How Does Invisalign Work?: Unlocking the Mystery

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Having a crooked smile can have far-reaching effects. It can be a source of embarrassment for many people, causing them to feel self-conscious about their appearance and hesitant to smile in public. In addition to cosmetic concerns, misaligned teeth can also have a negative impact on a person’s oral health, leading to problems such as tooth decay and difficulty chewing or speaking.

While traditional braces have long been the go-to option for straightening teeth, new technology has emerged which offers a more discreet alternative: Invisalign. These clear, removable aligners are a popular choice among people seeking a less noticeable dental treatment to strengthen their crooked teeth and achieve a straight smile.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this innovative treatment, unravelling the mystery of how it can help transform your teeth without the need for metal wires and brackets. So, please sit back, relax, and find out how Invisalign can make a difference in your oral health!

  • Invisalign uses a series of custom-made, clear aligners to gradually shift teeth into place using SmartTrack material.
  • Customisation is a crucial factor in Invisalign’s effectiveness, which is achieved through 3D computer imaging technology and precise production in a laboratory.
  • Aligners need to be worn consistently (20-22 hours per day) for optimum results, and periodic follow-up appointments with your dentist are necessary to check progress.
  • Invisalign attachments are small, tooth-coloured dots that provide additional grip and force to move teeth in specific directions, used for cases that require more precise alignment.
  • Compared to traditional metal braces, Invisalign offers several advantages in terms of appearance, comfort, treatment time, maintenance, and cost.
  • Choosing between Invisalign and traditional braces depends on individual needs and preferences.

How Does Invisalign Work?: The Science Behind Invisalign Technology

The Invisalign treatment process begins with a consultation with a professional dentist, who will assess your teeth and create a customised treatment plan. Using advanced 3D digital scan technology, your dentist will create a digital model of your teeth and map out the movements needed to achieve your desired outcome.

Based on this plan, a series of clear, custom-made aligners will be created for you. Each set of aligners is designed to be worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next set in the series. Over time, these aligners gradually move your teeth into the optimum position.

So, what makes Invisalign aligners so effective? The key is in the material they are made from, a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack. This material is designed to apply gentle, constant pressure to your teeth, gradually moving them into the desired position.

To maximise the result of your treatment, wearing your Invisalign aligners at least 20 – 22 hours per day is highly recommended. In terms of duration of treatment time, it varies depending on the complexity of the case. On average, Invisalign treatment takes as little as six months to 18 months, but it can be shorter or longer depending on the individual patient’s needs.

Customised Aligner Trays for Perfect Fit

Invisalign aligners are designed to provide a comfortable and effective teeth straightening treatment. One key factor that contributes to their effectiveness is the customisation process, which provides an exact fit for each patient.

To create the custom aligner trays, the dentist will start by taking digital impressions of the patient’s teeth. This is done using 3D computer imaging dental technology, which creates a virtual model of the teeth. The computer-generated images allow the dentist to see exactly what the patient’s teeth look like and how they need to move to achieve the desired result.

The software then creates an initial series of aligners designed to accurately fit the patient’s teeth. Each aligner is slightly different from the previous one, allowing for a gradual and controlled movement of the teeth. The number of aligners required varies depending on the complexity of the case, but on average, it is around 20 to 30 sets.

Once the aligners are designed, they are sent to a laboratory for production. In the laboratory, the aligners are created using a unique thermoplastic material that is flexible and durable. The aligners are made using a highly precise process so that they can be an exact match for the patient’s teeth. After the fabrication of the aligners, the patient will receive their first set and be instructed on how to wear them.

Aligner Application and Adjustments

Upon receiving your aligners, it’s essential to follow the instructions provided by your dentist. Each set of aligners will need to be worn for a specified amount of time, usually about two weeks before you switch to the next set in the series.

To apply your aligners, gently push them over your teeth, starting at the back and working your way forward. You can use your fingers to press the aligners into place, but be careful not to use too much force, as this can damage the aligners or your teeth.

Once your aligners are in place, make sure they fit snugly over your teeth with no gaps or air pockets. If you notice any discomfort or if your aligners don’t fit properly, contact your dentist right away to have them adjusted.

One of the most significant advantages of Invisalign is patients don’t need to visit their dental health provider whenever they switch to your next set of aligners. However, throughout your Invisalign treatment journey, you will need to have periodic adjustments to check if your teeth are moving according to plan. Your dentist will monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your Invisalign treatment planning to maximise your results.

Gradual and Controlled Teeth Movement

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth into their desired position. The aligners are custom-made for your teeth and are designed to apply consistent and gentle pressure to specific teeth at different stages of your treatment.

