Frequently asked questions
Invisalign is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth and achieve the smile you've always dreamed of. Using advanced 3D computer-imaging technology, Invisalign depicts your complete treatment plan based on your Invisalign Provider’s prescription, from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth – and your teeth only – to move them little by little. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, gradually moving towards the projected final position. Your Invisalign treatment time will be determined by your Invisalign Provider, based on your specific needs.
Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible. No one may even notice that you’re wearing these virtually invisible aligners, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle and day-to-day interactions with others.
Invisalign aligners are removable. Unlike fixed metal braces, you have the flexibility to eat and drink what you want during treatment by simply removing the aligners. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would to maintain good oral hygiene.
Unlike traditional fixed braces, there are no metal brackets or wires. This means that in most cases less time is spent in your Invisalign Provider’s practice for adjustments.
And finally, Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you even begin treatment so you can see how your teeth are expected to look when your treatment is complete.
Dentists or orthodontists have successfully used removable appliances for years. But with the application of Align Technology’s 3D computer technology and mass-customization, the Invisalign System is able to treat a wide range of patients who want straighter teeth. Our unique ClinCheck® software allows patients to see their treatment plan from beginning to end even before the start of treatment.
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997.
Since 1945, Align Technology has made the vision of comprehensive orthodontic treatment using modern technology a reality. Using advanced computer technology, Align Technology produces Invisalign, a series of customised clear aligners. Each aligner is worn sequentially by the patient to produce gradual tooth movements in both upper and lower arches.
More than 2.6 million patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily.
Invisalign is sold in over 45 countries using a direct sales model in the US, Canada, Europe, China, Japan and Asia Pacific, and distributors in smaller emerging growth countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Latin America.
Make an appointment with an Invisalign Provider for an initial consultation. Find an Invisalign Provider in your area today.
Invisalign aligners move teeth with an appropriate placement of controlled movement on the teeth. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign not only controls the amount of movement per aligner, but also the timing of the movement. So at each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, as per the Invisalign treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system that moves teeth into the desired prescribed position.
The virtually invisible aligners are made of strong medical grade thermoplastic material, uniquely developed for the Invisalign System. The aligners are custom-made for you and fit snugly over your teeth.
While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, special training is needed. All orthodontists and dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training to become qualified and proficient in the various requirements for treating patients before treatments will be accepted from their office. More than 82,000 dentists and orthodontists worldwide are already trained to treat patients using Invisalign. Find an Invisalign Provider near you.
With experience, an Invisalign Provider can use Invisalign to treat malocclusion for a majority of adults and adolescents who want a better smile. For teenagers, talk to your Invisalign Provider to see if Invisalign Teen may be the right treatment option for your child.
Appointment intervals are generally the same as with traditional braces but appointments can be shorter with less time spent in the dentists’ or orthodontists’ chair as no adjustments need to be made to wires/brackets. Patients typically visit their Invisalign Provider every 4 to 6 weeks to ensure the treatment is progressing as planned, and to receive their next few sets of Invisalign aligners, but your Invisalign Provider will decide the intervals between your visits based on your treatment.
The total duration of treatment depends on the complexity of the treatment and is generally equal to that of traditional braces. Typically treatment can last between 9 and 18 months. During your consultation, your Invisalign Provider can provide you with more detailed information.
Some people may experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days, at the beginning of each new stage of treatment when they insert a new aligner. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that the aligners are working – moving your teeth gradually, helping you to achieve the final results. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
An Invisalign Provider can use Invisalign to treat overbites in the vast majority of adults and adolescents . Consult an Invisalign Provider to determine whether Invisalign is suitable for you.
Crowns (tooth caps) are usually not a factor in Invisalign treatment. However, sometimes small tooth-coloured composites called "attachments" are bonded onto teeth to help achieve certain movements and are more difficult to bond on crowns than teeth. In these cases, the location of crowns must be carefully evaluated. An Invisalign Provider can provide further advice.
Yes. Spaces between teeth are generally easy to close with Invisalign. Consult an Invisalign Provider to determine whether Invisalign is suitable for you.
Wearing a retainer after any orthodontic treatment is an important step, because it keeps teeth stable in their new positions. If you want your teeth to remain in their ideal position, it is best to wear a retainer as directed by an Invisalign Provider. In many cases your last aligner will be your temporary retainer, until your retention option is determined. Your Invisalign Provider can advise you on longer term retention options.
A number of Invisalign patients have undergone a previous treatment involving braces at some point in their past, often during their youth. Invisalign can usually correct the shifting that occurs after braces commonly referred to as relapse.
A significant number of patients are being treated with a combination of braces and Invisalign. Consult an Invisalign Provider to determine the best treatment for you.
No. Unlike traditional wires and brackets, you can eat whatever you like while in treatment because you remove your aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict consuming any of your favorite foods and snacks. Also, it is important that you brush and floss your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.
Aligners should be worn all the time during treatment, except when eating, brushing or flossing teeth.
The vast majority of patients report no effect on speech. However, as with traditional orthodontic appliances, there is an initial adjustment period associated with having something new in the mouth.
Smoking is discouraged while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become stained or discoloured.
Chewing gum while wearing aligners is not advised as gum can stick to aligners. It is recommended that aligners be removed for all meals and snacks.
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water and using the Invisalign Cleaning Crystals or special cleaning tablets. It’s important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.
Veneers can be used in conjunction with Invisalign to improve the shape or colour of your teeth. Should you have a chipped or irregular tooth, veneers can be used to finalise your treatment and smile after your teeth have been straightened with Invisalign.
While veneers offer many advantages in combination with Invisalign, veneers as a standalone option to address a cosmetic issue can have distinct disadvantages that should be considered very carefully before agreeing to treatment.
With veneers, the entire front surface of the tooth enamel is permanently removed and replaced with a thin piece of specially-shaped porcelain or plastic glued over the front of the teeth. This is an irreversible procedure as natural tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneer. When using veneers as a dental straightening solution only, more tooth enamel than necessary may need to be removed. If used in combination with Invisalign, the amount of enamel that needs to be removed may be minimised.
Veneers are not a permanent solution. They can chip or break, requiring you to replace them on an individual basis, which can be very expensive. They also have a life expectancy of about 5 to 10 years, depending on the quality of the veneers purchased. Since your tooth enamel has been removed, most patients have no choice but to replace their veneers, incurring the same high costs every time they have to get a new set.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, as veneers are a purely cosmetic procedure, they don't correct the position of your teeth or correct bite problems. Instead of straightening teeth as Invisalign does, a veneer simply covers up the imperfections. Invisalign offers you healthier smile.
Invisalign has several treatment options available for teenagers, depending on the stage of teeth development.
Some teenagers will be suitable for the same Invisalign treatment as adult patients. Younger teenagers, or those who haven't got all of their adult teeth erupted can be treated with Invisalign Teen - a treatment designed specifically for teenagers. Your dental provider will determine which treatment best suits your individual needs and the condition of your teeth.
Invisalign Teen has been developed with teenagers, parents and leading orthodontists who understand the active lifestyles and unique treatment needs of teenage patients.
The Invisalign Teen aligners are made with the same Invisalign technology used for Invisalign aligners, moving teeth gradually without the need for metal or wires.
Because teens (and their mouths) are constantly on the move, we've added a few special features:
Blue compliance-indicators fade from blue to clear to help your dental provider, you, and your teenager to gauge wear time.
Special features are now designed for canines, second premolars and second and third molar teeth.
Six free individual replacement aligners are included in case any get lost or misplaced.
To find out more about Invisalign for teenagers, please talk to your dental provider who'll be able to suggest the best treatment option for you.