Invisalign® FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Answers to Common Questions About Invisalign
- What is Invisalign treatment?
- What are Invisalign clear aligners made of and what do they look like?
- How will Invisalign treatment straighten my teeth?
- What are the primary benefits of Invisalign treatment?
- Am I guaranteed to have straight teeth with Invisalign treatment?
- Is Invisalign treatment right for me?
- What is the treatment process?
- How do I get started with Invisalign treatment?
- What is the Smile Concierge Team and what can they do for me?
- Can I go to any dentist or orthodontist for Invisalign treatment?
- What should I bring to my consultation with my doctor?
- What should I expect during my consultation?
- How long will treatment take?
- How often will I change aligners?
- How many hours per day should I wear my aligners?
- How often will I have appointments with my doctor?
- My doctor mentioned “attachments.” What are they and why would I need them for my Invisalign treatment?
- Can I get Invisalign treatment on just my top or bottom teeth instead of both?
- How much does Invisalign treatment cost?
- Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than braces?
- Will my insurance cover Invisalign treatment?
- What payment options are available for Invisalign treatment?
- How many people have used Invisalign clear aligners?
- How is Invisalign treatment different than other teeth straightening options?
- Do Invisalign clear aligners contain Bisphenol A (BPA)?
- How old is the company behind Invisalign clear aligners?
- Has the FDA approved Invisalign treatment?
- I am currently wearing braces. Can I make the switch to Invisalign treatment?
- Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign treatment fix this?
- I have veneers or crowns. Will Invisalign clear aligners work with them?
- I have bridgework on several teeth. Will Invisalign clear aligners still work?
- Can anyone tell that I’m wearing the aligners?
- Can I take my aligners off whenever I need to?
- Are there any restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?
- Is Invisalign treatment painful?
- Sometimes when I remove my aligners, my teeth feel loose. Is that common?
- Will Invisalign treatment still work if I only wear my aligners while I sleep?
- Will wearing Invisalign clear aligners affect my speech?
- Will smoking stain my aligners?
- Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
- Can the aligners slip off while I’m asleep?
- I went on a trip and forgot to take my aligners with me. Will my aligners still fit?
- What’s the best way to clean my aligners?
- If I have food residue (like blueberries or pasta sauce) in my mouth when I put my aligners back in, can they become stained?
- I dropped my aligners in an unsanitary place. Do I need to sterilize them after I clean them?
- What if I lose or break an aligner. What should I do?
- Can I order replacement aligners from the Invisalign brand directly?
- Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
- What type of retainer should I use?
- How much do Vivera retainers cost?
- How do I order Vivera retainers?
- How long will I have to wear my Vivera retainers?
- Lose your Vivera retainer? No problem.
What is Invisalign treatment?
Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. No brackets and wires, and none of the restrictions that come with metal braces.
What are Invisalign clear aligners made of and what do they look like?
Invisalign clear aligners are made of flexible plastic — specifically, a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® created exclusively for Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign clear aligners are FDA-approved and contain no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. They are thin, clear, and fit snugly over your teeth, making them virtually invisible.
How will Invisalign treatment straighten my teeth?
Your doctor will create a unique, digital treatment plan that maps out the exact movements of your teeth. Your Invisalign clear aligners are then designed to apply the right amount of force to the right
place at the right time based on your plan. Your doctor will be with you every step of the way to monitor your progress and ensure your aligners fit correctly.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign treatment?
Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible — people may not even notice you’re wearing them. You can remove them to eat and drink, to brush and floss, or for special occasions. There are no metal brackets or wires that could irritate your mouth or break, sending you to your doctor for an emergency visit.
Am I guaranteed to have straight teeth with Invisalign treatment?
Every smile is unique, which is why your Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation. During your consultation, your doctor will help you determine what Invisalign treatment can do for your smile.
We cannot guarantee a particular treatment outcome, but encourage you to share your treatment goals with your doctor at your consultation.
Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Smile?
Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment to reclaim your smile today!
Is Invisalign treatment right for me?
Yes! Invisalign treatment can be a great solution for both adults and teens looking for a virtually invisible method to improve their smile. Our innovations and technological advancements make it possible to fix nearly all common teeth-straightening and bite issues, from simple to complex — all without interrupting your busy life. And, thanks to a discreet blue dot on the outside of teen aligners, parents can be sure their child is wearing their clear aligners
What is the treatment process?
Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation with an Invisalign-trained doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your smile and then map out a precise, customized digital treatment plan that showcases the step-by-step transformation of your smile.
Once you approve your plan, your unique aligners will be created. You will wear each set of aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, changing to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks, as directed by your doctor. Each set of aligners will gently and gradually shift your teeth into place, according to your treatment plan, until you reach your beautiful new smile.
How do I get started with Invisalign treatment?
Our Smile Concierge Team can help you make an appointment with an Invisalign-trained doctor near you and answer any questions you have. You can also find an Invisalign-trained doctor near you using our online locator.
Many doctors offer free initial consultations. For the best experience, take the time to find the right doctor for you — someone who makes you feel comfortable and has the experience you’re looking for.
What is the Smile Concierge Team and what can they do for me?
The Smile Concierge Team is a friendly squad in Raleigh, NC, here to help make getting started with Invisalign treatment even easier. They can help you schedule a consultation, find an Invisalign-trained doctor near you, or answer any questions you have.
Can I go to any dentist or orthodontist for Invisalign treatment?
Many orthodontists and dentists are Invisalign-trained doctors, but not all are. Doctors who want to offer Invisalign treatment must complete specialized training.
Our Smile Concierge Team can help you find an Invisalign-trained doctor near you or you can use our online locator.
What should I bring to my consultation with my doctor?
Bring your questions (we’ve got a list to get you started here).
You should also bring your insurance card and any information you might have about your dental history.
What should I expect during my consultation?
During your consultation, your doctor will discuss your teeth-straightening goals with you and examine your smile in order to determine your specific needs. Your doctor may also talk to you about how quickly you can reach your new smile, as well as treatment cost.
Your doctor will most likely recommend scheduling a dental checkup and cleaning before you begin Invisalign treatment to make sure your teeth and gums are in top health and to avoid unnecessary risks.
How long will treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on multiple factors, like how complex your case is and how often you wear your aligners. Your doctor will determine exactly how long your treatment will take based on your
specific needs. On average, Invisalign treatment time is 12 to 18 months,2 though you can start seeing results in a matter of weeks.
How often will I change aligners?
Your doctor will tell you how often you should change to new aligners (this can vary based on your individual treatment plan). Many doctors recommend changing Invisalign clear aligners weekly or every other week.
How many hours per day should I wear my aligners?
For the best results, wear your Invisalign clear aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, taking them out just for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.
How often will I have appointments with my doctor?
Your doctor will schedule regular appointments, usually about once every four to six weeks. The goal of these visits is to ensure your Invisalign treatment is progressing as planned.
My doctor mentioned “attachments.” What are they and why would I need them for my Invisalign treatment?
Your Invisalign treatment may require SmartForce® attachments, small tooth-colored shapes that are attached to your teeth.
These shapes serve as handles, giving the aligners something to gently push on in order to move your teeth with the right amount of force, and are what make complex tooth movements possible without braces. Invisalign clear aligners fit smoothly and tightly around them, so they’re barely noticeable.
While not everyone who uses Invisalign clear aligners will need SmartForce attachments, if you need them, your doctor will attach them to your teeth at the start of or during your treatment and remove them when they are no longer needed.
Can I get Invisalign treatment on just my top or bottom teeth instead of both?
Invisalign treatment options are available for just top or bottom teeth, but consult your doctor for your individual needs.
How much does Invisalign treatment cost?
