Invisalign treatment FAQ

More Information about Invisalign
What is the Invisalign system?
The Invisalign System is a virtually invisible and hygienic orthodontic treatment that uses an innovative approach to effectively straighten teeth. With our proprietary SmartForce Technology, the Invisalign System uses a series of custom-made removable aligners created for you and only you. These aligners are made of a virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth to gradually move them to the ideal position. Most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them, allowing you to keep your lifestyle during treatment. The Invisalign System is available through Invisalign-trained doctors who determine the treatment plan. Learn more here
How does the Invisalign treatment work?
Once you and your Invisalign-trained doctor agree that Invisalign treatment is right for you, your doctor will take photos, X-rays, and either impressions or a scan of your teeth. These records will be used to make a 3D treatment plan, referred to as the ClinCheck treatment plan, which will be used to design the custom-made Invisalign aligners. This 3D treatment plan will also show your likely final tooth position at the end of the treatment. Your custom-made Invisalign aligners will be produced and then shipped to your doctor, who will then give you a series of aligners, typically 3 to 4 sets at a time. You will replace each one approximately every 2 weeks until the final position of your teeth is reached. Get the full details of the treatment process here
How many patients have undergone Invisalign treatment?
More than 6 million patients worldwide have now started Invisalign treatment and the number of Invisalign smiles continue to grow.
What are the advantages of Invisalign treatment?
Like other teeth straightening approaches, Invisalign aligners are also an effective way to straighten teeth. There are also several other specific advantages to Invisalign treatment:

Virtually invisible: Invisalign aligners are a clear alternative to braces, giving you a virtually invisible treatment option that lets you keep your confidence, beautiful smile, and lifestyle even when you are in treatment.

More comfortable: Invisalign aligners are comfortable, with no metal brackets to irritate your gums or the inside of your mouth.

Maintain oral hygiene: Invisalign aligners are removable so it’s easier to clean your teeth and maintain your oral health during treatment.

Potentially fewer doctor visits: Invisalign treatment typically requires fewer doctor visits than some types of braces.

