Invisalign FAQ

Invisalign FAQ

Invisalign FAQ

Is Invisalign treatment right for me?
  • Yes! Invisalign treatment can be a great solution for both adults and teens looking for a virtually invisible method to improve their smile. Our innovations and technological advancements make it possible to fix nearly all common teeth-straightening and bite issues, from simple to complex — all without interrupting your busy life. And, thanks to a discreet blue dot on the outside of teen aligners, parents can be sure their child is wearing their clear aligners enough.

What is the treatment process?

  • Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation with an Invisalign-trained doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your smile and then map out a precise, customized digital treatment plan that showcases the step-by-step transformation of your smile.

  • Once you approve your plan, your unique aligners will be created. You will wear each set of aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, changing to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks, as directed by your doctor. Each set of aligners will gently and gradually shift your teeth into place, according to your treatment plan, until you reach your beautiful new smile.

How long will treatment take?
  • The length of treatment depends on multiple factors, like how complex your case is and how often you wear your aligners. Your doctor will determine exactly how long your treatment will take based on your specific needs. On average, Invisalign treatment time is 12 to 18 months,2 though you can start seeing results in a matter of weeks.

How often will I change aligners?
  • Your doctor will tell you how often you should change to new aligners (this can vary based on your individual treatment plan). Many doctors recommend changing Invisalign clear aligners weekly or every other week.

How many hours per day should I wear my aligners?
  • For the best results, wear your Invisalign clear aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, taking them out just for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.

How often will I have appointments with my doctor?
  • Your doctor will schedule regular appointments, usually about once every four to six weeks. The goal of these visits is to ensure your Invisalign treatment is progressing as planned.

My doctor mentioned "attachments." What are they and why would I need them for my Invisalign treatment?
  • Your Invisalign treatment may require attachments, small tooth-colored shapes that are attached to your teeth.

  • These shapes serve as handles, giving the aligners something to gently push on in order to move your teeth with the right amount of force, and are what make complex tooth movements possible without braces. Invisalign clear aligners fit smoothly and tightly around them, so they’re barely noticeable.

  • While not everyone who uses Invisalign clear aligners will need attachments, if you need them, your doctor will attach them to your teeth at the start of or during your treatment and remove them when they are no longer needed.

Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than braces?
  • Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than braces?

Will my insurance cover Invisalign treatment?
  • Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign treatment the same way they cover braces. Your insurance may pay for a certain percentage of your Invisalign treatment, or it may pay for a certain dollar amount.

Do Invisalign clear aligners contain Bisphenol A (BPA)?
  • All Invisalign aligner and retainer materials are made of medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers. These materials were selected for use in aligners and retainers based on their properties and safety classification, and have a long history of FDA approvals for long term use inside the human body. Tests conducted to determine the biocompatibility of these materials show they are biocompatible and pass all applicable regulatory requirements and thresholds for human wear in the mouth.

  • Based on our current knowledge and testing of the raw materials and processes used in the manufacture of aligners and retainers, there is no presence of any latex, parabens, phthalates, glutaraldehyde, epoxy or Bisphenol A (BPA) present in our aligners or retainers.

What’s the best way to clean my aligners?
  • The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign Cleaning System, available online or from your doctor. You can also brush them with a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinse them in lukewarm water. Never use hot water on your aligners — it could permanently warp the plastic.

If I have food residue (like blueberries or pasta sauce) in my mouth when I put my aligners back in, can they become stained?
  • Yes. That’s why it’s important to brush after every meal, before placing your Invisalign aligners back in your mouth.

I dropped my aligners in an unsanitary place. Do I need to sterilize them after I clean them?
  • Yes. It is very important to always ensure your aligners are clean and hygienic before placing them in your mouth. Invisalign Cleaning Crystals keep your aligners clean, hygienic, and clear — they even remove plaque in as little as 15 minutes. Please do not use hot water at any time on your aligners — it could permanently warp the plastic.

What if I lose or break an aligner. What should I do?
  • If you lose or break an Invisalign aligner, immediately let your doctor know. Your doctor will work with you to ensure you stay on-track with your treatment plan, which may involve wearing a previous set of aligners, your next set of aligners, or ordering replacements aligners.

Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
  • Most doctors recommend that anyone who has completed orthodontic treatment, whether with braces or Invisalign treatment, use a retainer to prevent teeth from gradually shifting back toward their initial position. Every case is different, so ask your doctor if you need retainers.

What type of retainer should I use?
  • While there are many different types of retainers, we recommend Vivera® retainers. Vivera retainers are virtually invisible and made from a proprietary material 30% stronger than other leading clear retainer materials, which helps you keep your new smile.

  • Your Vivera retainers will be custom-made from an impression or scan of your teeth using the same state-of-the-art technology used for Invisalign clear aligners.

Lose your Vivera retainer? No problem.
  • If you lose or break your last set of Vivera retainers, or simply run out, just get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can work with you on purchasing a new set of Vivera retainers, so you can keep showing off that smile!

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