Invisalign has changed over the years. When it first started we did not treat teenagers or certain types of malocclusions. It has evolved and allows us to treat a variety of problems, and is great for teens as well. Invisalign is certainly not right for everyone. Proper treatment planning and set up is extremely important. Studies show that 50% of orthodontist and 85% of general dentists do not adjust the clin-check (Invisalign’s treatment plan). This is much more complicated than you may think. I have been practicing orthodontics many years and still do 2 webinars or continuing education courses a month to keep up with Invisalign changes and improve my treatment set ups.
Once the aligners are made, compliance is the most important factor. I have found if patients cooperate aligners work. There is one other aligner company that we use as well called Clear Correct. It is not for difficult cases, but I try to use it when I can for 2 reasons. It is made in America and in the patient cost was less. Invisalign has responded to all these new companies by changing pricing and becoming more patient friendly. I find myself now using Invisalign about 80% of the time.
What to expect with Invisalign. Almost all Invisalign cases will need attachments. Attachments are tooth colored “buttons” and improve our ability to do certain movements. The average Invisalign case takes about a year. It may take a little longer to notice results versus braces but total treatment time may be shorter. We do a refinement on almost every patient. I expect the initial treatment to get us 85% of the way and the refinement will complete the treatment. Aligners are generally worn for 2 weeks and then you move to the next one. There may be times where you may be asked to go 1 week or even 3 weeks. Most orthodontists will give you 3 to 5 sets at a time so appointments may vary between 6 weeks and 10 weeks.