Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of customized clear trays worn over the teeth that gradually shift your teeth into alignment.

How does Invisalign Work?

Tooth movement occurs when constant pressure is applied to the tooth. Invisalign trays apply slight pressure to your teeth, causing them to move gradually. A series of customized trays is created based on images taken of your mouth and the final desired position of the teeth. These trays are virtually invisible and contain no unsightly metals like conventional braces. Each tray is designed to move your teeth a little closer into place. You switch to a new tray every 7-10 days until your teeth are properly aligned.

What are the steps to Invisalign treatment?

We begin with a consultation and evaluation of your teeth. If we determine you are a good candidate for Invisalign treatment, and if you choose to proceed, we will take pictures and impressions of your mouth and use them to create a digital rendering of your teeth with the Invisalign software program. The software helps us calculate the proper positioning of your teeth, the number of trays and the amount of time needed to reach the final outcome. You will be able to view the entire progression and visualize the outcome before you decide to begin treatment. Once you commit to treatment, Invisalign 3D prints your Invisalign trays, and we book another appointment to begin treatment.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

You may experience slight discomfort during the process, particularly at the beginning of the treatment and when you switch to a new tray. However, most patients report the discomfort as mild, and the discomfort fades as the teeth come into alignment.

Will Invisalign effect my speech?

At the beginning of your treatment, while your mouth gets used to the presence of the aligners, you may experience a slight change in the way your speech sounds, especially your “S” sounds. However, most patients report that they get used to the aligners, and the lisp typically disappears by the second or third aligner.

How long does Invisalign Treatments Take?

It depends on the patient and the severity of the alignment issues that we are trying to treat. For mild cases, the treatments can be completed in as little as two months. For more severe cases, it may take up to a year or more.

What are Invisalign buttons/attachments?

Invisalign buttons (also called attachments) are tiny composite projections that are bonded to your tooth for the duration of the Invisalign treatment. They are virtually invisible and act as anchors for your teeth to help grip the aligner. Not every patient will need these buttons, but in some cases they enable us to make more specific adjustments to your teeth that would not be possible with aligners alone. Once the treatment is complete and if you are happy with the results, the Invisalign buttons are removed.

Do I need a retainer after Invisalign?

Yes. If the treatment was extensive, I prefer to add a lingual wire to the tongue side of the lower teeth as well as a thin plastic retainer to wear over your lower teeth and the lingual wire. For most patients, the retainer only needs to be worn at night.

How long do I wear a retainer after the Invisalign treatment?

For the rest of your life, or as long as you care to keep your teeth straight.

Is there an extra charge for the retainer after Invisalign?

No, there is no extra charge for the initial set.

Why do I need a retainer after Invisalign?

Because in time, your teeth will absolutely shift back out of alignment without the retainer.

Is Invisalign right for me?

We are happy to help you determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign. To schedule your preliminary consultation, call our office at 212-882-1102, or fill out our appointment form here.