What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

Smiles are powerful. They affect your beauty, confidence, and also how people see you. One of the key things that make for a beautiful smile is proper tooth alignment. The truth is people with straight and well-aligned teeth are often viewed more positively than those with crooked or misaligned teeth.

Unfortunately, genetics, trauma, or even life’s wear and tear can affect how your teeth look, and consequently, your smile. But thanks to modern medicine, that doesn’t mean anything. You can medically change the position of your teeth and transform your smile through a dental procedure known as Invisalign. 

If you are a little insecure about your teeth or have always wanted to change your smile, this guide is for you. Let’s break down what Invisalign is, how it can help you fix your teeth, and why it’s often preferred over traditional metal braces. 

What Is Invisalign?

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Invisalign, which sometimes goes by invisible orthodontics, is a brand name for thin, clear aligners used to straighten poorly aligned teeth. Invisalign aligners are custom-made for your teeth from BPA-free plastic and used as an alternative to metal or wire braces. With Invisalign treatment, you don’t get metal brackets or wire to detract from your smile.

How Does Invisalign Work? 

As already mentioned, Invisalign is primarily a solution for teeth misalignment problems. The process itself involves applying pressure on teeth slowly to gently shift them to a new, more improved position. The technique uses plastic trays that are custom-made from computer-generated impressions of your teeth. The trays are exchanged for new ones every two weeks or so until the treatment is complete. 

Dental Issues That Invisalign Can and Can’t Fix 

Invisalign is often used to correct different teeth problems. You can get Invisalign services in Tarpon Springs, FL if you’re dealing with any of the following dental issues:

  • Teeth crowding 
  • Underbite, overbite and crossbite 
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Gap teeth 
  • Open bite

So, what can Invisalign not treat? While the procedure can be used to correct various orthodontic issues, it cannot solve every problem. Invisalign alone may not be sufficient to deal with complex dental issues like severely crooked teeth that may need rotating, tooth decay, or huge gaps between teeth. 

The Typical Invisalign Treatment Procedure 

Invisalign is a stage-by-stage process that usually starts in a dental office. The typical phases of the procedure include: 

An Initial Consultation with an Orthodontist

When you visit a dental clinic, an orthodontist will first look at your teeth to determine if Invisalign is an appropriate treatment for your particular issues. You should expect a thorough oral health examination during this first consultation. Once the assessment is done, the specialist will explain the procedure to you in detail to help you decide whether you’re ready to commit. 

The Orthodontist Takes Pictures and Impressions of Your Teeth 

The proceeding step of the treatment process will involve the orthodontist taking pictures of your mouth and creating computer-generated impressions of your teeth. This step is what helps the Invisalign specialist to create custom aligners for you. 

Preparation and Fitting of Your Trays

Next, an Invisalign technician will start building your first set of aligners. This process may take a few weeks to a month. Once your trays are ready, you will be called in so they can be fitted to your teeth. The fitting should be perfect as your set is modeled to fit tightly but not painfully on your teeth.

You Get an Appointment for Your Next Set

On average, Invisalign treatment should take anywhere between 6-18 months to straighten your misaligned teeth. However, you should start seeing changes within the first few weeks. A set should last you for two weeks. Within this time, your teeth should already start changing, which is why you need a new adjusted set. 

How Effective Is Invisalign Orthodontic Treatment?

Invisalign is a highly effective teeth alignment technique that can transform your smile in a matter of months. Invisalign can potentially deliver faster results than traditional braces. However, the results will depend on whether you wear your aligners correctly for the recommended time. In most cases, your orthodontist will recommend that you wear your set for 20-22 hours every day until your treatment is complete.

Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces: Which One is Better?

is invisalign better than braces

Invisalign and metal braces are used to solve similar orthodontic issues. However, the treatment process for each is quite different in a lot of ways. Here’s a comparison based on four main factors.

Duration of Treatment 

In both cases, treatment duration depends on the severity of the case. Invisalign takes anywhere between 6-18 months, while braces take 1-3 years. 


Metal braces are fixed to stay permanently in place for the recommended treatment time. However, with Invisalign, you get removable aligners, on the other hand, are removable. 

Cleaning and Maintenance 

Regular cleaning and flossing are crucial for good oral health, whether you’re wearing braces or Invisalign trays. However, Invisalign is much easier to care for as you can remove and clean them, then put them back in. 

Dental Visits

With braces, you will need to see your orthodontists monthly or every other month. As for Invisalign, you may need to visit the dentist every two weeks for assessment and to replace your trays. 

Contact Our Orthodontist at Tarpon Dental Today to Correct Your Teeth!

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Overall, Invisalign is better if you’re looking for convenience, fast results, and aesthetics. They are virtually invisible, easier to clean, and more comfortable than traditional braces. However, you will need to remind yourself to wear them every day and keep your set safe as they can easily get lost.  If you want to align your teeth and reclaim your smile without going through the pain and discomfort of wearing braces, Invisalign is the ideal procedure. 

Visit our professional, family-friendly, and affordable dental care in Tarpon Springs, FL, for an in-depth consultation with an Invisalign specialist. We use the latest orthodontic treatment technology to examine your oral situation and design your custom Invisalign trays. Call our office on (727)-937-4285 to book a free consultation.