The Invisalign Process: From Start to Finish

Invisalign Grand Rapids, teeth aligners Comstock Park, and Rockford MI

Starting Treatment with Invisalign Teeth Aligners

  • Step 1: If you are interested in Invisalign the first step is to schedule a consult where we do a thorough clinical examination to be sure you are a good candidate for Invisalign.
  • Step 2: If you are a good candidate for Invisalign the next step is to have digital impressions and photographs taken. Our patients love that we use the Itero scanner to create a 3D scan of the teeth instead of the older tray-with-gel method. It keeps them much more comfortable during this process. Using these records Dr. Hull or Dr. Stewart will come up with a treatment plan to move your teeth to their ideal location both functionally and esthetically.
  • Step 3: Once the treatment plan is submitted to Invisalign a ClinCheck will be created for your teeth. A ClinCheck is a digital representation of the movement that will be achieved throughout your Invisalign treatment. The ClinCheck will show how many clear aligners will be necessary for your treatment.
  • Step 4: Once you have gone through the ClinCheck with Dr. Hull or Dr. Stewart, treatment can begin!

When we are presenting the “ClinCheck” there are a few things we make sure the patients are aware of:

  • Step 1: Each aligner is worn for two weeks. With each aligner you get movement that brings us closer to the desired outcome.
  • Step 2: They have to wear the aligners at least 22 hours everyday.
  • Step 3: We like to see them in the office after every 3 aligners (6 weeks) to be sure the aligners are “tracking” ok. If the aligners aren’t seating all the way it means that the teeth aren’t moving the way we would like. At that point there are some tricks we can try to get the teeth to track again, or we take a new impression (or new scan when we get the iTero) to get new teeth aligners from Invisalign.
  • Step 4: In almost every case “attachments” are used. These are areas of clear composite that we add to certain teeth in order to optimize movement. The trays use the attachments in order to put more idealized forces on teeth to gain the desired movement. We usually add the attachments before the patient receives the 2nd aligners. They are barely noticeable, unless someone gets incredibly close to the person wearing the Invisalign. After treatment the attachments are removed and the teeth polished. No damage is done to the teeth.
Grand Rapids teeth aligners, Invisalign Comstock Park, and Rockford MI
  • Step 5: In some cases we use IPR (interproximal reduction) in order to get our desired outcome. With IPR we slenderize specific teeth by 0.05mm to 0.25mm so that they don’t “bump” into one another while we are trying to move them. This can also create more room in case there is crowding of the dentition.
  • Step 6: After treatment retention is incredibly important. Once we have achieved the desirable outcome we want to be sure teeth don’t move back towards their original positions. For this we recommend Vivera Retainers. You can think of a Vivera Retainer as a reinforced Invisalign tray. For each order you get a set of 4 trays. Each tray you wear for about a year before switching to the next.
  • Step 7: At the end of each case sometimes we go through a “refinement” period where we want to make small improvements to achieve the ideal outcome. For this phase of treatment, we simply take new impressions (or new scans when we get the iTero) and get new aligners from Invisalign. Once the patient is happy with the end result, we then move to the Vivera Retainers.