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What to Expect During Invisalign Procedure: A Complete Guide to The Ultimate Invisalign Experience

dentist and patient in dentist office. dentist holding prosthesis in background.

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

What to Expect During Invisalign Procedure: A Complete Guide to The Ultimate Invisalign Experience

Are you searching for an advanced way to align teeth without the use of metal braces? Invisalign could be the answer. It is a state-of-the-art orthodontic system that utilises customised, transparent aligners to move and position your teeth comfortably. Thanks to today’s innovative technology, you can have the flawless smile of your dreams discreetly and comfortably!

As with any major orthodontic procedure, it’s essential to understand what to expect during the Invisalign process. This guide will provide an overview of how the treatment works, what happens during each appointment, and how long it takes for results to be achieved.

With this information, you can feel confident about pursuing Invisalign to achieve your desired smile.

Summary of The Content

  • Finding the right dentist is crucial for Invisalign treatment.

  • The initial consultation includes taking dental impressions and X-rays

  • Aligners are changed every 1-2 weeks during Invisalign treatment.

  • Careful oral hygiene is necessary to avoid damaging the aligners.

  • Discomfort can be managed with pain relievers and eating soft foods.

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential during Invisalign treatment.

  • Diet and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding hard or sticky foods, are necessary during the treatment.

  • Regular check-ups with a dentist are important to monitor progress.

  • After completing Invisalign treatment, wearing retainers is necessary to maintain the new position of the teeth.

  • Routine dental check-ups and good oral hygiene habits are important for maintaining oral health after treatment.

What is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten misaligned teeth and address bite problems without needing traditional metal braces.

Unlike traditional braces, which require frequent appointments and are challenging to clean and maintain, Invisalign aligners are custom-made and tailor-fit to your teeth, making them comfortable and easy to use. They can be removed anytime for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing, making oral hygiene easier. Plus, they’re barely visible when you wear them!

Invisalign treatment can address a wide range of alignment issues, including:

  1. Crowded Teeth:
    When the jaw has insufficient space for all the teeth, they may become crowded or misaligned.

  2. Crooked teeth:
    Teeth that grow at an angle can lead to gaps between teeth and cause problems with chewing.

  3. Crossbite:
    When the upper and lower jaws do not align well, this can cause the teeth to bite down on one side of the mouth, causing uneven wear.

  4. Underbite:
    When the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth, this can cause speech difficulties and jaw pain.

  5. Overbite:
    When the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth excessively, this can cause speech difficulties and make it difficult to chew properly.

  6. Open bite:
    A gap between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed can cause speech difficulties and make it difficult to bite and chew properly.

Invisalign works by gradually shifting your teeth into their desired position using 3D computer imaging technology. After taking impressions of your teeth or images of your smile with a digital scanner, your dentist will create a customised treatment plan for you. The complete treatment plan will include the number of aligners needed for each stage of treatment as well as the estimated amount of time before you reach your desired goals.

Wear each set of aligners for two weeks before replacing them with the next set in the series. As you progress through each stage of treatment, your teeth will begin to move closer to their ideal position until you achieve your straightened teeth.

The Benefits of Invisalign

  • Customised:
    Each set of Invisalign trays is tailored specifically to fit your teeth and bite pattern.

  • Convenience:
    Easy removal means no restrictions when it comes to eating and brushing/flossing

  • Comfort:
    Smooth plastic material offers a comfortable experience

  • Invisible:
    Virtually invisible, making them suited for patients who don’t want others to know they’re undergoing orthodontic treatment

  • Shorter Treatment Time:
    Because Invisalign applies continuous and mild pressure to move teeth, the teeth reach their ideal positions faster. This makes Invisalign take less time overall.

What Does the Invisalign Process Look Like?

The Invisalign process usually involves three main steps:

Throughout your Invisalign treatment process, your dental practitioner will schedule follow-up visits to provide support and guidance as necessary.

How to Prepare for Your Invisalign Treatment

If you’ve decided to straighten your teeth with Invisalign, you’re on your way to achieving a beautiful, straighter smile. But before you get started with your treatment, there are a few things you need to do to prepare.

Finding the Right Dentist for Invisalign Treatment

Finding the right dentist is key to a successful Invisalign treatment. Choosing someone with experience with Invisalign and a track record of success is essential. When looking for a dentist, consider the following:

  • Look for a dentist who is certified in Invisalign. This means they have completed additional training needed to provide quality Invisalign care.

  • Read reviews and testimonials from other patients who have had Invisalign treatment with the dentist you are considering.

