How Does Invisalign Work? A Comprehensive Guide

Image of planning clear braces to straighten crooked teeth using Invisalign orthodontic care. Smile Makeover


Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that has been around since the late 1990s. It is a revolutionary system that uses clear, custom-made aligners to gradually straighten your teeth. It has become a very popular alternative to traditional braces in cosmetic dentistry. It regularly forms part of an overall smile makeover plan, as the results are highly predictable.

It is an effective, convenient, and virtually invisible orthodontic treatment.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what Invisalign is, how it works, its limitations and the benefits of using Invisalign braces to straighten your teeth.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a teeth straightening system that uses clear, plastic orthodontic aligners that is custom-made for each patient. The aligners are designed to fit snugly over your teeth and gently move them into the desired position. Invisalign is a great option for people who want to straighten their teeth without the discomfort and embarrassment of traditional braces.

Benefits of Invisalign

There are many benefits to using Invisalign to straighten your teeth. One of the main benefits is that the aligners are virtually invisible, so no one will even know you are wearing them. Invisalign is also comfortable to wear, and the aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth. It is also a faster way to straighten teeth compared to traditional braces. The vast majority of cases are completed in under 10 months, and some in a matter of weeks.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign works by using a series of clear, custom-made aligners to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks before being replaced with a new set. The aligners are designed to fit snugly over your teeth, and each set of aligners will move your teeth a little bit closer to the desired position.

5 Steps Involved in the Invisalign Process

Step 1: Consultation

The first step in the Invisalign process is a consultation with a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist who is specially trained in using Invisalign. During the initial consultation, the dentist will discuss your needs & expectations and examine your teeth to determine if Invisalign treatment is a good option for you.

Step 2: Creating the Treatment Plan

If Invisalign is determined to be a good fit for you, the dentist will take digital scans of your teeth to help create your customised treatment plan. This treatment plan includes the desired final position of your teeth and the number of aligners needed to achieve that final result.

The use of a digital scanner leads to better fitting and more comfortable aligners.

You will also see an immediate visual simulation of how your teeth will look after treatment.

Step 3: Customised Aligners

Once the treatment plan is created, your scans and the desired end result will be sent to a specialist laboratory to create your unique set of clear aligners

Step 4: Wearing the Aligners

You will wear each set of aligners for about two weeks before moving on to the next set. The aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day, and they can be removed for eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth.

Step 5: Monitoring Progress

During the treatment process, the dentist will monitor your progress to ensure that your teeth are moving into the desired position. You will also have occasional checkups with the dentist to ensure that the treatment is progressing as planned.

Advantages of Invisalign

There are many advantages to using Invisalign to straighten crooked teeth. The aligners are virtually invisible, so no one will know that you are wearing them. They are also comfortable to wear, and the aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth.

Invisalign is also faster than traditional braces, with treatment typically lasting between 12 and 18 months for severe cases, and the majority are completed in 10 months or less.

When is Invisalign unsuitable?

While Invisalign can be an effective treatment for many people, there are certain situations where it may not work as well or may not be the best option. Here are some reasons why Invisalign may not work for you:

  1. Severely Misaligned teeth: Invisalign clear braces are designed to correct mild to moderate cases of misalignment, overcrowding, and gaps between teeth. If you have severe misalignment or bite issues, traditional braces may be a better option.

  2. Gum Disease: If you have gum disease, tooth decay or other oral health issues, your dentist may need to address these before starting Invisalign treatment. 

  3. Compliance Issues: Invisalign requires a lot of discipline and commitment. You must wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day, and you need to switch to a new set of aligners every few weeks. If you are not able to commit to this level of treatment, Invisalign may not be the best option for you.

  4. Age: Invisalign is most effective for adults and older teenagers who have all their permanent teeth. It may not be the best option for younger children or teenagers who are still growing and developing.

  5. Skeletal Issues: Invisalign can correct dental issues, but it cannot correct skeletal issues like an underbite or overbite. If you have these types of issues, traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments may be a better option.

  6. Cost: Invisalign can be more expensive than traditional braces, and it may not be covered by insurance. If cost is a concern, traditional braces may be a more affordable option.

Invisalign Reviews

Overall, people have expressed a positive experience with Invisalign. It has helped thousands of people achieve a straighter smile without the use of traditional metal braces.

Patients appreciate that the clear, almost invisible aligners are removable for eating, brushing, and flossing. Additionally, the treatment can be faster than traditional braces, and some people report less discomfort during treatment.

However, as discussed above, Invisalign may not work for everyone, and there may be some challenges associated with the treatment.

Compliance is key to the success of Invisalign treatment, as the aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours a day, which can be challenging for some people. 

Some people may also experience some discomfort or soreness during treatment as their teeth adjust to the pressure of the aligners.


In conclusion, Invisalign is a popular and effective orthodontic treatment that can help you achieve the straight, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are clear, removable, and comfortable, making them a convenient choice for people of all ages.

While the treatment process requires some effort and dedication, the results are worth it. By following your orthodontist’s instructions and wearing your aligners consistently, you can achieve the smile you’ve always wanted in a matter of months.

If you’re interested in Invisalign or any other orthodontic care, it’s important to consult with a qualified dental professional who can guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible results.

At the end of the day, having a beautiful, healthy smile can do wonders for your self-confidence and overall well-being. So why wait? Contact your local cosmetic dentist today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards achieving the smile of your dreams.

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