How Does Invisalign Work?

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

How Does Invisalign Work?

Most people think that having straight teeth is a purely cosmetic issue. And while it’s true that having perfectly aligned teeth can make you look more attractive, there are other reasons to straighten your teeth.

You may not think about it often, but straight teeth are important. They can make it easier to chew and speak, and they can also improve your appearance. If you’re unhappy with how your teeth look, you may want to consider Invisalign.

Invisalign is a popular choice for achieving a straighter smile, ideal for teens and adults who want to achieve straight teeth without the hassle of metal brackets and metal wires.

If you’re considering Invisalign, you’re probably curious about how it works. Keep reading to learn more about this orthodontic treatment and how it can help you achieve straight teeth discreetly.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign treatment is a process of gradually and systematically shifting teeth into their correct position.

To do this, an orthodontist uses advanced 3D computer imaging technology to develop a step-by-step treatment plan specifically tailored to your dental needs. The plan will map out the exact movements of your teeth during treatment to achieve great results.

The treatment plan will be followed to create a series of clear, invisible aligners. You will be given a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks. The aligners should be worn for at least 20 hours daily, removing them only for eating and brushing your teeth. Each new set will continue to move your teeth until they are in their ideal position.

What Does Invisalign Treatment Address?

Invisalign treatment is used to address many different conditions that can impact your oral health. These conditions are considered indications for treatment and can be used to create your individualised treatment plan.

When you visit the orthodontist for an Invisalign treatment consultation, they will assess your smile and see if you are a good candidate with any of the following dental conditions:

  • Crowded teeth:
    This occurs when there is not enough room in your mouth for all of your teeth. This can be caused by various factors, such as large teeth, small jaws, or early loss of baby teeth.

  • Mildly crooked teeth:
    This condition is caused when your teeth are not in alignment. They can point in a number of different directions and may even overlap each other.

  • Crossbite:
    This happens when your upper teeth bite down on the inside of your lower teeth. This can be on both the front and back teeth.

  • Open bite:
    This is another bite issue that happens when some of your upper teeth do not make contact with any of your lower teeth.

  • Overbite:
    This is when your upper teeth overlap too far down over your lower teeth.

  • Underbite:
    The opposite of overbite, this is when your lower jaw protrudes out, causing your lower teeth to sit in front of your upper ones.

  • Gapped teeth:
    Spaces form between some of our adult teeth as they erupt into our mouths if the baby tooth was lost too early due to decay or injury.

  • Misaligned midline:
    This refers to a central vertical line that divides our top and bottom jaws. If it’s off, it means our top and bottom jaws are not meeting evenly in the middle.

These conditions can be addressed with Invisalign treatment. However, whether or not you are suitable will depend on the complexity of your case. If you have any of these issues, talk to your orthodontist about whether Invisalign would be a good treatment option for you.

How Long Does Invisalign Need to be Worn Daily?

The treatment plan for Invisalign is different for each patient, but most people wear their aligner trays for 20-22 hours each day. The entire treatment process usually takes around 9-18 months, and the patient may need to wear retainers afterwards.

It is important to wear Invisalign for the recommended number of hours per day so that treatment is completed quickly. If you forget to wear your aligners for even a short period, it can impact your treatment plan.

Because the aligners are designed to gradually move your teeth into the correct position, if you don’t wear them, your teeth may start to shift back out of place. So if you forget to put your aligners in, brush and floss thoroughly and then pop them right back in as soon as possible.

Remember to insert and wear your trays properly. The aligners should be worn over the teeth, so they are snug against the gums. Treatments may be delayed or extended if the aligners are not positioned correctly.

How Often Should Invisalign Aligners be Changed?

Invisalign treatment plans are customised for each patient, so the answer to how often aligners should be changed depends on a patient’s case.

In general, aligners should be changed every 1-2 weeks to keep them effective. If aligners are not changed regularly, they may not have the desired effect on teeth, which can lengthen the treatment time and impact the final results.

Additionally, old aligners can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to oral health problems.

For these reasons, it is important to stick to the custom treatment plan prescribed by your orthodontist and change your aligners as often as directed. Doing so will help achieve optimal results and a healthy smile.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign is a great option for patients looking to straighten their teeth without the hassle of traditional metal braces. The clear, plastic aligners are worn over the teeth and slowly move them into the desired position.

This versatile treatment can be used to address many different types of dental problems. The treatment plan is customised to each patient’s individual needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Invisalign can help you achieve your perfect smile, visit our website or call Karrinyup Dental Centre to book an appointment. Our dental team would be happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with an initial consultation. Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

It is highly recommended to remove your Invisalign trays before consuming anything other than water. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It’s important to remove your aligners before eating. This will help prevent staining and also prevent food from getting stuck in your aligners.

  • Avoid eating hard or sticky foods while wearing Invisalign. These can damage your aligners or cause them to become uncomfortable.

  • Brush your teeth after eating before putting your aligners back in.

Taking good care of your aligners means you need to clean them every day. This prevents plaque and bacteria build-up, which can cause tooth decay.

To clean your aligners, do the following:

  • Rinse them with lukewarm water before brushing to remove any loose food particles.
  • Brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild soap.
  • Rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
  • Avoid using hot water, as this can damage your aligners.
  • Clean your aligners at least once a day.
  • You can also soak them in a denture cleaner overnight.
  • Avoid using whitening products on your aligners, as these can damage them.

Getting Invisalign isn’t cheap, and many patients are put off by its high price tag. Several factors affect the cost of treatment, which include:

  • Oral health: If a patient has extensive dental work that needs to be done or gum disease that needs to be managed before starting Invisalign, this will increase the cost of treatment.

  • The number of aligners required: The more aligners required, the higher the cost of treatment will be.

  • Length of treatment: The longer the treatment, the higher the cost will be.

  • The complexity of your case: If your treatment requires a more complex, customised approach, this will also increase costs.

Other factors that affect the cost of Invisalign treatment include:

  • Replacement of missing or damaged aligners.

  • Additional treatments that may be required to achieve the desired results.

Despite the high cost, Invisalign treatment offers many advantages over traditional braces. These include greater comfort, fewer food restrictions, and the ability to remove aligners for cleaning and special occasions.

For many patients, these benefits make Invisalign treatment worth the investment.

Invisalign treatment is generally very comfortable. There may be some initial discomfort when you first begin wearing the aligners and every time you shift to the next set. This is because it applies gentle pressure so your teeth can slowly shift into place. However, this discomfort is typically mild and goes away within a few days.

If you experience any pain or discomfort that persists, be sure to contact your orthodontist.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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