What Exactly Is Invisalign, and How Does It Work?

What Exactly Is Invisalign, and How Does It Work?

Invisalign, billed as “the clear alternative to braces,” has been revolutionizing the process of straightening teeth since the mid-1990s. It is a wonderful option for teens as well as adults, but many people are unsure exactly how it works. Here is what you should know about Invisalign.


Invisalign vs Braces


Long considered the treatment of choice for orthodontic issues including crooked teeth, underbites, overbites, and crowded teeth, braces are still popular today. While they work well, braces do have some drawbacks.

Metal brackets and wires have sharp edges that can poke, scratch, or cut the tongue, cheeks, and gums. They can also cause demineralization of teeth, leading to white spots and a higher risk for future tooth decay. We place and adjust braces, and they will remain in your mouth throughout your treatment. This means that you must learn a whole new oral hygiene routine and cannot eat certain foods.

Invisalign’s clear, smooth, medical grade aligners are gentle on teeth. They have less rough areas to cause irritation, and there are no wires to break or pop. You can remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth, and to eat your favorite foods. We need to see you less often to monitor your progress.

At one time, Invisalign was significantly more costly than braces, but this is no longer always the case. When comparing prices, be sure to add the cost of upgrades, as well as adjustments and emergency appointments, to the base price of braces. Invisalign’s transparent pricing includes all aligners and all office visits. In addition, many dental insurance companies now cover Invisalign. Our skilled office staff will help you understand your total out of pocket costs for both solutions.


Treatment Planning


The first step in Invisalign treatment is to create a 3-D digital model of your existing smile. We can morph the model to show you what to expect from each phase of treatment, including the results. We then feed the model into specialized software to create your personalized series of aligners.


Starting Treatment


When your aligners are ready, we will place small pieces of clear glue called “attachments” on your teeth. It is normal to feel a bit of tooth sensitivity and mild discomfort for a few days. However, most people report that this is minor compared to the initial pain of having braces placed.


Living with Invisalign


Living with Invisalign is simple, since you can remove your aligners at will. You can eat whatever you like and perform oral hygiene as usual, as long as you clean and replace your aligners afterward. Some people report that it can be difficult to remember to put their aligners back in, so consider setting a phone reminder the first few times.


Changing Aligners


You will change aligners every 7-14 days (depending on your individual needs) at home instead of at the office. Changing them on time is important, as each new set of aligners is another step towards your new smile. You should feel little to no discomfort with each new set, as they are designed to be gentle. If you do have any issues, be sure to let us know.


Treatment Completion


You will be able to assess your smile throughout treatment, so you will not have a “big reveal” like braces provide. Instead, you will be ready to move forward with the confidence that a winning smile provides. You will need to wear a retainer to make sure your teeth don’t shift. Be sure to wear it as instructed to avoid undoing your stunning new results.


Ready to Get Started?


If you are seeking a passionate, caring, highly experienced orthodontist in Westchester County, contact Fine Orthodontics today at 914-666-8997 (Mount Kisco) or 914-232-2997 (Katonah).