How Invisalign Aligners Work: Understanding the Process

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How Invisalign Aligners Work

Invisalign is one of the most popular inventions in cosmetic dentistry in recent times. They are clear aligners that are rapidly proving to be a preferred alternative to metal braces. They are custom-fit, molded trays that you can wear at all times. They are attached to your teeth with small, tooth colored, hard to distinguish attachments on the teeth. The entire process is completely painful and makes the process of teeth alignment incredibly hassle-free.

There are a plethora of reasons that contribute to Invisalign’s rapid popularity. Some of those are:

  • They are easy to care for. Hence, they are considered to be low maintenance.
  • They are removable. The patient can take them out to eat, brush or floss. Some people also prefer to take them off at night.
  • They are customized to your needs. Invisalign is completely made to fit your teeth shape and structure, ensuring a snug fit.
  • They are comfortable to wear.
  • They are aesthetically better. Unlike metal braces over your teeth, Invisalign are completely transparent and not easily spotted.

Consultation and Treatment Planning

Invisalign is now rapidly becoming available at dentists all over the world. If you’re thinking of getting them, the first step would be to find a dentist near you. Do thorough research for which cosmetic dentist would be the most suitable for you. 

Your first appointment will mainly consist of your dentist studying the structure of your oral cavity and trying to assess whether you are a right candidate for Invisalign. Not everyone can be the right candidate for it and your dentist is the only person who can assess that. If you are, they will further discuss treatment plans, costs and pros and cons. Digital scans, pictures and x-rays will then be used to create an accurate model of your teeth to create the aligner trays.

Wearing Invisalign Aligners

Once the trays have been fabricated, you’ll be asked to book a follow-up appointment. Small clasp-like attachments that are tooth colored and temporary will be attached to your teeth. After, your aligners will be fitted and then, you can go ahead and start sporting them!

Tracking Progress

Just like with metal braces, keeping track of your teeth alignment is important. But unlike braces, you won’t need to go see your dentist regularly. Your first follow-up appointment will be after a few weeks after your first fitting. Following that, you’ll only need to go once in eight to fifteen weeks and only last approximately 15 minutes. Only in the situation that your teeth are not making progress, will there be a need for another scan. Your dentist will carry out an assessment and take digital scans to get improved molds.

Completion of Treatment

The exact time Invisalign will require to straighten your teeth will differ from person to person. It will depend on the extent of misalignment and the aftercare. But generally, they take around 12 to 15 months to align your teeth. For complex cases such as crowded teeth, it can take up to 24 months.

Metal Braces vs Invisalign Aligners

While traditional metal braces have been in use for an extremely long time, Invisalign is proving to be the preferred option now. 

  • Metal Braces

  1. Used in all cases, no matter how severe the misalignment is. 
  2. They are more forceful.
  3. The aesthetics of braces are not preferred by many.
  4. Brushing and flossing become difficult.
  5. Some food items cannot be eaten with braces.
  6. You’ll need to visit the dentist more often.
  • Invisalign

  1. Invisalign is virtually invisible after being worn.
  2. They are removable and make eating and drinking all foods easier.
  3. Brushing and flossing are more convenient.
  4. You won’t need frequent follow-up appointments.


  1. How often should you visit an orthodontist during Invisalign treatment?

With aligners, you won’t need to visit your dentist as often. Once your first tray has been fitted, you’ll only need to visit your dentist for approximately 15 minutes every 8 to 15 weeks. Your dentist will guide you on the appropriate schedule for follow-up appointments.

  1. Can you eat and drink normally with Invisalign aligners?

Invisalign is removable and structured for your comfort. You can take them out to eat and drink as you normally would. Opposed to braces, you don’t need to avoid any foods or practice caution and hesitation while picking what to eat.


All cases are different and you’ll need to attend a consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable dentist to guide you on the right path. If you’re looking for a dentist in SE Calgary for Invisalign aligners, get in touch with us here at Inglewood Family Dental. Our experience and skills, combined with the latest technology give you the best experience to make dentistry worry-free and convenient. Deciding between braces and aligners can be a daunting experience as a first-timer, and having a dentist that understands you is crucial.

Please give us a call to get started today! 

About Author

Dr. Arash Ravanbakhsh is a skilled Calgary dentist passionate about oral health. Graduating from the University of Alberta, he brings advanced dental knowledge to Inglewood Family Dental. Dedicated to patient care, Dr. Arash also volunteers his time on dental missions, improving oral health globally.