How Does Invisalign Work?

 Dr. Kurtz | February 15, 2023

Malocclusion, or misaligned teeth, is one of the most common dental issues. In fact, most people have some level of malocclusion. This can cause a variety of oral and overall health issues.

While many people can live with their malocclusion, many others want or need to have it resolved. One of the most popular treatments is Invisalign clear aligners.

At Invisalign Toronto, we specialize in Invisalign treatment. Dr. Jeremy Kurtz is an Invisalign Diamond Plus Provider. He has completed more than 4,000 Invisalign cases.

In this article, we'll explain more about how Invisalign works to help you determine if this is the right treatment for you.

Introduction to Invisalign: The Clear Alternative to Traditional Braces

For many years, the only option for malocclusion was traditional metal braces. The process of getting braces put on and having them taken off was long and tedious. In addition, treatment time took 12 to 24 months or more, depending on the severity of the malocclusion.

However, in the late 1990s, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced as an alternative to traditional metal braces. This solution is a system of clear aligners designed to gradually shift teeth into their appropriate positions within the jaw. Treatment typically takes 12 to 18 months for mild to moderate malocclusion. It is important to note that patients with mild malocclusion may see results within 6 months, while more severe malocclusion may take up to 24 months.

Invisalign clear aligners are transparent, which means most people won't notice that you have them. The only thing they will notice is the results of your treatment. The aligners are designed to be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day, which means you can remove them when you are eating/drinking and taking care of your routine oral hygiene needs.

In this article, we'll explain the science behind Invisalign, the advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces, the process of treatment with Invisalign, and the potential disadvantages of Invisalign treatment.

The Science Behind Invisalign: How It Works to Straighten Teeth

The process of creating your Invisalign treatment plan is fairly simple. We start with your consultation and determine the severity of your malocclusion. At this time, we will create a 3D model of your current condition and the expected progress of your treatment.

Invisalign clear aligners are made with SmartTrack technology. The aligner  are customized for each patient. They are designed to fit snugly against your teeth, putting even pressure on all of your teeth. This means that all of the teeth are shifted- not just the misaligned ones.

The Advantages of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces

There are several advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces, including:

Invisalign aligners are aesthetically pleasing

There is no denying that the brackets and wires of traditional braces can be embarrassing. In fact, this is one of the reasons why many people opted to live with their malocclusion. However, Invisalign clear aligners are transparent, which means most people won't even notice them. The only thing they will notice is your results.

Invisalign requires fewer dental visits

Traditional braces must be adjusted every few weeks as teeth are shifted. This means that you have to take time out of your busy schedule. In addition, brackets and wires are prone to breaking and must be repaired. Invisalign, on the other hand, does not require adjustments or repairs. You will need to come in a few times throughout treatment so we can monitor your progress.

Invisalign doesn't require diet restrictions

When you have traditional metal braces, you must make changes to your diet. You'll have to give up hard, sticky foods because they could damage the brackets and wires.

Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removed when eating/drinking, which means you don't have to give up your favorite foods. Simply take the time to brush your teeth after eating to remove any food debris to prevent damaging or staining your aligners. Also, rinse your aligners after removing them and before putting them back in.

Invisalign requires less maintenance

Brushing and flossing your teeth can be difficult with traditional braces. You must get around the brackets to remove any food debris and prevent decay. However, since Invisalign clear aligners are removable, you can take them out to brush/floss your teeth.

You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to clean your aligners.

Invisalign is more comfortable

Traditional braces put pressure on your teeth, which can cause discomfort- especially after having them put on or having them adjusted. Plus, the wires and brackets can rub against your cheeks and tongue, causing cuts.

Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic, so you don't have to be concerned about cuts. There is some discomfort when you first switch to a new set of aligners, but this is short-lived as you get used to them.

The Invisalign Treatment Process: From Start to Finish

Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation. During this visit, Dr. Kurtz will do a comprehensive exam, including x-rays. He will also take some impressions of your bite to create a 3D model of your expected progress.

If it is determined that Invisalign is the best treatment for your malocclusion, the impressions will be sent to the lab for the fabrication of your aligners. The lab will send the aligners back to the office when they are ready. When we receive them, we will schedule an appointment to place your first set.

Once we are sure that your aligners fit properly, we will provide you with the rest of your aligners and give you instructions for wearing them.

Typically, aligners will need to be changed out every 1 to 3 weeks, based on the severity of your malocclusion and your treatment plan. Aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. If you do not wear them as instructed, your treatment is going to take much longer than expected.

In fact, if it seems like your malocclusion is not resolving, the first question we will ask is: "Are you wearing your aligners as directed?"

Once your treatment is complete, you will be given a retainer to wear to help the teeth maintain their new position. At first, you will need to wear it like your aligners. Over time, we will gradually decrease the time required to wear the retainer. Eventually, you will only need to wear it at night while you are sleeping.

Potential Drawbacks of Invisalign

Invisalign treatment starts at around $1,200 for very mild cases and goes up to around $8,000 for severe cases. Traditional braces fall somewhere in the middle of this range, starting at around $3,000 and going up to $7,000. However, while dental insurance will typically cover a portion of treatment with traditional braces, many consider Invisalign treatment to be cosmetic in nature, so they do not offer coverage.

If you have severe malocclusion, with significantly rotated teeth or large gaps, Invisalign may not be the best option. In some cases, we may be able to use attachments, which are tooth-colored "buttons" that are placed on teeth to hold the aligners in place.

When it comes to the success of Invisalign treatment, compliance is key. The aligners are removable but must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. They should only be removed when you are eating/drinking or brushing/flossing teeth and put back in immediately. If you do not wear them as directed, treatment will take much longer.


In the late 1990s, the orthodontic scene changed with the introduction of Invisalign clear aligners. This treatment option involves using clear aligners, similar to retainers, to gradually shift teeth into their appropriate positions. There are several benefits of using Invisalign clear aligners:

  • Comfort
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Easy to maintain
  • No dietary changes required
  • Fewer dental visits

Schedule Your Consultation with Dr. Kurtz at Invisalign Toronto Today

If you have misaligned teeth and are considering Invisalign clear aligners, contact the team at Invisalign Toronto for your consultation. Dr. Kurtz has completed more than 4,000 Invisalign cases in his career. Invisalign has granted him the classification of Diamond Plus provider. We have two convenient locations to serve you: 350 Front Street and 485 Lawrence Avenue W. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Friday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Invisalign FAQs

Dr. Kurtz and the team at Invisalign Toronto understand that you have questions about treating your malocclusion with Invisalign. Below we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our patients.

How long does it take for Invisalign to work?

When worn as directed, treatment with Invisalign takes about 12 to 18 months. Patients with mild malocclusion often see results within the first 6 months of treatment, while more severe cases may require up to 24 months.

How fast does Invisalign work?

Most of our patients start seeing results within the first 2 weeks of treatment.

How does Invisalign work to move teeth?

Invisalign clear aligners are made to fit snugly against the teeth. This puts even pressure on the teeth, gradually shifting them into their appropriate positions within the jaw.

How does Invisalign work faster than braces?

Invisalign works faster than traditional braces because the aligners put pressure on all of the teeth at the same time. Traditional braces, on the other hand, only put pressure on the affected teeth.

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