Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment option that allows doctors to straighten teeth using a series of clear, removable, nearly invisible, plastic appliances called aligners.
Q. How does Invisalign work?
The patient meets with an Invisalign-certified orthodontist who takes orthodontic records of the patient's teeth, including impressions, and fills out an Invisalign treatment planning or prescription form and sends all the material to Align Technology.
At Align, a computer model of the patient's teeth is created from the impressions. Align then uses its advanced, 3-D imaging software to generate a graphical representation of the doctor's treatment plan - almost like an animated movie of the way the patient's teeth will move from the current position to the final desired position.
The doctor reviews and approves the rendering of his treatment plan (the 3-D movie) on a secure portion of Align's website. Align Technology produces a series of clear, plastic aligners that correspond to the stages of tooth movement in the 3-D movie.
The patient wears each stage of aligners for approximately two weeks before switching to the next set in the series. Week by week, the patient's teeth are straightened millimeter by millimeter.
Q. Is this a new way to straighten teeth?
Orthodontists have successfully used removable appliances for years for very limited treatment. With the application of 3-D computer technology and mass customization, Invisalign can be used to treat almost anyone who wants straighter teeth.
Q. What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
- Nearly invisible: You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
- Removable: You can eat and drink what you want.
- Better oral hygiene: You can brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
- Comfortable: There are no wires, metal or brackets to cause mouth abrasion.
Q. How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?
More than 1,000,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily. At your next appointment, Dr. Summer can help answer any questions you might have, and get you started on the smile you've always wanted.