Invisalign Explained: Start to Finish

Even if you’ve never had braces, the process is likely pretty familiar to most people: get
them put on your teeth, go in for periodic adjustments, then get them taken off after the treatment
is complete. But what about Invisalign? While they are comparable to traditional metal braces,
the process is a bit different. Due to the nature of aligners, there are a few notable distinctions.
It’s important for prospective patients to have a clear understanding and a big-picture view of the
process before beginning treatment. Let’s walk through the typical Invisalign treatment timeline
step by step, from start to finish.
1. Consultation
The initial consultation is the time for your orthodontist to explain the process in full.
You’ll also have the chance to ask any questions you may have regarding treatment, payment,
insurance coverage, etc. At this point, the orthodontist will determine need and capability.
Then, you’ll move on to formulating a treatment plan. The orthodontist will take x-rays
and create impressions of your teeth to be sent to the Invisalign creation facility. After the
records have been transmitted and tweaked as necessary, the trays will be ordered.

2. Shipment
This is one of the most significant differences between braces and Invisalign. While
braces can go on very soon, even immediately, after the initial consultation, Invisalign must be
custom-created for the patient and shipped. This process could take several weeks.
3. Treatment
Once the trays have been created, the treatment begins. The patient is given the aligners,
which should be worn between 20 and 22 hours per day. The patient receives new trays every
few weeks to continue moving and shifting the teeth. This cycle of wearing the aligners and
switching them out continues until the teeth have been straightened to proper alignment.
4. Maintenance
After the initial treatment, it’s critical that the patient maintain their new smile. A custom
retainer will ensure that the teeth do not move from their place, giving the jaw time to stabilize
and solidify around the roots. Maintenance should be top priority for the first few months after
Invisalign treatment. After that, it’s up to the patient to continue to wear some sort of retainer
throughout adulthood to preserve their smile.
Noble Orthodontics & Invisalign
If you’re interested in getting started with Invisalign, we invite you to come in for a free
consultation. We can explain the process in full and answer any questions you may have. Contact
us today!