Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, virtually invisible, custom-molded aligners. 

The first step in receiving Invisalign is simply asking your dentist if you might be a good candidate. Once it is determined that you are, an initial appointment is scheduled in order to take impressions and photos.  Dr. Butterfield will then send your models and photos to Invisalign headquarters, where the process of creating your custom Invisalign case begins.  Communication (and multiple changes to the case) will take place between Dr. Butterfield and an Invisalign tech until the case looks as good as possible in its digital form.  Once that point is reached, the patient is notified by us that their plan is ready to move forward.  After the patient confirms that they wish to proceed, Dr. Butterfield then instructs Invisalign to make the (already meticulously planned out) aligners.  

When the trays are fabricated and in hand, a short appointment is usually needed to deliver the trays, add resin attachments to teeth as needed, and any other necessary Invisalign procedures.  The patient leaves that appointment with several aligners in hand (which should last a few months).  They wear the trays day and night, while changing them approximately every two weeks.  In this way, teeth gradually move to their predetermined positions, thus creating a more functional and beautiful smile. Unlike braces, these clear aligners can be removed during meals and brushing.

Every few months, short appointments are scheduled to make sure that the teeth are tracking as predicted, as well as addressing any patient concerns.  After each quick visit, the patient is given more trays to take home.  

Once treatment is completed, the final result is evaluated, and if additional aligners are needed, impressions are taken and those aligners are ordered.  Finally, once treatment is completed, appropriate methods of retaining the newly straightened teeth is discussed and implemented. 

What about over-the-counter "Invisalign-style" products (like Smiles Direct) that cut the dentist out of the equation yet claim to yield the same results?  Yes, they may cost 1/2 the price, but in the end you get what you pay for.  Similar to purchasing Lasik surgery from a heavily discounted surgeon, it just isn't a good idea.   In fact, sometimes you end up paying for results where more damage than good was actually done.  

For more details: Here are a few reasons why OTC aligners are a poor idea... Blog