In most cases, the cost of Invisalign treatment is similar to the cost of braces. Your doctor will determine the cost of your treatment based on how complex your case is and how many aligners you need.
There are several options to make Invisalign treatment more affordable for you, from using insurance and tax-free dollars to a monthly payment plan. Learn more.
Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than braces?
Invisalign treatment typically costs about the same as braces.
Will my insurance cover Invisalign treatment?
Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign treatment the same way they cover braces. Your insurance may pay for a certain percentage of your Invisalign treatment, or it may pay for a certain dollar amount.
What payment options are available for Invisalign treatment?
Many doctors offer flexible and affordable monthly payment plans, which allow you to make small payments through the course of your Invisalign treatment rather than all at once.
Doctors may also offer financing through LendingPoint. LendingPoint is a third-party patient financing program that makes it easier for you to get the treatment or procedures you want and need.
Additionally, you can use your FSA or HSA to pay for Invisalign treatment using tax-free dollars. For more information about payment options available with Invisalign treatment, click
How many people have used Invisalign clear aligners?
Over 10 million people, including more than 1.4 million teens, have used Invisalign clear aligners to transform their smiles.
How is Invisalign treatment different than other teeth straightening options?
Invisalign clear aligners are made from patented SmartTrack material which moves teeth comfortably and predictably.1
Do Invisalign clear aligners contain Bisphenol A (BPA)?
All Invisalign aligner and retainer materials are made of medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers. These materials were selected for use in aligners and retainers based on their properties and safety classification, and have a long history of FDA approvals for long term use inside the human body. Tests conducted to determine the biocompatibility of these materials show they are biocompatible and pass all applicable regulatory requirements and thresholds for human wear in the mouth.
Based on our current knowledge and testing of the raw materials and processes used in the manufacture of aligners and retainers, we are not aware of any latex, parabens, phthalates, glutaraldehyde, epoxy or Bisphenol A (BPA) present in our aligners or retainers.
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.
How old is the company behind Invisalign clear aligners?
Align Technology, Inc., the company that makes Invisalign clear aligners, was founded in 1997.
Has the FDA approved Invisalign treatment?
Yes, Invisalign aligners are classified as Class II medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Align Technology, Inc. received the necessary 510(k) clearance from the FDA to sell and market Invisalign treatment in 1998.
I am currently wearing braces. Can I make the switch to Invisalign treatment?
Possibly! Doctors are treating a significant number of patients with a combination of braces and Invisalign clear aligners — consult your doctor to determine the best treatment approach for your smile.
Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign treatment fix this?
Yes, Invisalign clear aligners can treat nearly all common teeth-straightening issues, from simple to complex. Many people who formerly had braces choose Invisalign treatment as the discrete solution to improve their smile when they find that their teeth have shifted back.
I have veneers or crowns. Will Invisalign clear aligners work with them?
It depends. Talk with your doctor about the dental work you’ve had done, including veneers and crowns, and he or she will evaluate your individual needs.
I have bridgework on several teeth. Will Invisalign clear aligners still work?
Invisalign clear aligners are designed to move each tooth individually. Because bridgework connects two or more teeth, clear aligners may not be effective.
Can anyone tell that I’m wearing the aligners?
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. Others may not even notice you’re wearing them, making Invisalign treatment a seamless fit with your lifestyle.
Can I take my aligners off whenever I need to?
Yes, you can remove your Invisalign aligners for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. You can take them off for special occasions, like a wedding, job interview, or for playing your favorite sport
or instrument. Just remember to wear them 20 to 22 hours a day to get the best results.
Are there any restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?
None! Invisalign clear aligners are removable, so there are no food restrictions at all (hello popcorn!). With traditional wires and brackets, there’s a long list of foods you unfortunately can’t enjoy
because they can damage or get stuck in your braces.
Is Invisalign treatment painful?
Invisalign treatment moves your teeth by applying gentle, constant force, but some people do feel temporary discomfort for the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners. Typically, people describe it as feeling “pressure” and it’s normal — it’s a sign your Invisalign clear aligners are working and transforming your smile.
