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How Does Invisalign Work?

dentist making oral examine of patient with uv light equipment

Invisalign is a revolutionary new way to straighten teeth. It has never been easier than it is today with the technology behind this small piece of plastic that changes lives for the better daily! There are over 5 million patients that have been successfully treated by this little piece of plastic. It is the perfect solution to an imperfect smile, with 20 years worth of research behind it!

Does it REALLY work?

With all the advances in orthodontic technology and innovations, you might be skeptical to think that a little piece of plastic could work well. However, I have some good news for those who are apprehensive about how it will fix your teeth because we’ve learned so much over the past few decades in the world of teeth-straightening.  

In today’s world with advancements in ortho treatments such as braces or Invisalign®, there is no need to worry about going through torture just like people did back when they had metal bands on their teeth and were subjecting themselves to “tightening” appointments where your teeth would hurt enough bring tears down your cheeks.

We’ve learned that teeth actually move faster when lighter forces are applied. And now, thanks to Invisalign and its advancements in technology, it’s never been easier or more painless!

We’ve come a long way since the days of metal braces with clunky wires; nowadays we have plastic trays (called aligners) created by Invisalign which deliver comfortable ways for moving teeth .

So, how does it actually fix your teeth?

Invisalign treatment can be broken down into 4 simple steps:  

  1. Your Invisalign specialist creates a digital image of your teeth. 
  2. They will then design appropriate aligners to fix the issue you are having, 
  3. The aligners are created and delivered to your practice 
  4. You’ll continue with office visits every few months or so where they may provide new alignment trays that have been designed by our specialists in order to keep up on your treatments’ progress!

Want to know more? Read below for in-depth explanations of each step. 

Step 1: Creating a 3D image of your teeth

The Invisalign process begins with capturing a 3D image of your teeth and submitting this image to the company. 

The doctor’s first option is taking an impression, which they’ll send into Invisalign in order to create trays that will be used for aligning your teeth. They can also take digital photos when you’re at the office by using our state-of-the art equipment onsite!

Step 2: Your Doctor Creates a Customized Treatment Plan

Once you have your 3D scan uploaded into the Invisalign system, a team of technicians will work with an orthodontist to create custom aligners for your teeth. Customized plans usually include switching out alignment trays every week or so and replacing them after full movement has been achieved. 

The number of aligners needed for each patient is dependent on their teeth and the doctors’ customized treatment plan. This should come as no surprise, given how tightly personalized a personal dental care plan must be!

Step 3: Your Aligners Arrive & You Begin Treatment

It usually takes about 4 weeks after your dental scan for Invisalign treatment to officially begin, but it can be as long as 8 weeks if you’re doing the old impression method. This waiting period gives enough time for a number of things:

 1. Your doctor will customize an aligner treatment plan just for you

 2. The company to create your aligners

 3. Time for shipping

Step 4: Go Home (and come back periodically)!

Most of the treatment for Invisalign occurs at home; although you will be stopping by the office for periodic treatment and check-ins. 

You will be given a series of aligners at your first visit. Each one you slip in is worn for about 1 week, and then you change to the next. The teeth are moving so gradually that there’s rarely any discomfort!

You’ll notice changes in your smile after just a couple of weeks! You might not see any big differences at first, but within the next few months you won’t be able to stop smiling.


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About Dr. Shawn Pesh

Dr. Pesh is an early adopter of new technologies which benefit his customers and their experience. For example, during the pandemic he was the first orthodontist in Riverside County to utilize tele-orthodontics by implementing Pesh Remote™.