The Invisalign Process
Invisalign treatment is a simple 7-step process:
Step 1: Consultation
You’ll meet with one of our Invisalign dentists, Dr. Rod Strickland, or Dr. Ryan Reeves. Your dentist will talk to you about your treatment goals. They will examine your teeth and take X-rays to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign.
Based on your treatment goals and your exam results, your dentist might recommend Invisalign, Six Month Smiles, porcelain veneers, or another treatment approach to get you the smile you desire. Once you decide on a treatment plan, our dentists will review aspects of the treatment plan, including how long you can expect treatment to take.
If this seems like a good plan, we’ll review costs and discuss financing information if necessary. We’ll schedule the next appointment if you want to proceed with treatment.
Step 2: Designing a Treatment Plan
Your Invisalign dentist will take digital impressions of your teeth at your second appointment. This is simply waving a wand over your teeth, which allows the computer to construct a 3D model of your teeth. Your dentist uploads this model to the planning software. He then uses it to design your treatment plan, mapping out each step in the process.
Once the plan is right, your dentist will send the plan to Invisalign’s lab.
Stage 3: Aligners Created in Lab
Following the plan by your Invisalign dentist, the Invisalign lab will create a series of aligners to guide your teeth into their desired locations. This process can take about two weeks. We’ll call you in for your next appointment when your aligners arrive.
Stage 4: Wearing the Aligners
When your aligners are ready, we’ll call you in and give detailed instructions about wearing your aligners. However, here are the basics.
To get accurate treatment on schedule, wear your aligners as much as possible. You need to wear them at least 20 hours a day; ideally, you should wear them 22 hours a day. Always remove your aligners for eating, and always clean your teeth before putting the aligners back in.
Now Invisalign aligners can also act as teeth-whitening trays, letting you brighten and straighten your smile simultaneously.
Stage 5: Progress Check-Ups
You will have a check-up with your Invisalign dentist every six to eight weeks. They’ll evaluate the progress of your tooth movements and check the health of your teeth and gums. If we notice health concerns, we might recommend changes to your hygiene routine.
Sometimes, we might recommend changes in how you’re wearing your aligners. If your treatment is going well, for example, we might say that you can switch to new aligners faster. In the past, everyone had to wear aligners for two weeks each. Now many people can wear them for just one week each–cutting treatment time in half!
Stage 6: Final Adjustments
As we near the end of your treatment, we might notice that your progress could be advancing more. If so, we will adjust your treatment by adding a few additional aligners. This is becoming increasingly rare.
Stage 7: Wear Your Retainers
As with other orthodontic treatments, your teeth can return to their previous positions if not held in place. This is the reason why you should wear retainers. At first, you should wear your retainers as much as your aligners. Eventually, you will just wear retainers at night, then just a few nights a week to keep your teeth in place.