What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?


Many people have misaligned teeth. This can have a negative impact on their smile, self-confidence and more. People may avoid straightening their teeth because they don’t want to deal with traditional braces. They’ve probably seen other people with braces experience discomfort, pain as well as mouth sores and other problems. Traditional braces can also affect what a person eats. Nuts, chips, bagels, as well as pretzels, pizza crust, and other foods have to be sacrificed in order to obtain the desired smile with straight teeth. Traditional braces are also visible every time a person opens their mouth Now there is another way.

Invisalign is a method of straightening teeth with a number of virtually invisible aligners that are removable. Each aligner is designed to fit a person’s individual dental situation. They are replaced every two weeks, and a person will gradually see their teeth relocating to the desired final position.


The idea for Invisalign Technology was formed in 1997. Zia Chishti conceived of the idea after using a retainer as part of his adult orthodontics treatment. He and his partners began working on developing the Invisalign process utilizing 3D printers in a garage located in Menlo Park, California. The Food and Drug Administration gave its approval for the Invisalign system in 1998. Sales of it in the United States began in 1999.

Professional Orthodontics Evaluation

The first step in getting straight teeth using the Invisalign method is to speak with an orthodontist trained to perform the procedure. It is important a person have all of their questions answered before moving forward with the procedure. This is a big decision. They can provide a professional evaluation of a person’s orthodontia needs and determine if a patient would benefit from Invisalign. The details of a patient’s individual situation will be discussed.

Customized Treatment Plan

An orthodontist will start by taking pictures, making x-rays as well as taking impressions of a patient’s teeth. The next step in the Invisalign process is to create a digital 3-D image of a person’s teeth. These images will be used to create an exact treatment plan. It will provide such information as the precise movement of a patient’s teeth and the amount of time required to complete the treatment. An orthodontics professional can show the patient a virtual representation of how their teeth will change at each step of the treatment. Every treatment plan is individualized, but it is estimated to take a year on average for adults. Teen patients will have them around the same length of time as traditional braces.

Receiving Invisalign Aligners

Once the preparation is complete, the next step is for a person to receive their custom designed aligners. These aligners are made to not irritate a patient’s cheek or gums. Each of the aligners are manufactured out of BPA-free plastic. They are very smooth, and people find them comfortable to wear. It is necessary for a person to wear their aligners all during the day. They can be removed for eating food and drinking beverages. The aligners can also be removed for teeth brushing as well as flossing. This is done to make certain the Invisalign braces are not scratched or dented. It only takes a short amount of time for people to become used to wearing their aligners. They will notice how their teeth move during each step of the process. The aligners are also clear. This means they can be worn by a patient who doesn’t have to worry about others noticing metal on their teeth.

Wearing Invisalign Aligner

A person using Invisalign aligners will need to start using a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks. There will be occasional checkups. This will be done so the progress of a person’s teeth can be carefully monitored. These checkups will usually be conducted every month and a half. In order to get the best possible results, a patient should wear the aligners up to 22 hours each day for every day of the treatment. During each step of the process patients can witness how their teeth are developing into providing the smile they desire.

Cleaning Aligners

The Invisalign aligners can be cleaned by brushing and rinsing them in warm water. There are also Invisalign Cleaning Crystals as well as specialized cleaning tablets available. It is also essential a person carefully brush their teeth after each meal. Their teeth need to be clean before they put the aligners back into their mouths. When all of this is done, proper oral hygiene will be maintained.

Finishing Treatment

When patients go through every step of the Invisalign program, all of their teeth will be positioned perfectly. Their teeth will be in the position desired. It will be recommended to some patients they wear a retainer for a period of time after the treatment is over. This is because at times teeth have shifted back to their original position. A retainer will make certain the teeth position and smile that have taken so long and so much hard work to achieve doesn’t go away.

Call Today

When you are faced with orthodontic treatment and want the brightest smile possible, make an appointment to visit Beach Braces Orthodontics. With a caring and professional staff, this Manhattan Beach orthodontics practice will ensure you walk away happy and confident in your new smile!

Dr. Panucci

Beach Braces, 1730 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

TEL: 310-379-0006 Fax: (310) 379-7051.

What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

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1 reply
  1. Faylinn says:

    Recently, I’ve been told that I might need braces, which is why I am starting to consider getting Invisalign instead. I really like the idea of people not being able to tell that I have braces on, but I had no idea that it would mean that I’d have to wear them for 22 hours every day. How exactly do I wear a removable retainer in my mouth while I sleep?


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