The controlled movement of Invisalign aligners allows for more precise and accurate results. Your dentist can create a detailed Invisalign treatment plan using computer imaging technology, which will determine the exact amount of force and duration of treatment required to achieve your desired results.

Invisalign Attachments for Precise Alignment

Invisalign attachments, also known as buttons, are small, tooth-coloured dots bonded to your teeth’ surface. They’re made of small pieces of resin and are used to provide additional grip and force to move your teeth in specific directions.

Invisalign attachments are generally for cases that require more precise alignment or tooth movements that are difficult to achieve with Invisalign aligners alone. For instance, if you have complicated alignment issues or a tooth that is not moving as planned, Invisalign attachments can help provide the necessary force to move it into the proper position. Depending on the location of the attachment, it could be visible, but it is relatively small and tooth-coloured, making it barely noticeable.

It’s important to note that not all Invisalign patients will need Invisalign attachments. In fact, many patients can achieve their desired results without them. Your dentist will determine whether you need attachments based on your Invisalign treatment plan and discuss the options with you.

The Importance of Consistent Aligner Wear

Wearing your Invisalign consistently is a must to achieve satisfactory results from your treatment. Invisalign aligners are designed to straighten teeth over time, but they can only do so if they are worn as directed. Here are some reasons why consistent Invisalign wear matters:

  • You can be confident that your teeth are receiving the necessary pressure and force to shift into their optimal positions, which is crucial for the outcome of your Invisalign treatment. 
  • Maintain the results of your treatment. By wearing your aligners as directed, you can have peace of mind knowing that your teeth remain in their desired positions and avoid further treatment.
  • Keeps your treatment on schedule. An Invisalign treatment plan is designed to achieve specific results within a certain timeframe, and consistent wear is necessary to stay on track. Wear your aligners for the recommended amount of time each day, usually about 20 – 22 hours.l
  • Minimise discomfort or irritation when resuming wear after taking a break. If you go too long without wearing your aligners, your teeth may shift slightly, making it uncomfortable to wear them again. You can minimise discomfort and keep your treatment going by wearing your aligners consistently.

Comparing Invisalign with Traditional Braces

If you want to straighten your teeth, you may wonder whether to use traditional braces or the newer Invisalign treatment. Both methods have pros and cons, and it’s essential to understand the differences between them before making a decision.

To compare Invisalign with traditional braces, take into account the following factors:


One of the most significant differences between Invisalign and traditional braces is their appearance. Invisalign aligners are made of clear and virtually invisible plastic, making them a more discreet option. This is especially appealing to adults who may feel self-conscious about wearing braces. On the other hand, traditional braces use metal brackets and wires that are much more noticeable.


Invisalign aligners are made of removable, smooth plastic and do not have any sharp edges or wires, making them more comfortable to wear than braces with brackets. In particular, this is crucial for individuals who play sports, as conventional metal braces can cause discomfort and even injury. However, it is also important to note that Invisalign aligners may cause mild discomfort when switching to a new set.

Treatment time

The average treatment time of Invisalign is usually shorter than traditional braces. Invisalign treatment plans generally last between 6 and 18 months, although some cases may require more extended treatment. On the other hand, conventional braces may take 1 to 3 years, although this can vary depending on the complexity of your case.


One key advantage of Invisalign is that they are removable, which means maintaining good oral hygiene is more manageable. You can brush and floss your teeth as you usually would without navigating around wires and brackets. With traditional braces, you may need to spend more time on oral hygiene, as food particles and plaque can easily get trapped in the braces and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.


In general, Invisalign is more expensive since it requires custom-made aligners, which are more costly to produce than traditional braces. The price of Invisalign treatment can differ depending on the length of the treatment plan, which varies based on your specific needs. However, despite the hefty price, many individuals find that the benefits of Invisalign outweigh the cost.

In the end, the choice between Invisalign and traditional braces depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a more discreet and comfortable option, Invisalign may be the better choice. Meanwhile, traditional braces may be the right option if you have complex dental issues. It is essential to discuss your options with your dentist to determine the right treatment option for you.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign is a revolutionary teeth straightening process that has transformed the orthodontic industry by providing a more comfortable, convenient, and discreet option for teeth straightening. With its advanced technology and customised approach, Invisalign has helped countless individuals achieve their desired straighter teeth.

At AP Dental, we are committed to providing our patients with a high standard of dental care, and we are proud to offer Invisalign as part of our range of dental services. Our experienced team of skilled dental professionals use the latest techniques and technologies to deliver satisfactory results.

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Jigisha Shah

Principal Dentist

Get a Smile that Stands Out

At AP Dental, we are proud to offer a wide range of dental services to meet the needs of our patients. From professional cleanings and dental fillings to more complex procedures, we are here to help you maintain a brighter, healthier smile. Book your appointment today and see the difference our team can make.

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