On the invisalign web site they talk about Invisalign aligners custom-made for your teeth. How do these invisalign retainers work?
How Do Invisalign Aligners Work?
Doctor Answers 5
Invisalign: How it gets its move on
Invisalign is a series of aligners that incrementally move teeth as prescribed by the dentist based on the required results of the patient.
The aligners are replaced every two weeks... each aligner moves the teeth a little more towards the goal of straightening the teeth.
In our office, once all the information is gathered, patients can view the final results of their alignment on the computer imaging program before committing to treatment.
Invisalign - moving teeth with trays
Aligners work by putting forces on teeth in very small doses as dictated by trays resembling bleaching trays. Each tray can move a tooth an average of 0.2 mm and can also move individual teeth.
A computer CAD/CAM system visualizes the planned movement and figures out how many aligners would be needed to achieve the goal. A series of models are created, and these are used to create a series of trays, or aligners. each one is trimmed and polished and sent to the dentist or orthodontist, all at once.
Normally, 3 aligners at a time are dispensed, each one worn for 2 weeks. On average every 6 weeks the patient would return to the office and the doctor would monitor the progress, adjust the teeth as necessary, and dispense another 3 trays.
While the system allows much more precision in planning, teeth and bone do not always react the way the computer says they should, so Invisalign is not a magic pill that works for all cases.
Invisalign - how it works
Invisalign is a computer generated system. A dental impression is scanned into the system from which a series of steps are designed and one clear plastic tray is manufactured by the computer for each step. You wear each tray for two weeks moving the teeth small amounts. It works quite well for most situations but not all orthodontic problems. The time to completion varies from 3-18 months depending on the complexity of the case.