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What to Expect During Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners Treatment

Invisalign Treatment What To Expect
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. Stosich.,
I’ve been looking into Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners and everything I’ve read sounds great. But I spoke to a co-worker recently who used it and she said she wouldn’t recommend it. She said it took longer than she expected, and it impacted her life a lot more than she thought it would. Now I’m worried it isn’t the best option for me. What do I need to know before choosing the right treatment for me?
Gina D.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Gina,
It’s great that you are doing research on the orthodontic treatments available to you. Patients should know all of the options on the table, and their benefits and drawbacks.Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners is a great treatment option, and patients around the world love it. But you are right to ask questions before choosing it. If you go in blindly, you may have unrealistic expectations.So let’s talk about what you need to know.

First, let’s talk about what Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners treatment is. The clear aligners are made of a comfortable, smooth plastic. Each set of iDentity Clear aligners will be custom-made for you by me, and perfectly calibrated to achieve ideal tooth movement. The aligners work by making adjustments to your teeth – each aligner set makes slight adjustments to the tooth position until the ideal position is reached. The aligners place a gentle, constant force on the teeth.

Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners allow you to straighten your teeth comfortably, and virtually invisibly. But no orthodontic treatment is without small disruptions to your life, so let’s talk about how iDentity Clear Aligners will impact your life.

To work properly, your aligners will need to be worn the prescribed amount of time. That means they need to be in your mouth for between 20 and 22 hours a day, every day. Some people who choose Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners mistakenly believe they can remove the aligners when they want to for a big social event or date, or wear the aligners only at night. This isn’t true – constant pressure must be applied to the teeth to move them to their ideal locations. Only remove the aligners to eat, drink, brush and floss.

Unlike with iD braces, there are no restrictions on what you can eat or drink. However, you must remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything but plain water. Chewing with your aligners in can damage the aligners, causing a bad fit that will no longer effectively move the teeth. Drinking hot beverages can warp the plastic, so never consume coffee, tea or other hot beverages with the aligners still in.

It is important to remember that you must brush your teeth before putting the aligners back in. That means you need to be prepared to brush after every meal and even snack. If you don’t you can trap bacteria under the aligner, where it can go to work on your teeth, leading to decay.

You’ll be given sets of aligners that will need to be switched out every two weeks, unless otherwise directed by your orthodontist. Some patients may think they can speed up treatment by switching to a new set of aligners early. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Each set is calibrated to move the teeth to a specific location, and if that movement isn’t reached before moving to a new set, it can throw off your entire treatment.

Invisalign treatment is marketed as having little disruption to your life, and offering an almost invisible way to straighten your teeth. But, most patients who use Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners will require the use of attachments, buttons and rubber bands to achieve an ideally functioning bite. These will give you the same aesthetic look that ceramic braces would, and for most patients are necessary to apply the proper amount of force, in the right direction, to move the teeth. Only very minor orthodontic issues can be corrected through use of the clear aligners alone.

I work hard to ensure my patients have the best options in orthodontic treatment, ensuring they have effective and efficient treatment. I have developed a very successful hybrid model that combines iD braces and iDentity Clear Aligners, offering my patients the best of both worlds – efficiency and improved aesthetics.

There is no crystal ball that can tell your orthodontist exactly how long your treatment will take. Some patients are lucky and have mouths that respond well to treatment, and only need to wear iD braces or Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners for 6 months. Others may not, and treatment can take longer. But with the right orthodontist, and compliance from the patient, your orthodontic treatment can go by in no time.

I use Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners in my practice for patients who are ideal candidates. Being an ideal candidate means not just having an orthodontic issue that will respond well to the treatment, but that the patient has a realistic idea of what treatment will entail. Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners, when properly understood, may be a good option for you. But, because of how we tout the benefits, many people may mistakenly believe it is a quick and easy fix.

To determine if you are an ideal candidate for Invisalign or iDentity Clear Aligners, schedule a consultation with your orthodontist. At that appointment, bring a list of questions and concerns. Once you have all of the information, you can make the decision that is best for you.

I wish you the best in your treatment.

Dr. S.


  • Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS

    Dr. Michael Stosich is a board-certified orthodontist and the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for his extensive experience in leading clinical enterprises, publishing, and lecturing both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Stosich has expertise in starting, growing, and maintaining successful orthodontic practices, including those in pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, and multi-specialty clinics. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and has been involved in innovating patient care and education, focusing on the future of dental and orthodontic healthcare.

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