Skip to main content

How Does the Invisalign® Process Work?

By February 5, 2020August 2nd, 2022Orthodontics

Did you know Dr. Hawley is a Platinum Invisalign Provider? That means he perfects a whole lot of smiles with the treatment. In fact, he’s among the leading Invisalign providers in the Omaha area. Thanks to all of our experience, we really have the Invisalign process down to a science here at Hawley Orthodontics. We make sure it’s efficient, effective and fun! So, how does Invisalign work? Here is our step-by-step guide to the braces-free smile journey.

What is Invisalign?

First things first, let’s have a quick refresher on exactly what Invisalign is. Invisalign is a teeth-straightening solution that involves a series of clear, BPA-free plastic aligners. The aligners slip over the teeth sort of like a super comfortable, thin mouthguard. The aligners are pre-programmed to achieve certain tooth movements, which are planned out by Dr. Hawley. They exert gentle, steady pressure and as you make your way through the series, your new smile gradually takes shape.

Invisalign Teen works the same way as Invisalign. However, the aligners are designed for younger patients. They have features like eruption tabs to accommodate erupting molars and blue compliance indicators to show how often they’re being worn. Mom and dad will also love the fact that Invisalign Teen has a few free replacement aligners included in the system.

Breaking Down the Invisalign Process

Here are the steps to your new smile when you choose Invisalign at Hawley Orthodontics:

Step 1: Come in for an Invisalign Consultation

Just as with any treatment, it all starts with a complimentary consultation at our Papillion orthodontic office. We’re all about on-time appointments but if you get here early, you can relax and unwind in our bright, modern, comfy reception room. We’ll take you back to the treatment area when you’re ready and a team member will take a panoramic and cephalometric (say that three times fast!) x-ray. We’ll also snap some digital photos of your teeth, smile and face. Dr. Hawley will then conduct a thorough oral exam. He’ll use all of this information to develop an accurate diagnosis. 

This is where things get really cool! Instead of the goopy, messy molds that you bite into, we use the iTero® Digital Scanner for digital impressions. A Hawley Orthodontics team member will take digital scans of your teeth and gums using the handheld wand. The scans show up instantly on our computer screen and a 3D digital model of your dental anatomy is created. Dr. Hawley will use the scan to show you your teeth and bite and walk you through your diagnosis. We’ll also be able to create a digital simulation of your post-treatment smile so you can envision the results before you even get started!

If you decide Invisalign is the choice for you, a team member will then go over things like the Invisalign cost, your insurance and our flexible payment plans to wrap up the consultation.

Step 2: Create an Invisalign Treatment Plan  

Dr. Hawley creates your Invisalign treatment plan directly on the computerized model of your mouth. He can plan out each individual tooth movement for incredible control and precision. This is the most important aspect of your entire Invisalign treatment. While Invisalign is awesome, it’s just a tool. The success of your treatment and the results depend on Dr. Hawley’s behind-the-scenes planning. After all, Invisalign prints the aligners out based on his specifications. This is why it’s important to leave your smile in the hands of an experienced certified specialist in orthodontist like Dr. Hawley!

Step 3: Pick Up Your Aligners

When your aligners are ready, you’ll come by our office to pick them up. If you have a more complex case and we need to facilitate certain tooth movements, we may bond tooth-colored attachments to your teeth. Your aligners will snap on to the attachments. Don’t worry; no one will notice them since they blend in with your smile.

Once you have your aligners, you’ll start wearing them right away, kicking off the active phase of your treatment.  We recommend wearing Invisalign for about 22 hours per day, taking the aligners out only to eat, drink anything aside from plain water, and brush and floss your teeth.

Step 4: Change Aligners Every Week

While it will depend on your exact treatment plan, most patients change their aligners every week. You don’t need adjustments with Invisalign but you will come in for occasional appointments so that Dr. Hawley can check your progress.

Step 5: Reveal Your New Smile

When you finish your last Invisalign tray, you’ll have a brand new smile to show for it. The only way to maintain your results for life is to wear a retainer. You can opt for a clear retainer that looks and fits similar to your Invisalign aligners.

Am I a Candidate for Invisalign?

The only way to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign is to have your smile evaluated. Thanks to advances in the materials used, as well as Dr. Hawley’s depth of experience with clear aligner treatment, he can get great results even for patients with more complex cases. To find out if our Papillion Invisalign treatment is right for you, schedule a free consultation at Hawley Orthodontics today by calling us at (402) 592-3200 or emailing us at [email protected]