invisalign in female patient hand

Invisalign is a modern approach to orthodontics that is completely metal-free and does not require the use of brackets or wires. Instead, Invisalign utilizes a series of sequential clear aligners that move the teeth into a more optimal position over time. These aligners can easily be removed to eat, brush, and floss. Invisalign can be used for both teens and adults, but it is a popular orthodontic treatment for adults due to its discreet appearance and treatment flexibility. 

Did You Know?

Invisalign was first developed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998. It later became available to the dental marketplace in the year 1999. Since then Invisalign treatment has been used by over 80,000 dentists to treat over 2.4 million patients.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Am I a candidate for Invisalign?

Boy with crooked teeth

You may be a candidate for Invisalign if you are looking for a discreet way to effectively straighten your teeth and/or correct bite alignment issues. Specifically, Invisalign works well to correct: 

  • Crowded teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Teeth with gaps between them
  • Open bites
  • Crossbites
  • Underbites
  • Overbites 

To find out if Invisalign is the best orthodontic treatment for you, schedule a consultation with your Saratoga dentist, Dr. Perry Woo. 

How does Invisalign work?

For starters, Invisalign aligners are made using something called SmartTrack® material. In addition to being clear, this material is also thin and can fit snugly over the teeth. The precise fit of the aligners is important since Invisalign works by applying constant pressure to the teeth in order to move them. In this way, Invisalign works like traditional metal braces, but without the need for brackets or wires. 

What can I expect while undergoing treatment with Invisalign?

Your Invisalign treatment will begin with an oral scan of your mouth to predict your treatment results and obtain the information necessary to fabricate your aligners. Once your aligners have been fabricated, you will begin treatment. Your aligners must be worn for a minimum of 20-22 hours a day and ideally should only be removed when you eat, brush, or floss. 

clear aligner next to a toothbrush

Invisalign treatment uses a series of progressive aligners, so you will wear each aligner for about 1-2 weeks before switching to the next aligner in the series. To monitor your progress, Dr. Woo will schedule appointments with you about every 6-8 weeks. At these appointments, you will also receive the next series of aligners. 

When you first start treatment with Invisalign, you may experience some brief discomfort while your teeth adjust to the pressure. This can also occur when switching to a new aligner. In any case, discomfort can easily be managed with over the counter pain medications. 

How long does treatment last and what happens after?

Treatment with Invisalign lasts an average of 12-18 months, but this can vary depending on your individual case. Once active treatment is completed, you will be given a clear Vivera® retainer to maintain your new smile. In most cases, retainers are worn full time at first and then gradually reduced to nights only.