  • Schedule a consultation with the dentist to ask questions and get a feel for their practice.

What to Expect During Your Initial Consultation

Your initial consultation allows your dentist to evaluate your teeth’s condition and determine if Invisalign is the right treatment option. During this visit, you can expect the following:

  • Your dentist will examine your teeth and take X-rays and dental impressions to create digital 3D models of your mouth.

  • Your dentist will ask for your treatment goals, and you may ask any questions you have about the Invisalign process.

  • Your dentist will explain the treatment plan, including how long it will take and what you can expect at each stage.

Steps to Take Before Your Invisalign Treatment Begins

Before your Invisalign treatment can begin, here are some steps you need to take:

  • Getting any necessary dental work done, such as fillings or crowns.
  • Having a thorough tooth cleaning
  • Taking dental impressions and X-rays to create your personalised treatment plan.
  • Discuss any lifestyle changes you need to make during your treatment.

What Happens During Your First Invisalign Appointment

Your first Invisalign appointment is an exciting milestone in your journey towards getting your dream smile. During this appointment, you will receive your custom-made aligners and learn how to wear and care for them properly.

Receiving Your Aligners

During your first Invisalign appointment, your dentist will give you your plastic aligners and provide instructions on how to wear them. This may include:

  • Demonstrating how to insert and remove your aligners
  • Going over how long you need to wear your aligners each day
  • Explaining how often you need to switch to a new set of aligners
  • Providing you with a case to store your aligners in when not in use
  • Discussing proper oral hygiene and cleaning methods for your aligners

Your dentist will give you a detailed instruction manual outlining this information. Be sure to review it carefully and ask any questions you may have.

Making Necessary Adjustments

Sometimes, your dentist may need to adjust your aligners so that they fit appropriately. This can include:

  • Trimming the edges of your aligners to prevent them from irritating your gum tissues.
  • Placing attachments on your teeth to help the aligners grip better
  • Making minor adjustments to the aligners’ shape to encourage the desired tooth movements

Any adjustments made during your first appointment are normal and nothing to be concerned about. Your dentist will explain what they are doing and why they are doing it so that you are comfortable and informed throughout the process.

What to Expect During the Invisalign Treatment Process

During your Invisalign treatment, you must switch to a new set of aligner trays approximately every two weeks. This allows your teeth to move gradually into the desired position. The length of your treatment will depend on the complexity of your orthodontic issues, but most treatments last between 12 and 18 months.

However, some patients may see results in as little as six months. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions closely and wear your aligners daily for the recommended time to achieve optimal results.

Common Issues During the Treatment Process

While Invisalign is designed to be a comfortable and convenient treatment option, some common issues can arise during the treatment process. These may include:

  • Difficulty speaking clearly at first due to the aligners being new and unfamiliar in your mouth.

  • Difficulty eating certain foods, especially hard or sticky foods.

  • Experiencing discomfort or soreness when switching to a new set of aligners is normal and typically subsides after a few days.

  • Occasionally losing or damaging an aligner can set your treatment progress back if not addressed promptly.

If you experience any of these issues during treatment, contact your dentist immediately for guidance.

Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners

When undergoing Invisalign treatment, there are special precautions that you should keep in mind to meet your teeth straightening goals. Here are some of them:

  • Wear the Invisible Braces for the Recommended Amount of Time Each Day
    Patients must wear their aligners for 20-22 hours per day, only removing them to eat and brush their teeth. Failure to do so can prolong your treatment time and affect your results.

  • Remove Your Aligners When Eating or Drinking Anything Other Than Water
    To prevent damage or staining to your aligners, removing them when eating or drinking anything other than water is essential. This includes hot beverages, sugary drinks, and acidic foods.

  • Avoid Chewing Gum or Smoking While Wearing Your Aligners
    Chewing gum or smoking while wearing your aligners can cause damage to the aligners and may affect your treatment progress.

Managing Discomfort During Invisalign Treatment

Like other orthodontic treatments, there may be discomfort or soreness during the replacement period during the Invisalign treatment. Here are some tips on managing discomfort if you experience them:

  • Use Orthodontic Wax
    Orthodontic wax is a great way to relieve discomfort caused by your aligners’ rough or sharp edges. Apply a small piece of wax over the area causing pain to cushion your mouth from the edges of your aligners.

  • Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
    If you experience discomfort or soreness during the replacement period, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Always follow the recommended dosage on the label and talk to your dentist if you have any questions.

