Care for Your
Orthodontic Appliances •
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth without braces.
Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten
teeth, without metal or wires.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete
treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from
which a series of custom-made, clear "aligners" are produced. Each "aligner"
moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then is replaced by
the next in the series until the final position is achieved.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
- Invisalign is clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone
- Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you can eat and drink what you
want during treatment. You can also brush and floss normally to maintain
good oral hygiene.
- Invisalign is comfortable. There are no metal brackets or wires as with
braces to cause mouth irritation, and no metal or wires means you spend less
time in the doctor's chair getting adjustments.
- Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you
start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment
What are aligners made of?
Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually
invisible when worn.
What do aligners look like?
Aligners are clear and look similar to tooth-whitening trays, but are
custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have
referred to them as "contact lenses for teeth."
Before and After
(click photo to view more)
Is this a new way to straighten teeth?
For years, orthodontists and dentists have used removable appliances for
limited treatment. Today, with the application of computer technology and custom
manufacturing, Invisalign treats a broader range of cases with greater
How old is the company?
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded
in 1997. Since then, Align has manufactured over 10 million aligners and 250,000
patients have received treatment.
How old is this technology?
In 1945, Dr. H.D. Kesling envisioned that one day modern technology would
enable the use of a series of tooth positioners to produce the kinds of
movements required for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Technology has made
this vision a reality. Using advanced computer technology, Align crafted
Invisalign®, a series of customized clear appliances called "aligners." Each
aligner is worn sequentially by the patient to produce extensive tooth movements
in both upper and lower arches.
How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?
Worldwide, almost 250,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign. The
number grows daily.
Do doctors need special training in order to use Invisalign?
While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy,
specific training is needed. All orthodontists and dentists interested in
treating patients with Invisalign must attend training before cases will be
accepted from their office. Close to 30,000 orthodontists and dentists worldwide
are certified to use Invisalign.
How does Invisalign effectively move teeth?
Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth
through appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal
difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also controls the
timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed
to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan
for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
Has the FDA cleared Invisalign?
Yes, the FDA has reviewed our application and in August 1998 determined that
Invisalign is exempt from 510(k) pre-market notification.
What is Invisalign Express?
Invisalign Express is an orthodontic treatment designed to correct mild
orthodontic problems such as minor crowding and spacing. Since it's designed for
mild problems only, treatment time is generally less than six months. Ask your
Invisalign certified doctor for more information on this new treatment.
Want to learn more?
Go back to Patient Education