How Invisalign Works – A Step by Step Guide

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Invisalign has become a popular option. When it comes to clear aligners, it is the most used option. With millions of people opting for Invisalign, there is a reason why it is the best. If you do not want to get traditional braces and are looking for a more inconspicuous option, Invisalign is the way to go. For those of you that are wondering how Invisalign works, you have come to the right place. This post answers all the questions that you might have in mind.

How Does Invisalign Work?

In the simplest of words, Invisalign utilizes 3D technology for creating a digital impression of your smile. Then, it uses the impression to move your teeth in the desired direction. The technology creates all the aligners for achieving the final outcome. As you continue to switch to new aligners, your teeth would start to move until the alignment is complete. The following steps help break down the process.

  1. Meet with the Invisalign Dentist

The first thing that you need to do is meet the Invisalign dentist who will determine if you are the right candidate for Invisalign. Gone are the days when Invisalign was not suitable for complex issues. Advanced technology is helping bring a change. Invisalign treats the cases mentioned below.

  • Teeth straightening
  • Crowded teeth
  • Open bites
  • Gap teeth
  • Overbites
  • And other cases.

During the Invisalign consultation, an Invisalign dentist such as My Dentist San Francisco, will examine your oral health, review health records and x-rays, and ask about your goals. If the consultation goes well, the dentist will make an impression. The digital impressions of the teeth and gums will allow the technology to map out the perfect treatment plan. The dentist will customize it as required. This would happen while you are seated on the chair. The treatment plan will cover the number of aligner sets needed, the duration of the treatment, and the cost of the treatment. The dentist would also show you a sneak peek of the smile you can achieve.  

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  1. Begin Treatment

Next, the Invisalign treatment will begin. Once the consultation is complete, the dentist will follow the treatment plan. You will receive your very first custom clear aligners. As soon as they have been made, you can visit the office to get them placed. It is possible that you might require attachments on your teeth. The attachments are tooth-colored composite bumps that are applied to the teeth to provide them with much-needed grip. 

Now, you just need to wear the aligners. The dentist will make sure that the aligners fit perfectly onto your teeth and do not cause any pain. It is important to keep in mind that you might experience slight sensitivity or discomfort when you first wear the aligners. The pain will subside after your teeth have adjusted. During the first appointment, you will receive about 2 to 3 sets of aligners. You will also be given instructions for when you should switch to the new set. 

Comply with the Instructions

One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is that Invisalign aligners have to be worn for about 20 to 22 hours every day. If you fail to comply with the required time, your treatment will be ineffective or take more time. You can only take the aligners out in the following situations.

  • Eating
  • Drinking (You do not need to remove the aligners when drinking water)
  • Flossing
  • Brushing

Doctor Check-Ins

The dentist will let you know how often you would need to visit for a check-up. It varies from 4 to 8 weeks. The appointments help ensure that the dentist is able to verify the treatment so that everything goes according to plan. If required, adjustments would be made. You would also receive more sets of aligners for straightening the teeth more.

  1. Complete Treatment

Finally, once you are satisfied with the results, the treatment will come to an end. Generally, the average amount of time it takes for the treatment to work is anywhere from 12 to 18 months. You will need to wear a retainer during the night to retain the brand-new smile. The retainer offered by Invisalign is custom-made and tends to last a lot longer.    


Now that you know how Invisalign works, you can get started. All you have to do is visit your dentist to create a plan. Make sure to get your teeth professionally cleaned to ensure a beautiful smile. 

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