FAQ's | How Does Invisalign Work? | Invisalign

What to expect before and during treatment?

  • The following are some general information about what to expect during your Invisalign treatment process:

    • Step 1: Initially, your doctor will take photos, X-rays, and digital scans (which may be referred to as an iTero scan) or a dental impression to help formulate your treatment plan.
    • Step 2: Align Technology will then use these records, along with the treatment prescription provided by your doctor to create a customised 3D treatment plan just for you (referred to as ClinCheck treatment plan). You’ll also be able to see the final position of your teeth after treatment is complete. This treatment plan will be used to develop your customised aligners (to precisely address your teeth straightening issues) and determine the length of your treatment.
    • Step 3: The customised aligners are manufactured and shipped to your doctor’s office.
    • Step 4: Your series of custom-made aligners will be given to you (typically 3-4 sets at a time) for you to wear everyday and change them at home every 2 weeks.
    • Step 5: You’ll be visiting your Invisalign-trained doctor every 6-8 weeks to monitor the progress of your treatment and receive the next series of aligners.
    • Step 6: After you've finished your Invisalign aligner treatment, you may need to use retainers to help make sure the new position of your teeth is maintained.
  • If you require correction of your bite, you may need to use elastics as part of your treatment.
  • Wearing a retainer after any orthodontic treatment is an important step because it keeps your teeth stable in their new positions. If you want your teeth to remain in their ideal position for the rest of your life, it’s best to wear a retainer as directed by your doctor. Your Invisalign-trained doctor can advise you on your retention options.
  • If you require additional space or the contact points in your teeth need to be corrected, you may need to have polishing or contouring as part of your treatment.
  • Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require ‘attachments’ to help the aligner grip the teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of enamel-coloured composites the doctor affixes to your teeth. You may also notice small indentations or ‘ridges’ in your aligners. These are designed to help achieve a specific sort of root movement and all of these will depend on your Invisalign treatment plan.

On-going treatment considerations

  • The length of your treatment will depend on your specific needs and will be determined by your Invisalign-trained doctor. The average treatment for an adult is about 12 to 18 months and for teenagers, treatment length may vary and will be determined by the doctor.
  • You should wear each aligner for 20 to 22 hours a day during your treatment for best results and a timely outcome.
  • You will visit your Invisalign-trained doctor for a check-up approximately every 6-8 weeks to see how your treatment is progressing. During your check-ups, your Invisalign-trained doctor will check that the aligners are fitting well and make any adjustments if necessary.
  • You’ll be provided with enough aligners to last between visits to your doctor (usually 3-4 sets at a time). Your doctor will review your progress every 6-8 weeks and new aligners will be given to you at these appointments. It’s best to speak to your doctor about how many aligners you will be provided with between visits.
  • Two aligner cases are included in your patient starter kit.
  • You will usually change your aligners every 2 weeks. However, please follow your doctor’s specific instructions regarding when you need to change your aligners as this may vary between patients.
  • Results with the Invisalign System usually start showing a few months after starting treatment.

Technology during treatment

  • If you need to have your tooth or teeth extracted as part of the treatment, your aligner will have a ‘pontic’. The innovative pontic is disguised as a tooth and located where your tooth was extracted so no one should know you are in treatment.
  • After straightening your teeth, you may require a second phase of treatment to allow further correction. You’ll need to return for scans/impressions and have additional aligners produced to achieve your desired outcome.
  • Retention is an important part of your treatment plan and is designed to help prevent your teeth from moving out of alignment again. There are many retention options available, including Invisalign retainers that are similar to Invisalign aligners and can be worn to hold your teeth in the desired position. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, the retainer may only need to be used at night or for longer periods.