Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
Last Updated on October 3, 2022
How To Get The Invisalign: From Getting The Appointment To The Process
These days, Invisalign is an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth. It is unsurprising that more people prefer it to traditional braces, thanks to its easy, non-invasive, and comfortable process.
If you are about to embark on your own Invisalign journey, read our guide to understand the process of how to get Invisalign and the benefits you can look forward to.
How To Get Invisalign: What Is The Process
1. Initial Consultation And Appointment
The first appointment will determine if Invisalign is the best treatment option for your needs. Invisalign is perfect for spacing out overcrowded teeth, closing gaps between teeth, over and underbites, and open bites, but keep in mind that it does not work for all types of orthodontic problems. Your orthodontist also has to consider if you are willing or able to keep the aligners on for close to 24 hours each day.
In determining if Invisalign is the right option for you, your orthodontist will examine your teeth and take x-rays. Once it is determined that you are a good candidate for Invisalign, your orthodontist will then plan out your treatment course and walk you through the process.
When choosing the right Invisalign orthodontist, take note that many dentists these days provide Invisalign as a treatment option, but it does not mean that they have the specialized skills and knowledge that orthodontists have. You are best off looking for a qualified orthodontist who specializes in Invisalign so you can be assured of the best results.
2. Molding Process
Your orthodontist will take a digital mold from your teeth and use it along with your x-rays and photographs to plan out your Invisalign tray treatments. This process may happen during the first consultation appointment or may require a separate appointment, depending on your orthodontist and yourself.
Once the molding process is complete, and your orthodontist has planned out your treatment, the initial plans will be sent to the Invisalign lab, and your first aligner tray will begin being processed. It may take up to two weeks for your first tray to come in, and the following aligner trays will come every two weeks until your teeth are aligned where you want them to be.
Your dentist will keep taking digital scans of your teeth throughout the process, ensuring that the next alignment tray will be exact.
3. Fitting The First Tray
Your trays will arrive at your orthodontist’s office around two weeks after being sent to the lab. Your orthodontist will “install” anchors to your teeth for the tray to clip onto. These clips are small, clear, and temporary. Then, your orthodontist will check the fit of your alignment trays and go over the plan for the following trays.
4. Your Follow-Up Appointments
After your first tray has been on for a few weeks, a follow-up visit will allow your orthodontist to check that your tray is fitted properly, make sure things are going as planned and allow them to make adjustments as necessary.
You will have to visit your orthodontist to get your next set of trays and keep track of your progress. With the Invisalign trays, you will not need to see your orthodontist as frequently as you would with traditional braces that require routine tightening and checks from the dentist.
You will continue to get new aligners until your teeth have moved right where you want them. All in all, this process will take close to a year to accomplish.
5. Straighter Teeth
Over time, with the use of your custom aligner trays, your teeth will slowly move into position. This will close any gaps, straighten crooked teeth, and adjust your teeth into the predetermined position laid out in your first consultation with your orthodontist.
After you have completed your Invisalign procedure, you will need to have one last tray for a period of time. Your jaw will need time to reset to the new position of your teeth, the bone remodeling and filling in gaps around the roots of your teeth to set them firmly in place again.
How Invisalign Works?
Invisalign’s clear aligning trays slowly move your teeth into more desired positions. These aligners are snug and gently put pressure on the teeth you want to be moved slowly and as painlessly as possible towards the desired location.
It is normal that you will feel slightly uncomfortable from the pressure as you wear the aligner trays, but overall, you should feel no pain. As your teeth move in the aligner, the discomfort should dissipate until the next aligner is required.
Once your teeth have moved to fit exactly in the aligners, you get a new aligner that is designed to move the targeted teeth again. Each aligner is worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next aligner tray. The new tray is the equivalent of going in and getting your braces tightened to put more pressure on your teeth in the right direction.
Who Can Get Invisalign?
Anyone can get Invisalign, but some will benefit more than others from Invisalign’s alignment treatments.