  • Use Cold Compresses
    A cold compress, applied outside your cheeks for 10-15 minutes, can help relieve any swelling or soreness in your mouth.

  • Eat Soft Foods
    Eating soft foods during the replacement period can help reduce discomfort caused by chewing. Try eating soups, smoothies, or mashed potatoes to give your mouth a break from the pressure of chewing hard or crunchy foods.

  • Stay Hydrated
    Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily keeps your mouth hydrated and reduces discomfort caused by dry mouth or irritation.

  • Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions
    Your dentist will provide instructions on how to properly care for your aligners and manage discomfort during your Invisalign treatment.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Invisalign

Maintaining good oral hygiene during Invisalign treatment is crucial for achieving the desired results. As a dentist, here are some tips on maintaining oral hygiene with Invisalign:

  • Brush and Floss Regularly
  • Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
  • Clean Your Aligners Regularly
  • Rinse Your Mouth with Water After Eating or Drinking
  • Avoid Sugary or Acidic Drinks

Attending Regular Check-Ups with Your Dentist

Attending regular check-ups with your dentist during Invisalign treatment is crucial. Doing so gives you that confidence and peace of mind knowing that your treatment is progressing as planned and that you can achieve your smile makeover goals soon.

Here are some reasons why regular check-ups are essential:

  • Evaluation of Treatment Progress
    Regular check-ups allow your dentist to evaluate your treatment progress and make any necessary adjustments. Your dentist will be able to monitor your tooth movements and check if the aligners are fitting properly.

  • Monitoring of Oral Health
    Regular check-ups allow your dentist to monitor your oral health. They can detect signs of tooth decay or gum disease and provide treatment if necessary.

  • Address Any Issues or Concerns
    Regular appointments with your dentist allow you to address any issues or concerns about your treatment. Your dentist can answer your questions and guide you on how to care for your aligners properly.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes During Invisalign Treatment

During Invisalign treatment, making certain diet and lifestyle changes can significantly affect the outcome. To achieve your smile goals, here are some diet and lifestyle changes you should consider:

  • Avoid Hard or Sticky Foods
    Hard or sticky foods can damage your aligners and affect your treatment progress. Avoid foods such as hard candy, popcorn, and sticky caramel. Instead, opt for softer foods that are easier to chew, such as bananas or steamed vegetables.

  • Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
    Sugary foods and drinks increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Limit your sugary foods and beverages, such as soda or candy. Instead, choose water or unsweetened tea.

  • Quit Smoking or Using Tobacco Products
    Smoking or using tobacco products can cause damage to your teeth and gums, as well as stain your aligners.

  • Stay Hydrated
    Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily can help keep your mouth hydrated and reduce discomfort caused by dry mouth or irritation.

  • Remove aligners before engaging in contact sports.
    Removing your aligners is essential if you participate in contact sports like hockey, football, soccer, or lacrosse. If a blow to the face occurs with aligners in place, it could cause significant damage to both your mouth and teeth. Wearing a custom-fit mouthguard during these activities is important to protect your teeth and gums.

Invisalign Aftercare

In order to maintain healthy, straighter teeth after the Invisalign treatment, proper care must be continued.

Below are the things you need to do after the Invisalign treatment:

  • Wear Your Retainers
    Your dentist will provide you with retainers to wear after completing your Invisalign treatment. Wear your retainers as instructed to prevent your teeth from returning to their original position.

  • Clean Your Retainers
    Cleaning your retainers regularly is vital to prevent bacteria buildup and keep them looking clear. Use a gentle soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your retainers, and avoid using toothpaste or abrasive chemicals that can scratch or damage them.

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene
    Good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining your new smile and preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.

  • Attend Regular Dental Check-Ups
    Regular dental check-ups are important to maintain good oral health and make certain that your teeth stay in their new position.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign treatment is unquestionably a great way to get that beautiful, straight smile without traditional metal braces. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this blog post, you can prepare for your Invisalign treatment, manage discomfort during the treatment process, maintain good oral hygiene, and keep your teeth in their new position after completing the treatment.

Remember to find the right dentist for Invisalign treatment, attend regular check-ups, wear retainers, and avoid hard or sticky foods. With patience and diligence, you can achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile with Invisalign.

At Karrinyup Dental Centre, we offer comprehensive orthodontic services, including Invisalign treatment, to help you get the attractive smile you’ve always wanted. Our experienced and friendly team of dental professionals is dedicated to providing quality care with your comfort in mind throughout the treatment process.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation if you’re considering Invisalign treatment or other orthodontic services. Let’s get started with your smile journey!

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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