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
Q. How does Invisalign work?
The patient meets with an Invisalign-trained dentist or 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. What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
• Nearly invisible: You can straighten your teeth without
• 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
Q. Who can benefit from Invisalign?
Experienced doctors can use Invisalign to treat the vast majority of people who
want straighter teeth. According to the Journal of the American Dental
Association, two-thirds to three-fourths of American adults (between 136 and
154 million) have some sort of malocclusion (crooked teeth) and could benefit
from orthodontic treatment.
Q. How long does treatment take?
Like traditional braces, the length of treatment depends on the complexity of
the case. Treatment time typically is about the same as conventional braces—
about a year.
Q. Can any doctor treat patients with Invisalign?
Doctors must attend and complete an Invisalign training seminar to treat
patients with Invisalign. Align also provides doctors with many opportunities for
continuing education (CE) and advanced Invisalign training and requires that
Invalign-trained doctors complete 10 CE hours annually.
Q. Does insurance cover Invisalign?
Typically, an insurance policy that covers traditional braces also covers Invisalign
to the same extent. In addition, many doctors offering financing through companies
such as Chase® or CareCredit® as well as in-office financing.
Q. How many people are in treatment with the Invisalign System?
More than 1 million patients worldwide have entered treatment with Invisalign.
Q. Is Invisalign FDA approved?
Invisalign has FDA clearance as a Class II medical device.