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How Does Invisalign® Work: Is Invisalign Actually Effective?

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How Does Invisalign® Work?

Over 12 million people worldwide have used Invisalign® to improve their smiles!

It’s easy to see why.

Invisalign is an excellent choice for adults and teenagers interested in improving their smile with minimal “hardware.”

However, seeing as Invisalign is a newer alternative to braces, you might wonder, “How does Invisalign® work?”

If you’re curious about how Invisalign works and whether it’s effective, you’ll want to read on.

We’ll take a closer look at the process of using Invisalign to improve your smile and what research has shown about its effectiveness.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth gradually.

These aligners are made of a material called thermoplastic resin. They’re typically about 0.3mm thick and thinner than a plastic mouthguard.

Unlike traditional braces, which use metal brackets and wires, Invisalign is practically invisible, making it a popular choice for adults and teens who want to improve their smile without drawing attention to their orthodontic treatment.

Each set of aligners is custom-made for the individual patient, and each one moves the teeth slightly until the final desired position is reached.

How long does that take?

You’ll have to wear each aligner for one to two weeks before replacing it with the next one. As you progress through the series of aligners, your teeth gradually shift into their proper position.

The best part? Because the aligners are removable, patients can eat whatever they want and brush and floss normally, making Invisalign more convenient and comfortable than traditional braces.

Invisalign box

What Kinds of Dental Issues Does Invisalign Fix?

There are several dental issues that Invisalign can help to fix. These include:

  • Crowding
  • Spacing
  • Rotated teeth

Invisalign can also help close gaps between teeth and correct overbites, underbites, and crossbites.

How Does Invisalign Work?

While Invisalign requires slightly more upkeep than regular braces, the process is simple.

Here’s an essential Invisalign guide on what to expect during your treatment.

3D Scanning

First, a 3D digital scan is taken of your teeth. This is used to make a digital model of your teeth that a qualified orthodontist will look at.

We use cutting-edge 3D technology at Park Orthodontics to plan your customised treatment.

In our practice, we work with the Invisalign iTero Element Scanner.

This eliminates the need for messy putty in your mouth. It’s also clinically superior and ensures that we can adequately expand your images, zoom in, and adjust as needed to form the best action plan.

If you’re interested, you can view what your new smile might look like with the Invisalign Outcome Simulator.

This is helpful for those who are a bit nervous about the process and want to rest assured that they’ll get the desired outcome from Invisalign.

iTero Element Scanner

Custom-Made Aligners

Next, custom-made aligners are created for you based on the digital model. You will need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours per day to get the full effects of the treatment.

You wear each set of aligners for about seven to ten days, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss.

As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move — little by little, week by week — until they’re straight.

Get in touch if you lose an aligner or feel it doesn’t fit properly. Our orthodontist team is here to help you get back on track with your treatment plan.

Invisalign retainer

Routine Check-ups

During regular Invisalign treatment with other orthodontists, you’d head into their practice about every six weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.

However, at Park Orthodontics, we make the process even easier for you.

We work with cutting-edge technologies, namely Dental Monitoring and Invisalign Virtual Care which are included in your Invisalign treatment.

This allows you to quickly scan your teeth with your smartphone. Based on your scans, we can monitor your progress without leaving the comfort of your home or taking time off work or school.

While you still have to come into our practice for essential parts of the treatment this does away with the need to schedule a monthly visit.

We know how difficult that can be with busy schedules, school, and work!

And before you know it, you’ll have the smile you’ve always wanted!

Request Your Complimentary Smile Evaluation

Take the first step to a better more confident smile

Invisalign Tips: What to Expect

If you’re considering this type of orthodontic treatment, then there are a few things about Invisalign that you’ll want to know.

First, Invisalign treatment length can vary depending on the individual case.

In most cases, patients need orthodontic treatment for one to two years. However, this can range from six months to over two years. It honestly depends on your mouth, age, and smile goals.

During treatment, you’ll need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours daily. You’ll also need to clean your aligners regularly and avoid eating or drinking anything other than water while wearing them.

This is excellent practice for caring for and cleaning your retainers eventually. However, cleaning your Invisalign aligners is quite simple. We’ll get into this in just a bit.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that Invisalign aligners are comfortable and virtually invisible, but they do require some getting used to.

In the first few days of wearing your aligners, you may experience some discomfort or irritation. However, this should subside within a week or two as your mouth adjusts to the aligners.

Finally, Invisalign is an excellent option for straightening teeth, but it’s not suitable for everyone. Invisalign may not be appropriate for some dental issues, so it’s essential to consult with your orthodontist before deciding.

Overall, Invisalign is a safe and effective way to straighten teeth.

How Fast Does Invisalign Work?

This is a question that we get a lot. The answer varies from person to person, but the average is about 6 to 18 months.

In some cases, it can even be faster than that. If you want to fix slight imperfections, some patients have seen adequate results in as fast as three months.

In other cases, it can take up to two years to get their smile to where they want it with Invisalign.

However, it truly does depend on your teeth, bite, and overall smile goals.