Visualise the progressive movement: Invisalign Treatment allows you to visualise each stage of the treatment process, from the beginning to the end. Also, some patients may require additional steps like refinement, to complete the treatment.
What do Invisalign aligners look like?
Invisalign aligners look similar to clear retainers, teeth-whitening trays, or gum shields. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you and each aligner will contain the patient identification number (PID number) and the Invisalign logo.
Who makes Invisalign aligners?
Invisalign aligners are designed, manufactured and marketed by Align Technology, Inc. Align Technology was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in San Jose, California with offices worldwide and manufacturing operation unit in Juarez, Mexico. The Invisalign system is offered directly by Align Technology in more than 100 countries.
Where are Invisalign aligners manufactured?
All Invisalign products are designed, manufactured and marketed by Align Technology, whose global headquarters are in California, USA, and whose manufacturing operation unit is in Juarez, Mexico.
How old is Invisalign technology?
The vision of the use of clear aligners for comprehensive orthodontic treatment first began in 1945. In 1999, Align Technology pioneered the invisible orthodontic market with the introduction of the Invisalign System. By 2001, 1 million clear aligners had been manufactured. By combining digital treatment planning, including 3D technology, and mass-customisation, the orthodontic industry has been transformed. As of January 2015, over 6 million patients have started Invisalign treatment.
What else does the manufacturer of Invisalign aligners make?
Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign aligners, is a global medical device company. They provide industry-leading innovative products such as Invisalign aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and OrthoCAD digital services that help dental professionals achieve the clinical results they expect, as well as providing effective, leading-edge dental options to patients.
How much does Invisalign treatment cost?
Costs vary from doctor to doctor and may be dependent on the complexity of your case and your course of treatment. Please speak to an Invisalign-trained doctor to get a more accurate cost estimate of your treatment. For more information about how much Invisalign treatment will cost, click here
Will the check-ups include a consultation fee?
Consultation fees vary from doctor to doctor. Some may offer free initial assessment while other may charge a fee. It’s best to check with the doctor for further details regarding fees. For more information about how much Invisalign treatment will cost, click here
Does my doctor offer payment plans for Invisalign treatment?
Individual treating doctors may offer differing payment plans that may not require the full amount to be paid up front. Please ask your treating doctor for his or her payment policy. For more information about how much Invisalign treatment will cost, click here
Is there a price reduction if I only need the top (or bottom) aligner?
The cost for Invisalign treatment is based upon the consultation needed, is patient specific and will also depend on the Invisalign treatment needed. Your treating doctor will be able to provide a more accurate price guideline.
Does my health insurance cover Invisalign treatment?
If your insurance policy has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign treatment could be covered to a similar extent as conventional braces. However, as medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, it’ll be safer to check with your health insurance provider. For more information about how much Invisalign treatment will cost, click here
Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than metal braces?
Costs vary from doctor to doctor and may be dependent on the complexity of your case and your course of treatment. However, the cost of Invisalign treatment may be comparative to that of other alignment procedures. Please speak to your doctor about the comparative cost of treatment. You may also want to consider other treatment-related factors like effectiveness, aesthetics during treatment, duration of treatment, comfort and convenience, to determine the most appropriate treatment for you.
About Invisalign-trained doctors
What is the difference between a general dentist and a specialist orthodontist?
Specific training is required to provide Invisalign treatment, and both Invisalign-trained dentists and specialist orthodontists have completed this training. The difference is that an orthodontist is a dental specialist has spent 3 or more additional years in an advanced, intensive educational program and only practices orthodontics. A general dentist performs general dentistry including but no limited to check-ups, cleanings and filings. Some dentists also practice orthodontics.
Do I need a referral to see an orthodontist?
You don’t need a referral to go to an orthodontist, but sometimes your dentist may give you one if he/she thinks you need specialist orthodontic treatment. Similarly, an orthodontist may refer you to a dentist if you need general dental work or a tooth extraction to complement the orthodontic work.
What is the relationship between Invisalign aligners and my doctor?
When a doctor decides to provide Invisalign treatment, he or she undergoes Invisalign training. The Invisalign provider training course is offered to those who have their dental practitioner qualification certificate and want to provide Invisalign treatment. This training is not a certification or warranty of a practitioner’s dental license or an endorsement of a practitioner’s dental or orthodontic skills. Once a practitioner completes the Invisalign provider training course, he or she can provide Invisalign treatment. However, the practitioner remains fully in control of, and responsible for, his or her treatment decisions. This includes designing a suitable treatment plan (including the predicted tooth movements) and prescribing a series of customised Invisalign aligners specifically to match a particular patient’s treatment plan.
What does it mean by "Invisalign Platinum" providers?
The Invisalign volume-based tier designations (e.g. Platinum Elite (PE), Platinum (P), Diamond (D) and Black Diamond (BD) are based on the number of historical Invisalign cases that a provider has submitted over a defined period of time. The tier system does not represent a doctor’s clinical experience or clinical skills in orthodontic treatment. The Invisalign provider tier level designations are not recognised as specialty areas by any applicable dental associations and have no relevance to a practitioner’s dental or orthodontic skill, or a particular treatment outcome. An Invisalign provider’s Invisalign volume-based tier designation is simply a tool that a patient can use for considering a practitioner’s experience with Invisalign treatment. You should always make your own judgement in selecting a practice and provider to start your Invisalign treatment. It should also be noted that the clinical outcome from Invisalign treatment to is based on a lot of different factors that can include the condition of your teeth, compliance, the treatment plan, and the doctor’s orthodontic experience.
