How Does Invisalign Work? A Clear Guide to Straightening Your Smile

young girl holding Invisalign aligner

There are several questions that arise for patients who are pondering Invisalign vs. braces. Which is faster? Is Invisalign better than braces? What is the effectiveness of Invisalign and does Invisalign work for different types of issues? 

While Invisalign aligners are not necessarily new to modern dentistry, Invisalign has grown in popularity over the past few years. Additionally, the benefits of Invisalign for adults should be carefully considered before making a significant and productive move to straighten your smile. 

Before scheduling your initial Invisalign orthodontics consultation with Pannu Dental Group, consider exploring the different and personalized options for patient focused Invisalign treatment. So, let’s discover the pros and cons of Invisalign versus braces to determine which is right for you. 

Invisalign versus Traditional Braces 

One of the most noticeable differences between Invisalign and traditional braces isn’t noticeable at all – specifically, the appearance.  

 Metal braces are a combination of visible stainless steel and/or alloy parts that are semi-permanently affixed to the teeth. On the other hand, Invisalign – as the name suggests – is completely clear and is virtually invisible to the naked eye. As a result, they are a preferred option for patients of all ages who are self-conscious about their smile and want a less permanent option for perfecting their teeth for the long term.  

The Growing Popularity of Invisalign Among Adults   

Invisalign has arguably been most popular with adults who need teeth straightening solutions and are well past their teenage years when braces are most used. There is an ease of use and aesthetic value that Invisalign naturally offers. Additionally, it’s a preferred solution for patients of all ages with varying issues that can be addressed with an Invisalign treatment 

What is Invisalign and What Are the Aligners Made Of? 

Invisalign, the brand, was first introduced by Align Technology in 1998. The thin and clear aligners are made from a flexible thermoplastic material called SmartTrack. These medical-grade, high molecular weight and thermoplastic polymers have a long history of FDA approvals for long-term use. In addition, they were created based on their properties and safety classification. 

How Does the Invisalign Treatment Process Work? 

The Invisalign treatment process boils down to a handful of key steps. 

  • The first step is to meet with your Invisalign orthodontics specialist, who will create a 3D image of your teeth, mouth, and jaw to create a plan to move your teeth into a perfectly formed smile. 
  • With these 3D images and plans in hand, your orthodontist will create custom-made sets of Invisalign aligners that gently apply pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their proper and desired place. 
  • These aligners are then worn 20-22 hours per day until the treatment is complete, which is an average of 12-18 months, (versus 18-24 months for traditional braces.)  
  • Depending on your specific treatment plan, you will generally switch out your aligners every week or two and will have follow-up visits to check on the progress of your Invisalign treatment 

What Issues Can an Invisalign Treatment Address? 

Many patients are surprised to learn that Invisalign treatments can address various issues of varying degrees.

A sample of some of the oral health issues that Invisalign is used for includes the following: 

  • Overbite issues, which is when the front upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth. 
  • Underbite issues are where the lower teeth extend further than the upper teeth. 
  • Crossbite issues are where upper teeth fit behind your lower teeth when your mouth is shut, (like underbite). 
  • Open bite issues, which is where the front upper and lower teeth slant upward. 
  • Gap teeth, or spaces in between certain teeth.  
  • Crowded teeth, or teeth that are too close together and may even overlap. 

Regardless of how your smile needs to be distinctively straightened, the bottom line is that Invisalign can address one or more issues at once since the aligners are custom created for your unique treatment. 

The Pros and Cons of Invisalign Treatments 

So, is Invisalign the right fit for you? Consider these pros and cons of Invisalign before making this essential decision. 

Pros: 

  • Invisalign is invisible – One of the biggest reasons patients consider Invisalign is simply because of its aesthetic value. Unlike braces, Invisalign is a naturally clear and invisible way to straighten your teeth, so you can remove any self-consciousness about your smile while undergoing an Invisalign treatment. 
  • Easy to removeInvisalign is worn for an average of 20-22 hours per day and can be easily removed to eat and brush your teeth, as well as anytime an individual requires. 
  • Fast treatment timeInvisalign is as fast or even faster than braces, as an Invisalign treatment lasts an average of 12-18 months. 
  • Less time in the dentist’s chairInvisalign typically requires fewer follow-up visits during the treatment process. 
  • Safer – Unlike braces, which can break or malfunction and cause a need for an emergency dentist visit, Invisalign is not prone to breaking and can be easily removed. 
  • Better comfortInvisalign moves teeth more gradually than traditional braces, leading to less discomfort. 

Cons: 

  • Requires vigilance – Because Invisalign aligners can be removed, patients must remain vigilant and ensure that they wear them for the appropriate amount of time. 
  • Can be lost – Unlike are semi-permanently affixed braces, it is easier to lose the removable Invisalign aligners. 
  • May not be the best treatment for an individual’s distinctive oral health issueInvisalign treatments work for a wide range of oral health issues, but certainly not all. Your dentist will be able to guide you on the best distinctive path for your smile, taking your comfort level and desired results into account. 

How to Get Invisalign? Pannu Dental Group Can Help! 

At Pannu Dental Group, we’re experts on a range of modern and technologically advanced solutions for common and even complex oral health issues, and that includes Invisalign orthodontics. Our patients’ care and comfort are our sole focus. Therefore, we’re your best resource to discover the range of treatments available and which is best suited for your unique needs.  

Reach out to us today to get the conversation started. Let’s partner together to find the best way to beautify and straighten your smile to its glowing best.  

Schedule your appointment today.  

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Dr. Dalvir S. Pannu has been a practicing dentist since 1995. In 1996 he opened his first dental practice in India, where he gained invaluable experience and acumen. In October of 1997 he was invited by the American Dental Association (ADA) to present the table clinic on Endodontics, at their annual session held in Washington, D.C. At this time he fell in love with the United States and became passionate about practicing dentistry in California. He became particularly enamored of the San Francisco Bay area, and soon took up residence and work here.