignment problems. Keep reading to learn more about Invisalign and what it can do for your smile.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually shift your teeth into place. These aligners are made of flexible plastic, are specifically designed for orthodontic treatment and are custom-made for each patient.

What’s the Main Difference Between Invisalign and Metal Braces?

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign trays are removable, contain no metal brackets or wires, and are virtually invisible while you’re wearing them. Many patients find Invisalign to be more convenient because Invisalign braces can be removed from the mouth when necessary. Invisalign patients also tend to experience less discomfort because the aligner system progresses at a slower rate than metal braces and do not protrude like brackets do.

How Does Invisalign Work?

The Invisalign 3D technology allows your orthodontist to create a step by step plan for your treatment by mapping the exact movement of your teeth. Each Invisalign tray is manufactured to gradually shift your teeth into a straighter alignment. Every 1 to 2 weeks, you can expect to change to a new set of aligners. On average, Invisalign treatment takes 12 to 18 months.

Invisalign Treatment Timeline

Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation with an Invisalign-trained orthodontist. During this consultation, you will discuss the Invisalign process and how it works. After your orthodontist evaluates your smile and takes X-rays and photographs of your mouth, you will receive a customized digital treatment plan. Clear aligners will be created for your teeth and you will wear each set of aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day. The length of your treatment varies per case and is based on your specific needs. 

What Invisalign Can Fix

Invisalign is most effective for the following dental conditions:

  • Crooked Teeth
  • Crowded Teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open Bite
  • Tooth Gaps

What Invisalign Can’t Fix

While Invisalign is effective for most dental cases, there are certain orthodontic issues that Invisalign can’t fix, including large tooth gaps, severely rotated teeth, and tooth intrusion or extrusion. If you require complex orthodontic treatment or major tooth movement, your orthodontist may recommend a more traditional form of braces.

Who is Invisalign Best For?

Invisalign is suitable for most people who want to improve their smile. Invisalign braces can correct most teeth misalignments for both teens and adults. Nevertheless, Invisalign requires a high level of patient compliance. Since Invisalign is most effective when worn for more than 22 hours per day, patients must be diligent about wearing their Invisalign aligners. If this will be difficult for you, you may prefer metal braces.

What Will I Look Like With Straight Teeth?

Try our online smile simulator by clicking here!

Final Word: If you are considering orthodontic treatment to achieve a healthier, straighter smile, talk with your Gentle Dental Orthodontist about Invisalign. He or she will be able to determine if Invisalign treatment is suitable for you. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please give us a call.