If I move or switch doctors, what happens to the fee that was paid to the original doctor?
Since Invisalign treatment is customised to you, pricing and terms are set by each doctor. As you change doctors, you will need to settle your account with your current doctor and let them know you would like to make a change. Be sure to ask the new clinic what to expect when you are in treatment. If you’re about to start treatment, but think it’s likely you may have to switch doctors (for example, if you’re moving homes or in the military), coming to an agreement up front with your doctor regarding costs and payment schedules is a good idea.
How do I know if a doctor is trained to use Invisalign aligners?
Please see here for a list of Invisalign-trained doctors in your area. Invisalign-trained doctors who have completed our training will receive a certificate for the course completion that you can look out for in the clinic.
How do I seek Invisalign treatment?
There are many Invisalign-trained doctors available and listed on this website.
Treatment Information & Duration
How long will treatment take?
The length of your treatment will depend on your specific needs and will be determined by your Invisalign-trained doctor. The average treatment for an adult is about 12 to 18 months and for teenagers, treatment length may vary depending on each individual case and will need to be determined by the doctor.
Do I need to wear my aligners all day?
You should wear each aligner for 20 to 22 hours a day during your treatment for best results and a timely outcome.
How often do I need to see my doctor during Invisalign treatment?
You will visit your Invisalign-trained doctor for a check-up approximately every 6-8 weeks to see how your treatment is progressing. During your check-ups, your Invisalign-trained doctor will check that the aligners are fitting well and make any adjustments if necessary.
Can I get all my aligners at once?
You’ll be provided with enough aligners to last between visits to your doctor (usually 3-4 sets at a time). Your doctor will review your progress every 6-8 weeks and new aligners will be given to you at these appointments. It’s best to speak to your doctor about how many aligners you will be provided with between visits.
How do I store my Invisalign aligners when I'm not wearing them?
One aligner case is included in your patient starter kit.
How often should I change my aligners?
You will usually change your aligners every 2 weeks. However, please follow your Invisalign-trained doctor’s specific instructions regarding when you need to change your aligners as this may vary between patients.
How long before I can start seeing results?
Results with the Invisalign System usually start showing a few months after starting treatment.
Life with Invisalign & Compliance
Do I need to wear my aligners all day?
You should wear each aligner for 20 to 22 hours a day during your treatment for best results and a timely outcome.
Are there restrictions on what I can eat while on treatment?
No, you can usually eat what you want while in treatment because the Invisalign aligners are removed when eating or drinking. Thus, there’s no need to refrain from your favourite foods and drinks unless instructed by your doctor. However, it’s recommended that you floss and brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper oral hygiene.
Can I drink hot or cold beverages while wearing my aligners?
Except for cool water, we recommend that you don’t drink while wearing the aligners. This is to avoid cavities and stains forming on your teeth, or warping your aligners with hot beverages.
Can I drink alcohol while wearing the aligners?
You should remove your aligners to consume anything except for water. Leaving aligners on while drinking may stain them and you may risk developing tooth decay while consuming fluids with sugar in them.
Can I smoke while wearing the aligners?
We don’t encourage smoking while wearing aligners because it’s possible for them to become discoloured.
Can I chew gum while wearing the aligners?
You should not chew gum while wearing your aligners as the gum may stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, including chewing gum.
Can the aligners slip off while I'm sleeping?
It’s very unlikely that your aligners will ever fall out, no matter what you’re doing at the time (whether it’s sleeping, talking or laughing). Invisalign aligners are designed to fit firmly on the teeth so this should not be a cause for concern.
Will wearing the aligners affect my speech?
Similar to other orthodontic treatments, the Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any misarticulation or minor speech impediment caused by the aligners should disappear. Please speak to your doctor about ways to help you get used to your aligners more quickly.
If I feel that my teeth look straight enough, can I stop the treatment?
It’s important that you follow the treatment plan developed by your doctor to ensure the best outcome. Your doctor will determine the recommended treatment duration for you depending on several considerations, including the spacing between your teeth and the need for retention.
If I'm travelling, can I get additional aligners at my appointment with the doctor?
It’s recommended to visit your doctor for regular visits to make sure your treatment plan is on track. If you need additional aligners due to travel periods, speak to your doctor as this is dependent on your specific case and treatment plan.
I am moving to a different country. How can I continue my treatment?
Invisalign treatment is available in more than 100 countries worldwide, and you can transfer your Invisalign treatment to another Invisalign-trained doctor to continue your treatment. Please speak to your current Invisalign-trained doctor about the process.
Can I wear aligners if I'm pregnant?
The aligners are made of non-toxic, medical-grade plastic and can be worn during pregnancy. If you’re concerned, please consult your healthcare professional.
Is Invisalign treatment painful?
While Invisalign treatment may move your teeth without the pain and anxiety of other straightening methods, some people might experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It's a sign that the Invisalign aligners are sequentially moving your teeth to their final positions. This discomfort usually goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.
I am experiencing pain and discomfort while using my aligners. What should I do?
If you notice a sharp pain or have significant discomfort, stop using the aligners and contact your Invisalign-trained doctor.
Are there any warnings or contraindications with the use of Invisalign aligners?
Invisalign treatment is contraindicated in patients with active periodontal disease. If you have periodontal (gum) disease, you should consult your doctor before undergoing Invisalign treatment.

