a woman holds an Invisalign aligner

What is Invisalign & How Does it Work?

Team Invisalign

For decades, traditional braces were the only orthodontic treatment available to straighten teeth. Patients had to endure uncomfortable metal brackets and wires that pushed and pulled their teeth into alignment over a period of months or years. Thankfully, metal braces are no longer the only option to help you achieve the smile of your dreams! Here’s how Invisalign works and what you can expect during your first appointment.

Your First Appointment

During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your teeth and bite to ensure that you are a good candidate for Invisalign. Treatment with Invisalign is an option for the majority of orthodontic patients; however, for patients with complex cases, traditional metal braces are considered the best route of treatment.

If you are a good candidate for Invisalign, we will take digital impressions of your teeth and bite. These digital scans are completed in only a few minutes and produce a more accurate representation of your mouth than those uncomfortable, messy impression trays from the past. 

Your digital impressions will be used to create a three-dimensional model of your mouth on our computer. After the model is rendered, you'll be able to see a preview of how your teeth will look after Invisalign treatment is completed! This model will also help us plan each step of your treatment. 

Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners

After your dentist creates your treatment plan, Invisalign will fabricate your aligners. Every two weeks, or as directed, you'll swap out your current aligners for the next set, as outlined in your treatment plan. Invisalign aligners shift your teeth gradually along a predictable path, and many patients who previously wore metal braces report that Invisalign aligners are much more comfortable to wear. 

Wear your aligners at least 22 hours every day, and take them out only when eating, drinking anything except water, brushing, or flossing. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners only work when you are wearing them; wearing them for the recommended amount of time each day will keep the timing of your treatment on track.

Check up appointments will be scheduled for you every four to six weeks. Invisalign treatment requires close supervision to ensure that your teeth are moving as predicted.

Your Invisalign Results

Most patients need to wear Invisalign for an average of 12 to 18 months; however, each patient’s Invisalign treatment plan is specifically tailored to fit their needs. The severity of your orthodontic issues and willingness to wear the aligners for the recommended time each day directly impact the treatment timeline.

Ready for some great news? That beautiful smile courtesy of your Invisalign aligners is permanent as long as you maintain it! Post-aligner maintenance includes wearing Vivera retainers, which are constructed of high quality, clear plastic and look similar to your aligners. Because they are made to be durable, your retainers will last several years. Vivera retainers are typically worn all day for the first few weeks post-treatment, but soon after, you’ll only have to wear your retainers at night. Eventually, you’ll just need to wear them for a few days a week to keep your smile looking great for years to come!

Learn More About Invisalign

Are you interested in learning more about Invisalign? Contact us today at 860-446-8744 to schedule an appointment.