smiling woman with invisalign

What Exactly Is Invisalign, and How Does It Work?

Team Invisalign

You may have heard of Invisalign, perhaps seen commercials on TV or ads on social media. But do you know exactly what it is and how it works? Read on for a more in-depth look at Invisalign to determine if it may be the right treatment for you.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a treatment for teeth that need to be realigned (straightened). It can also correct a variety of incorrect bite patterns such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites. It is a relatively new treatment that was invented as an alternative to traditional metal braces. 

The teeth are aligned using a series of clear plastic trays called aligners that fit over the teeth and are virtually invisible. Certain teeth will have a small, clear dot of composite placed on them to help the aligner grab the tooth. These clear dots are called attachments. Rather than using metal or clear brackets and wires to move teeth, the aligners and attachments gradually shift teeth into their correct positions.

How Does it Work?

Invisalign clear aligners are strategically designed to move teeth into proper alignment. The patient is instructed to wear one aligner for a specific period of time, followed by the next aligner, and the next until the teeth are in the desired positions and the bite is properly aligned. There is not a set number of trays for each patient, it depends on each patient’s individual needs and the severity of the misalignment.

A Step by Step Guide to the Invisalign Process

If a patient is interested in Invisalign, the following steps are typical.

    1. Find an Invisalign provider, such as an orthodontist and make an appointment for a consultation. 

    2. The provider will assess the patient’s teeth to determine whether or not they are an ideal candidate for Invisalign. This process may involve taking X-Rays and photos of the teeth. 

    3. If the patient is a candidate, the provider will then make digital impressions of the patient’s teeth. 

    4. Using advanced computer technology, the orthodontist will design a customized plan to correct the teeth and bite. 

    5. The aligners are created. 

    6. The aligners and attachments are placed, and the patient is instructed on how to wear the first aligner (how long, how often, and how to care for it). 

    7. The patient returns for follow-up appointments at strategic times throughout the treatment (anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks). At each appointment the provider evaluates progress and instructs the patient on when to switch to the next aligner. 

    8. When the treatment is complete and the teeth are in their desired position, it will be necessary to wear a retainer (often just at night) to keep the teeth in their proper alignment. Failing to wear retainers following treatment will allow teeth to return to their previous undesirable positions.

Benefits of Invisalign

There are quite a few benefits of Invisalign that cause more and more patients to choose this option, such as:

    • Virtually Invisible. The clear aligners are almost completely unnoticeable and are far less conspicuous than traditional metal braces.
    • Comfortable. The aligners are made with a high-tech material that is comfortable to wear. 
    • Convenient. You can remove the aligners to eat and brush your teeth and daily wear does not affect your regular activities. 
    • Fast Results. When you wear your aligners as directed your total treatment time may be less than the time traditional braces would require.
    • Effective. Invisalign has proven to be an effective treatment for the same issues that braces correct, such as overbites, cross bites, crowding, gaps, and more.

Andover Orthodontics is a Certified Provider of Invisalign

Are you looking for an orthodontist who offers Invisalign treatment? Dr. Broccoli at Andover Orthodontics has completed the Invisalign Orthodontic Master Program and has successfully treated numerous satisfied patients. Are you ready to be another one? Call (978) 475-7780 today to schedule a free consultation or request an appointment.