The Process an Invisalign® Dentist Uses to Straighten Teeth

April 2, 2015

Invisalign® DentistAs your Invisalign® dentist, we will be the first to tell you that the process takes time. As much as you want to have straighter teeth, and want to have them quickly, there is a gradual process that must be followed in order for the teeth to be moved correctly. The important thing to remember is that at the end of the treatment you will have straighter, more beautiful teeth. With Invisalign®, we use a series of aligner trays that move the teeth over the course of the treatment. Each tray moves the teeth approximately .25 millimeters at a time, allowing time for your teeth to adjust to the new position before moving you on to the next set of aligners. Using a “push” method, the process you will go through in our Invisalign® dentist office is methodical so that the teeth do not revert to their former position and have to start the procedure all over again.

Typically an Invisalign® treatment takes around 12 months to complete. More complicated cases can take up to two or three years of alignment, but this is extremely rare, as is the number of people who have a shorter alignment period of around six months. Understand that from the moment we start the process we will continue to move your teeth until they are properly aligned, but that it will take time so it is important to set the right expectations for yourself. 

As your Invisalign® dentist, we will take the time to talk about your treatment, we will also take some time to explain to you the final step of the treatment which may be required. This is known as refinement. Just as the term implies, refinement is the final and finishing stage of the Invisalign® procedure. After your treatment has been completed, there are often small modifications that you will want to make or will be necessary to ensure the perfect completion of your alignments. To this, we will bring you back into the clinic and take a few more measurements. This allows us to get a new set of aligners made, which are designed for those final corrections. The refinement stage is not particularly time bound and can be completed at any time after the final treatment with the Invisalign® main aligners. It is important to know that these refiners are not intended to correct relapses if you do not wear your retainers. If you do allow your teeth to slip, by not wearing your retainers, you could need an entirely new treatment with the full set of Invisalign®. In order to prevent your teeth from slipping into their old position, you need to wear your retainers at night. 

An important tip from our Invisalign® dentist office.

During the treatment, the best way for you to achieve the best results is to stick to the schedule. Wearing your retainer at least 20 to 22 hours per day, and change out the aligners at least every two weeks when you get the new set of aligners.