Are you finally ready to get the straight smile that you’ve always wanted with Invisalign? If so, the first step in setting up your treatment plan is to schedule an Invisalign consultation. These appointments are the first of several steps that will put you on the path to achieving a straight and beautiful smile.

The Evaluation

If you are interested in Invisalign, you can set up an initial evaluation with your dentist. This exam gives your dentist the chance to examine your teeth and confirm that Invisalign is a good option for treating your particular situation. You can also use this opportunity to have some of your questions about the system answered, including how long the process will take, how much it will cost, and how Invisalign will fit into your life. 

Taking Records

When meeting with your dentist, he or she will take records of your teeth and bite in order to better plan out your Invisalign treatment. There are four main types of records that your dentist will collect:

  • X-rays: Dental X-rays give your dentist the chance to examine the health of your jawbone and the tooth root, and it can also evaluate the root positioning. Your dentist may take panoramic or full-mouth images.
  • Bite registration: Your dentist will need to determine how your upper and lower teeth fit together. This is done by applying fast-setting paste onto the teeth before having you bite down. The paste then sets, and your dentist will be left with a record of your bite.
  • Dental impressions: Dental impressions are a copy of your teeth, and they are created by placing putty into a tray and then getting an imprint of your teeth.
  • Photos: The Invisalign lab will require eight patient photographs for every case, including full-face photos and pictures from various angles. 

Your Prescription

Once all of your vital information has been collected, your dentist will fill out a prescription for Invisalign. This document will discuss the current status of your teeth, how you’ll be treated, and what tooth alignment changes are expected. Your records are then shipped off to Align Technology, Inc., and a digital scan will be taken of your dental impressions in order to create a digital 3D model of your teeth. Invisalign technicians then create an animation to show the sequence in which the teeth will move to their final destination, and once your dentist approves the treatment model, your clear, plastic aligners will be produced.

Begin Your Treatment

Once Invisalign has created your aligners and has sent them to your dental office, you’re ready to start your treatment. At your next appointment, your dentist will help you to discuss how many hours per day you’ll be required to wear the aligners, in addition to how you’re going to care for them. You’ll also receive your series of aligners and instruction on when to switch them out for the next one in the set.

Invisalign is a discreet and comfortable way to straighten the teeth. If you’re ready to get a beautiful smile, don’t delay your Invisalign consultation any longer.

Last Reviewed By Dr. Eli Friedman on October 14, 2020