Invisalign FAQ

Invisalign is an innovative approach to orthodontic treatment that uses advanced 3D computer imaging technology to design movements of the teeth from the initial position to the final desired position with straight teeth, beautiful smile and a healthy bite. Your teeth can be scanned with our iTero digital scanner to create virtual models and then, based on our analysis and precisely engineered plan dictated to ALIGN Technologies (The company that owns the patented technology) a series of clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth — and your teeth only — to move them gradually based on the orthodontic science and biological principles of tooth movement .

Each aligner is meant to be worn 20-22 hours a day for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series until the final position of your teeth is achieved. Your Invisalign treatment time will be determined by your orthodontist based on your specific problems and needs. The treatment time can vary based on your cooperation with treatment (wearing your aligners as prescribed) and the rate at which your teeth move that varies among different individuals.
  • Invisalign is a great option if you like to have orthodontic treatment but don’t like the idea of wearing braces
  • You are in charge since the aligners are to be worn 20-22 hours to be able to move your teeth to proper position and alignment
  • There are no food and drink restrictions since you can take out your aligners to eat or drink whenever you want
  • Maintaining your oral hygiene is easy since you will remove your Invisalign aligners to brush and floss as usual, and keep your teeth and gums healthy
  • The aligners are invisible and more comfortable than braces, easy to get used to and don’t affect your speech
  • Occasionally if there is a big event or a special night out, you can go without your aligners for few hours more than usual Invisalign appointments are shorter and easier than braces. Although it is very important to have regular checks with your orthodontist to make sure the aligners fit properly and there are no problems, most of your visits are a quick progress check once every four to six weeks.
The advantages of Invisalign aligners include better esthetics, comfort and convenience since they are less visible, removable and don’t involve wires or actual braces.

The disadvantages include extra cost (since it can cost up to $2000 more than braces due to the lab fee and cost of technology) and longer treatment time.

The process is slower and less predictable due to the limitations of clear plastic in moving teeth and dependence on aligners being worn by the patient. Even though Invisalign is advertised as completely clear and removable, there are small attachments (tooth- colored buttons) that need to be placed on your teeth and will be removed by the orthodontist when no longer needed. Invisalign clear aligners can’t move the teeth efficiently unless there are attachments placed on the teeth. These attachments or buttons need to be designed and engineered with precision to be able to apply force and generate proper tooth movement. Without these buttons and attachments, the desired tooth movements won’t happen and the aligners won’t work. When designing your treatment, we make sure to have the attachments designed for the specific movement of each tooth, using the smallest possible size and removing it after that movement is done, this makes the process easier for you without compromising the speed and efficiency of your treatment.

Even with proper planning and full cooperation with wearing your aligners, sometimes there could be details and finishing touches that Invisalign fails to correct or it will take too long to do. If you desire to use supplemental braces, we are happy to provide that at no additional fee to ensure we deliver perfect results for you. These braces are usually placed in limited and hidden areas for a period of few weeks to establish the ideal and perfect outcome we want to deliver for you. Most of the time, the results are so nice that the patients don’t even want to have the additional process done and are quite happy and excited to enjoy their beautiful new smile.

How we make this easier for you: We are committed to provide our patients with the best care and latest technology: No messy molds required. Our iTero digital scanner is the most advanced type of imaging that eliminates the need for impressions and captures 3D virtual models of your teeth and bite in a few minutes where you can see the details of corrections needed and even the simulated outcome for your treatment even before you start.

The same technology is available to you even if you are not sure about getting Invisalign or if you want to get braces and would like to see how your teeth will look after orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign does not work for everyone and every case. Some cases are too complicated to be corrected with clear aligners. Orthodontists are the only dental specialists who are experts and qualified to make the determination if Invisalign will work for your case.

The treatment options you are offered are based on the experience and training of your orthodontist after performing a complete exam and diagnosis. Your desired goals and outcome are also an important factor in planning your treatment. Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign or any other technique is a significant investment involving your health, time and financial resources. You need to have the specialists in the field help you navigate this path. When you choose an orthodontist, you know that you are getting the best care and proper treatment.

General dentists (your regular dentist that you see for cleanings, fillings) and even cosmetic dentists (that offer esthetic dentistry, veneers etc) can offer Invisalign and sometimes offer cheaper prices but only an orthodontist is qualified to make sure you are getting the proper treatment to achieve the best results. Dentists other than orthodontists most of the time only offer Invisalign and therefore they won’t have other options for you. When you are treated by an orthodontist, if progress is not happening as planned (whether due to your limitations in wearing aligners or the clear plastic aligners not moving your teeth fast enough), you have good options to help move your teeth faster or switch to braces if you would like. General dentists can’t offer those options for you and at that point you need to see an orthodontist.

Invisalign treatment can seem very simple and straight-forward, however just like any other orthodontic treatment, there are a lot of important factors to consider and calculate when designing the details of orthodontic treatment. We strongly advise against using the DIY Aligners and “Smile Direct Club” since any movement of the teeth needs to be properly calculated and monitored otherwise it can result in damage to the teeth and gums.

American Association of Orthodontists has issued warnings in regards to use of these systems due to lack of monitoring and supervision by proper specialist.