Does Invisalign Work?

before i spend thousands (ugh) I want to make sure Invisalign works as promised in the advertising.

Doctor Answers (23)

Patient compliance is always important when doing any...

+5

Patient compliance is always important when doing any orthodontic treatment. Invisalign is a great choice of treatment for someone that requires minor tooth movement. For the more complicated cases, traditional braces are always best.


San Diego Cosmetic Dentist

Patient compliance and doctor experience affect Invisalign's success

+4

More than almost any other dental procedure, patient compliance is just as important as doctor experience and planning for the success of Invisalign.  If you wear your aligners as instructed (minimum 20-22 hours/day) and your doctor has had good success already with Invisalign and has decided you're a good candidate, you should have a favorable result. 

Gerilyn Alfe, DMD
Chicago Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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Invisalign is a technique, not a product. Invisalign "fails" because of poor planning and compliance

+4

Many Invisalign providers and the public often comment on the limitations of Invisalign treatment to basic treatment. They believe that aligners are only good for correcting minor problems, while braces are better and required for more difficult treatments. A few providers will tell you that they have corrected severe crowding, severe spacing, severe rotations, class 2 malocclusions, class 3 malocclusions, open bites, cases requiring extraction, and even used Invisalign in conjunction with jaw surgery. So, why the discrepancy?

The answer is that the scope of what experienced providers can do with Invisalign is greater than that of those that are less experienced. They may use attachments, IPR, buttons, elastics, and movements, in conjunction with sections of partial braces to achieve the desired results. Unfortunately, this group of experienced doctors providing excellent Invisalign treatment is a small percentage of those out there that are certified to provide it.

Aside from the doctor aspect, Invisalign treatment requires a compliant patient. It requires someone who will wear the aligners as directed, and practice proper oral hygiene. If you don’t feel that your lifestyle can allow you to comply with treatment, don’t go for this removable treatment that is compliance based. One common concern is the need to take aligners out for eating, and then brushing/flossing, before replacing them. Often overlooked is that patients are supposed to brush after each meal with braces, and may be required to use elastics as well. The ability to take aligners out for eating and cleaning actually simplifies these activities, making it an excellent choice for patients who may be unable to clean properly around fixed braces.

Jason K. Tam, DDS
Toronto Orthodontist

Yes, Invisalign works, but it is more involved than that...

+3
Yes, but the answer is complicated. Invisalign is a product that is innovative and technically sophisticated with a certain aesthetic elegance, not unlike an iphone; therefore, many assume that Invisalign is similar to an iphone in that where it is acquired is unimportant. In reality, Invisalign is of greater similarity to a surgical robot or a Boeing aircraft—technically advanced, yet dependent upon the experience and judgment of the operator. However, given that Invisalign is a commercial product, developed and marketed directly to the public, and that the chance of morbidity is non-existent, the threshold of qualification to become an Invisalign provider has been loosely regulated. This is a complicating factor in Invisalign performance due to several issues. Firstly, the Invisalign technology has been marketed to both orthodontists and general dentists under the mistaken belief that the computer-programed Invisalign baseline is sufficiently sophisticated to produce satisfactory results in non-complex cases without significant doctor modification. This has not proven to be true. The Invisalign baseline considers only position of the dentition without reference to bone and soft tissue status and relationship, factors which greatly impact treatment planning and the sequencing of tooth movement. Secondly, the mechanics of the Invisalign system, i.e. the capacity for, and application of, force, are quite distinct from the edgewise/bracket-and-wire system; therefore, to effectively utilize Invisalign, the practitioner, whether orthodontist or general/aesthetic dentist, must make a significant educational investment in the use of this tool. Thirdly, a further complication for the non-orthodontist is that the ability to determine the relative complexity of an orthodontic case, as well as treatment plan for those that are complex, is developed not through education as a general/aesthetic dentist but through two to three years of post-doctorate education in orthodontics. (Even so, there do exist general/aesthetic practitioners who are capable of utilizing Invisalign responsibly and who are quick to refer those cases that present with complicating factors to an orthodontic specialist.)
The fact that the question remains, “Does Invisalign work?” points to the issues discussed above and the resulting inconsistency in treatment outcome. A significant number of Invisalign cases have been and are attempted by those who do not have the adequate diagnostic skills, mechanical understanding, and/or experience to complete these treatments. However, when utilized by an orthodontic clinician who is both experienced in the specific biomechanics associated with Invisalign treatment and who has the diagnostic ability to recognize appropriate clinical indications, Invisalign is a very effective and reliable orthodontic modality.

Keith B. Wong, DDS, MS
Seattle Orthodontist

Does Invisalign work?

+2
I can say that I have had a great deal of success using Invisalign on my patients.  In the rare event that you reach the end of your Invisalign treatment and are not totally pleased, your dentist should be able to extend the treatment to correct any less than perfect areas.  My patients love clear aligners.  With that said, your compliance is very important and simple (once you get used to it).  A word of advice is make sure that your dentist can show you a couple before and after photos before you agree to the treatment.  I say this because all dental work by all dentists is not the same.  I have had horror stories of patients going to dentists that are unfamiliar with Invisalign and having very poor results.  I would seek a cosmetic dentist or an orthodontist. 
Good luck to you and keep us posted.

Sarah Thompson, DMD
Saint Louis Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Yes- but you should understand the process

+2

It definitely works and has seen dramatic improvements in the last few years. At first the company was just trying to make it, now it has become a force in the field.

The process for Invisalign goes as follows in my office:

Complete orthodontic exam including necessary x-rays and photographs.

Scan for digital images sent to Invisalign.

A tech makes a movie as to how the teeth are going to move and the order.

The doctor reviews the movie and makes changes. This is where the rubber meets the road. If the doctor simply hits the accept button, your treatment is decided by a tech with no orthodontic training other than the training to make that movie. They are not doctors and they are certainly not orthodontists. If the accept button is hit, that is who determined your treatment. I can honestly say that it is almost never acceptable to me without my modification. this is why you chose a doctor- is the doctor an orthodontist or general dentist? does the doctor really do Invisalign or just says they do and guide to braces? Are they a general dentist who went to a weekend course?

As to fees: My fee can be as high as $6800. I include case refinements( rebooting your case and going thru all the previous steps and providing additional aligners as necessary), all x-rays and 2 sets of retainers. 2 years of follow up. Detailing of the bite.

Your choice if you think it is worth it. Cheers Dr H

David Harnick, DDS, MSD
Albuquerque Orthodontist

Invisalign works very well with good patient cooperation.

+2

Invisalign works very well and good outcomes are very predictable when the patient is compliant with wearing their Invisalign trays.  It is most effective when the patient's bite fits correctly in the back and there is mild to moderate crowding or spacing of teeth in the front of the mouth.  Having said that, Invisalign can also work on some more advanced cases of crowding or bite correction.  An orthodontist can help you decide if Invisalign is right for you.

Andrew Young, DDS
Olathe Orthodontist

If you're a good candidate for Invisalign, it is...

+2

If you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, it is the best way to go. They are comfortable, really easy to apply, and no one would know you are wearing them.

I have gone to many conferences for Invisalign and have given it to numerous patients. It is one of my most popular practices.

Jennifer Jablow, DDS
New York Cosmetic Dentist

Invisalign Works

+1

Invisalign has been around for a while and millions of cases have been completed. The treatment works if a proper diagnosis is made. Case selection is the most important step. Complex cases should be treated with traditional braces, or patients should be informed about the limitations of their treatment with Invisalign.

Sylvan Fain, DDS
Miami Cosmetic Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.