Invisalign FAQs

Q. What are aligners made of, and what do they look like?

The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.

Q. How do the aligners straighten teeth?

Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by your doctor, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.

Q. How will Invisalign effectively move my teeth?

Through the use of our patented thermoplastic design, Invisalign aligners move your teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls the force, but also the timing of the force application. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. These movements are determined by your doctor as he or she maps out your unique Invisalign treatment plan.

Q. What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No one may even notice that you’re wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle.Invisalign aligners are removable. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene. There are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth, an advantage over traditional braces. Plus, since your office visits during treatment don’t involve metal or wire adjustments, you’ll likely spend less time in the doctor’s chair. Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straightened teeth will look when your treatment is complete. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you’ll be able to see it for yourself.

Q. How often must I wear my aligners?

We find that aligners are most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day and removed only for eating, brushing and flossing.

Q. How long will treatment take?

The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined by your doctor.

Q. How many patients have been treated with Invisalign?

More than 3 million patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily.

Q. What are aligners made of, and what do they look like?

The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.

Q. Do Invisalign aligners contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)?

No. Invisalign aligners and Vivera Retainers do not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers. These aligners and retainers are made with USP Class VI medical-grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resins. Tests have been conducted to determine the biocompatibility of these materials, and show that they are biocompatible and pass all applicable regulatory requirements and thresholds for human wear in the mouth. Of course, as with any medical device, you should consult with your health professional about your aligner or retainer treatment and any applicable risks of use.

Q. Has the FDA cleared Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are classified as Class II medical devices by the FDA, and Align Technology, Inc., received the necessary 510K clearance from the FDA to be able to sell and market the Invisalign system in 1998.