Warnings with Invisalign treatment include:

In rare instances, some patients may be allergic to the aligner material. If this occurs, discontinue use and speak to a healthcare professional immediately.

In rare instances, patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE), a genetic disorder, may experience rapid local swelling of tissues including the larynx. This may be triggered by mild stimuli including dental procedures. If this occurs, discontinue use and speak to a healthcare professional immediately.

Orthodontic appliances, or parts thereof, may be accidentally swallowed or inhaled, and may be harmful.
My attachments have turned yellow. What can I do?
Please speak with your doctor, as he or she may need to fully remove the stained attachments and replace them.
Why do some of my aligners have bumps or ridges on them?
Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require either “attachments” or “ridges” to help the aligner grip the teeth. These bumps or wells are where the aligner grips the attachment the doctor places on your teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of composite the doctor affixes to your teeth that are then gripped by bumps on your aligners. The ridges are slim indentations in your aligners. Your Invisalign-trained doctor will use one or both of these features to achieved the desired movement.
Are the aligners really invisible?
Aligners are virtually invisible and discreet, so most people will not even notice that you’re wearing them.
Invisalign vs. other treatment
What’s the difference between Invisalign aligners and other methods of correcting and aligning teeth?
Other methods of aligning teeth include traditional braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. In comparing these teeth alignment methods, it’s useful to consider aesthetics, efficiency, effect on oral hygiene, comfort during treatment, compliance and removal:
  Invisalign aligners Traditional braces Ceramic braces Lingual braces
Description The Invisalign System uses a series of clear, removable plastic trays (aligners) that fit over teeth. Aligners are custom-made and changed every 2 weeks to gradually move teeth into the desired position. Traditional braces are stainless steel brackets and wires that are attached to the outside of the teeth. Wires are adjusted throughout treatment to gradually move teeth into the desired position. Traditional ceramic braces are clear brackets that are attached to the outside of the teeth. Wires can be either tooth-coloured or metal. Wires are adjusted throughout treatment to gradually move teeth into the desired position. Lingual braces are metal brackets and wires that are bonded to the back of teeth. Wires are adjusted throughout treatment in order to gradually move teeth into the desired position.
Aesthetics Virtually invisible. Highly visible. Less visible than traditional braces but more visible than lingual braces and Invisalign aligners. Virtually invisible.
Efficiency Suitable for most cases from mild to moderate complexity. Treatment outcomes are dependent on the experience level of the practitioner. Suitable for nearly all cases. Suitable for most cases from mild to moderate complexity. However, it can be more difficult for doctors to manage lingual brace treatment as compared to traditional braces.
Oral Hygiene Invisalign aligners can be removed for normal brushing and flossing, making it easier to maintain a good level of oral hygiene throughout the course of treatment. Oral hygiene is harder to maintain with fixed braces when brushing and flossing. For these reasons, fixed appliance patients can find they have increased plague accumulation and gingival inflammation during treatment. Because of their position on the back of teeth, it’s more difficult to brush and floss normally during treatment. This increases the chances of plaque retention and possible tooth decay.
Comfort Most people experience temporary, minor discomfort at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This short-term effect is typically described as a feeling of pressure. Speech may be temporarily affected at the beginning of treatment. Mouth sores/ulcers can be caused by the irritation from components of the braces. Broken brackets and wires can also cause discomfort and may require urgent attention from your treating practitioner. Lingual appliances can have an effect on the tongue position and may affect speech throughout treatment. Mouth sores/ulcers can also be caused by the irritation from components of the braces.
Compliance Research show that because aligners are virtually invisible, there is a high level of patient acceptance with Invisalign treatment. However, levels of compliance with elastic wear can vary from patient to patient being treated with aligners. High level of compliance braces are fixed to the teeth for the duration of treatment. However, levels of compliance with elastic wear can vary from patient to patient.
Removable Removable, but aligners should be worn a minimum of 20-22 hours a day for best results. Not removable. Braces are fixed to the teeth for the duration of orthodontic treatment.