Children 7 And Above
It is recommended that children have an orthodontic consultation between the ages of 7 and 11, in addition to regular dental appointments. A common type of treatment in children at this age is known as the Phase 1 treatment, which helps to prepare a child’s teeth and jaws for orthodontic treatment in their teenage years.
Invisalign First aligners have been designed specifically to treat younger patients and are known to successfully reduce the number of orthodontic treatments children could require in the following years.
With Invisalign trays, your teen no longer has to worry about being picked on for how they look or worry about getting anything caught in their braces when they eat. Invisalign trays are perfect for teens and their active lifestyles.
The aligner trays are removable during sports activities as needed, leaving no impact on your teens’ activities or appearance other than straightening their smiles!
Invisalign is perfect for the active adult lifestyle. The clear trays maintain professional appearances for face-to-face working conditions such as real estate agents, retail, and air travel, and the ease of care does not add any further hassle to an already busy schedule.
Benefits Of Invisalign
Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign trays are clear, making them literally invisible. No one will notice the trays unless they are your dentist or orthodontist and actively looking inside your mouth. You will be able to straighten your teeth while still being active and doing your usual activities without feeling self-conscious.
Easy to Clean
Metal braces have a tendency to snag food in between the tooth and wires and are difficult to clean. In contrast, caring for your Invisalign trays is simple, fast, and no more a hassle than brushing your own teeth! Simply rinse in warm water, give a little scrub with your toothbrush on the inside to remove any food particles, rinse, and you are done!
Shorter Treatment Times
Traditional braces can take more than 16 months to accomplish your teeth straightening goals. You will also have to endure numerous dental appointments and visits to reach a straighter smile. Invisalign trays accomplish the same goal in less time (often about a year) and a lot fewer orthodontic visits.
Lower Risk Of Tooth Loss
One problem of moving teeth is root resorption which is the breakdown of the root of a tooth. This is directly caused by the force of moving teeth. Once the root of the tooth is destroyed, the rest of the tooth soon follows. Invisalign trays eliminate this risk with how gradually the force is applied to move teeth.
The Invisalign process is non-invasive and easy. Your orthodontist uses 3D scans of your teeth to plan out your alignment trays and sends the order to Invisalign labs for creation. No tightening wires, fixing anchors, or having dental tools shoved in your mouth repeatedly, which many people deem uncomfortable and intrusive. With Invisalign, your orthodontic visits will be much more comfortable and less invasive.
Metal braces have never been known for their comfort. In fact, they are known for the exact opposite- how uncomfortable they are. Invisalign trays are so comfortable that you will barely notice them for the most part. The only exception is slight discomfort when you start a new tray for the next step in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is a Retainer Required After Treatment?
Many orthodontists recommend patients use retainers after treatments with braces and Invisalign trays to prevent teeth from slipping back into their previous positions and to allow the gum and jaw time to reform around the new positions of the teeth.
2. Does Invisalign Hurt?
It will not cause significant pain but do expect some discomfort, especially at the start of each new aligner. All you will feel is a little pressure, which goes away as your teeth settle into the new aligner. This pressure is actually a positive sign since it means that your teeth are actually slowly moving into the positions that your orthodontist has planned.
3. How to Care for Your Alignment Trays
Each aligner is to be worn almost all day and night, although some people prefer to remove them while eating or drinking anything other than cold or room temperature water. People also remove them when brushing their teeth. Take note that it is best to avoid hot drinks, such as teas and coffee, as they could warp the trays and deem them ineffective.
You can gently clean your trays whenever you take them out to eat or brush your teeth. This will aid in preventing any buildup from forming on the inside and remove debris from the outside of the trays. Simply use lukewarm water and your regular toothbrush to gently clean the inside of the aligner trays.
Invisalign is an effective, convenient, and non-invasive way to straighten your teeth. Now that you understand more about the entire process and what you can expect, it should not seem as intimidating.
If you have any questions, always ask your orthodontist, who can give you advice about your specific issues.