How Does the Invisalign Process Work: Step-By-Step

Today, we’re writing all about how the Invisalign process works, step-by-step.

Over the past several years, Invisalign in Ottawa has become one of the most sought-after searches for orthodontic treatment in the area.  With its clear aligner therapy that lets you live your life without hiding your smile, and gives you the convenience of brushing your teeth like you normally would, it’s no wonder so many people are choosing Invisalign rather than conventional braces. 

If you’ve been interested in learning more about the process of Invisalign, here’s a step-by-step explanation of what you can expect.

Step One: The Consultation

While the Invisalign treatment process is capable of correcting a multitude of orthodontic problems, there are certain complicated conditions that it can’t fix. For example, some issues that Invisalign can fix are overcrowding, gapped teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. 

Invisalign has difficulty correcting severely angled and rotated teeth, or closing in large spaces. During your consultation, our Ottawa Orthodontist will complete an examination to determine if you’re a good candidate for the Invisalign treatment process. 

Step Two: Diagnostic Records

If in fact you would benefit from clear aligner therapy, then we’ll proceed to gather some additional information to get your trays made. We’ll start by taking a few photographs of your face and smile, along with a couple of dental x-rays.  The coolest part of this process is the scan that we’ll take with our revolutionary iTero Scanner (which will show us a 3-D replica of your mouth.) Some orthodontic practices still use gooey impression material to take a mold of your teeth, but our Ottawa practice uses digital impressions that are fast, easy, and more precise.

Using a handheld wand, we’ll wave it over your mouth until we have a full virtual model of your teeth and gums. The iTero Scanner not only lets us streamline your orthodontic treatment and provide you with better fitting trays, but in seconds it also allows us to design a simulation of what your teeth will look like after the process of Invisalign. That’s right, before you even leave your appointment, we’ll be able to show you what your future smile can possibly look like. 

Once we’ve gathered all of the information needed, we’ll upload our digital files to the Invisalign site and provide the lab technicians with instructions on how we want the aligners made. 

When your trays are made, there will be several pairs of them. Each set will show that the teeth are a bit straighter than the last ones. Each tray typically moves your teeth by 1/10mm, so the number of trays that you need will depend on your individual needs and may differ from other people. 

Step Three: Getting Your Clear Aligners

It’ll take a couple of weeks or so for your clear aligners to be delivered to our office.  When they arrive, you’ll come in for your first placement appointment.  Depending on the specifications of your outlined treatment, we may have to make some adjustments to a few of your teeth.

For example, getting ‘buttons’ placed is a common part of getting Invisalign. These attachments are small, tooth-colored bumps made from a composite resin material that goes on the front of some of your teeth. Buttons help hold your aligners in place and they allow for the right amount of pressure to be put on specific teeth, so that we get the movement we need. 

Before leaving with your first set of trays in place, we’ll make sure that you know how to put them in and take them out, which can take some practice before mastering. We’ll also teach you how to care for the aligners, and give you a few more trays to transition into.  

Each pair of aligners is worn for 1 week, for a minimum of 20 hours per day. 

Step Four: Follow-Up Appointments

Throughout the process of wearing Invisalign, you’ll return to our office periodically for us to check on your progress.  Typically if everything is going well, we’ll send you with more aligners to take home. Occasionally, you may have to go back to your previous set of trays, or we have to tweak some “buttons” and make other minor adjustments. 

Step Five: Final Refinements

Once you’re done with all your initial trays, you may need a refinement.  This step means that there may still be a few tweaks that need to be completed in order to get optimal results.  The reason for refinement is often because during the Invisalign process the teeth need additional corrective movements to get to the final position.  This is typical because it’s hard to initially predict every move that your teeth will make. 

In most cases, you’ll only require one to two refinements. To get your refinement aligners made, we’ll take a new 3-D scan of your teeth. 

Step Six: Button Removal and Retainers

Once your teeth are finally aligned properly, you’re done with the Invisalign process and we’ll remove the buttons from your teeth! To ensure that your smile doesn’t revert back into the previous misalignment, you’ll need to wear retainers.  Typically, we use clear plastic trays that look similar to the Invisalign aligners themselves.  

Initially, we may ask you to wear your retainers at all times and slowly transition into only wearing them at night. If you go without your maintenance retainers for too long your teeth will shift back and you may have to go back into treatment. So, don’t neglect the importance of this protocol. 

Where to Get Invisalign In Ottawa

When it comes to getting Invisalign in Ottawa, you’ll want to make sure that you put your future smile in the hands of a professional and experienced team like Braces Haven. We’ll see you for a free consultation to determine if this is the right orthodontic treatment for your unique smile. If you’ve been wanting to improve your smile’s appearance and alignment, don’t wait any longer. Call today.