Please see your doctor if you have any concerns or experience continued discomfort.
Sometimes when I remove my aligners, my teeth feel loose. Is that common?
Yes. As your Invisalign aligners gradually shift your teeth into their proper position, your gums are re-forming around each tooth as it moves. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns.
Will Invisalign treatment still work if I only wear my aligners while I sleep?
You need to wear your Invisalign aligners 20 to 22 hours a day to get the results you want.
Will wearing Invisalign clear aligners affect my speech?
It may take a couple of days for your tongue to get used to having your Invisalign aligners in your mouth, and you may have a slight lisp. But this should disappear quickly.
Will smoking stain my aligners?
We discourage smoking while wearing Invisalign aligners because it can stain them.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
No, gum will stick to your Invisalign aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, including gum.
Can the aligners slip off while I’m asleep?
It is very unlikely that your aligners would ever fall out, no matter what you are doing: sleeping, talking, laughing, etc. Invisalign clear aligners are designed to fit snugly around your teeth, so this
should not be a cause for concern.
I went on a trip and forgot to take my aligners with me. Will my aligners still fit?
The answer depends on how long you’ve gone without wearing your Invisalign aligners. If it’s only been a short time, your aligners should still fit, but they might feel uncomfortable. If it’s been a longer time, talk to your doctor about your unique situation.
What’s the best way to clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign Cleaning System, available online or from your doctor. You can also brush them with a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinse them in lukewarm water. Never use hot water on your aligners — it could permanently warp the plastic.
If I have food residue (like blueberries or pasta sauce) in my mouth when I put my aligners back in, can they become stained?
Yes. That’s why it’s important to brush after every meal, before placing your Invisalign aligners back in your mouth.
I dropped my aligners in an unsanitary place. Do I need to sterilize them after I clean them?
Yes. It is very important to always ensure your aligners are clean and hygienic before placing them in your mouth. Invisalign Cleaning Crystals keep your aligners clean, hygienic, and clear — they even remove plaque in as little as 15 minutes. Please do not use hot water at any time on your aligners — it could permanently warp the plastic.
What if I lose or break an aligner. What should I do?
If you lose or break an Invisalign aligner, immediately let your doctor know. Your doctor will work with you to ensure you stay on-track with your treatment plan, which may involve wearing a previous set of aligners, your next set of aligners, or ordering replacements aligners.
Can I order replacement aligners from the Invisalign brand directly?
All aligners and retainers must be ordered through your Invisalign doctor, as they are considered a prescription item. Please contact your doctor directly if you need to order a replacement.
Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
Most doctors recommend that anyone who has completed orthodontic treatment, whether with braces or Invisalign treatment, use a retainer to prevent teeth from gradually shifting back toward their initial position. Every case is different, so ask your doctor if you need retainers.
What type of retainer should I use?
While there are many different types of retainers, we recommend Vivera® retainers. Vivera retainers are virtually invisible and made from a proprietary material 30% stronger than other leading clear retainer materials, which helps you keep your new smile.
Your Vivera retainers will be custom-made from an impression or scan of your teeth using the same state-of-the-art technology used for Invisalign clear aligners.
How much do Vivera retainers cost?
Contact your doctor for more information on Vivera retainers, as pricing can be based on your individual needs. All Vivera retainer orders will include an extra set, in case you lose one.
How do I order Vivera retainers?
You can order Vivera retainers through your doctor.
How long will I have to wear my Vivera retainers?
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how often you need to wear your retainers. Typically, you wear your first set full time, then based on your doctor’s recommendation you may gradually reduce how much you wear them until you only wear them at night.
Lose your Vivera retainer? No problem.
If you lose or break your last set of Vivera retainers, or simply run out, just get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can work with you on purchasing a new set of Vivera retainers, so you can keep showing off that smile!