What about how long it takes until you start seeing results? You can expect to see noticeable changes within about 10 to 12 weeks.

All this being said, it’s important to note that in some cases (again, we can’t generalise here), Invisalign works slightly faster than braces.

This is because, when you wear aligners, they can apply pressure to specific teeth instead of all your teeth at once.

If you want to see results as quickly as possible, wear your aligners for at least 20-22 hours per day and follow your orthodontist’s instructions. This is the best way to ensure that you see results quickly.

Is Invisalign Effective vs Regular Braces?

In general, Invisalign is now just as effective as regular braces.

Invisalign can be more effective in some cases because it uses clear aligners that are less noticeable than metal braces.

This encourages patients to stick with their treatment plan for as long as needed.

This can also be beneficial for people who are self-conscious about their teeth or want to avoid the “metal mouth” look that comes with traditional braces (however, there’s nothing wrong with conventional braces, especially if they’re Damon braces!).

Additionally, the aligners can be removed for eating and brushing, which means there’s less risk of food getting stuck in your teeth and causing cavities.

Finally, Invisalign is customised to your unique smile, so you can be sure your treatment will be effective.

While braces are also customised to your face, smile, and bite, the ability to have an aligner fitted to your teeth offers a unique level of personalisation and comfort.

The one downside of Invisalign is that it can be more expensive than traditional braces.

Overall, both Invisalign and regular braces are effective at straightening teeth. The best option for you depends on your budget and personal preferences.

If you want straight teeth but don’t want to deal with metal braces, Invisalign may be your better choice.

On the other hand, traditional braces may be the way to go if you’re looking for a more affordable option.

It’s worth noting that you have numerous options when it comes to traditional braces.

These days, they don’t look as obvious as they used to decades ago. So even if you end up opting for braces, rest assured that you will still be able to enjoy a great orthodontic treatment option.

You may have been told by your family dentist or a cosmetic dentist that you are not suitable for Invisalign or Clear Aligners.

This is mainly because dentists have less orthodontic knowledge and experience, but in addition, most only have access to basic aligner products which are unable to tackle complex problems.

As specialists, we understand how to move teeth effectively and have access to the most cutting-edge aligner system: Invisalign Comprehensive.

How Do You Clean Invisalign Aligners?

First and foremost, you need to remove your Invisalign aligners before you clean them.

To do this, use your thumb and forefinger to grab the aligner at the very back end near your molars. Gently pull forward until the aligner pops off.

Once your aligners are out, rinse them thoroughly under lukewarm water to remove debris or plaque.

Next, you’ll clean them with a product such as Invisalign Cleaning Crystals, Aligner Cleaning Foam or liquid hand soap.

While you can use soap or other cleaners, the goal is to get all sides of the aligners between the nooks and crannies.

Using regular soap, you will want to follow the rinse with a dip in lukewarm water and baking soda.

Mix a cup of lukewarm water with half a teaspoon of baking soda and swish your aligners around in this solution for at least 30 seconds.

The baking soda will help to kill any bacteria that may be present on the aligners.

Finally, rinse your aligners under lukewarm water and dry them off with a clean, soft towel before placing them back in your mouth.

It is best to clean your Invisalign aligners at least once a day but consult with your orthodontist if you have any questions or concerns.

For more information read our article on How to Clean Fixed and Removable Orthodontic Appliances.

cleaning Invisalign

How Much Does Getting Invisalign Cost?

Again, this varies depending on your smile and the length of your treatment plan.

It also differs from orthodontist to orthodontist (depending on their expertise and experience).

It’s important to work with a qualified team of orthodontists who can offer you the treatment and Invisalign help you deserve.

The average cost of Invisalign in the UK is about £1,500 to £5,500.

You can look at our quote calculator to better assess how much Invisalign or traditional braces might cost you.

Typically, for an adult looking to see results within about 12 to 18 months for both their top and bottom teeth, you can expect to pay around £5,000 for your entire treatment.

However, the best way to get an accurate quote is to get in touch!

Get a Complimentary Smile Assessment

So, how does Invisalign work? After we take state-of-the-art 3D models of your teeth, we’ll talk you through your options primarily considering your own treatment goals.

From there, we will order the customised aligners based on our agreed and well-thought-out treatment plan.

Then, we’ll work with you as you switch out your aligners regularly and watch your teeth straighten out.

However, that all begins with a complimentary assessment first.

Ready to start your process towards having the smile you’ve always wanted?

Click here to start your complimentary 30-second smile assessment with Park.

Request Your Complimentary Smile Evaluation

Take the first step to a better more confident smile
Dr Andrew McGregor

Dr Andrew McGregor

Andrew completed his three years of orthodontic specialist training in 2010 gaining his Masters degree and Membership in Orthodontics and has worked at Park Orthodontics since then. As an orthodontic specialist he has treated thousands of patients ranging from simple bite correction in children to complex smile and bite makeovers in adults. Andrew is a member of the British Orthodontic Society, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scottish Orthodontic Specialists Group and the British Lingual Orthodontic Society.

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