How Do Your Invisalign Aligners Straighten Your Teeth?

If you’re thinking of getting Invisalign here in beautiful Asheville, NC, you likely have a couple of questions. Most people who are considering any kind of orthodontics have questions and often those specifically considering Invisalign have even more. One of the biggest ones is “How exactly will Invisalign aligners actually straighten my teeth?”

The discreet and convenient treatment method has already been used by 2.6 million patients worldwide, but since traditional braces have a longer history, many people don’t yet understand Invisalign.

If you’re one of them, don’t worry! We’re here to break down the Invisalign treatment process for you.

The Preparation

When you come in for your free initial consultation, Invisalign will be one of the options we discuss. Since we’re an Elite Preferred Provider, you will be in the best hands possible!

If you love this almost-invisible way to straighten your smile as much as we do, we would then proceed with the beginning steps.

These include the following:

  1. Dental Impressions- We will put a tray filled with impression putty in your mouth and allow it to set, providing an impression of your teeth. Or we can take digital impressions instead! (NOTE: would like to confirm that this is how BRO does this.)
  2. Bite registration – We will spread a layer of fast-setting paste on your teeth and have you bite down. It sounds similar to the impressions, but the bite registration allows us to document how your upper and lower bite actually come together, as opposed to just having separate impressions of each row of teeth.
  3. Dental X-Rays – Taking a look at your root positioning, as well as your tooth and jawbone health, is an important step of the Invisalign process. You’re likely already familiar with having dental X-Rays taken.
  4. Photographs – Smile for the camera! Align Technology, the company behind Invisalign, asks for a series of 8 specific photos. They will include different sides of your face and close-ups of your teeth.

This may seem like a lot of tasks, but luckily this appointment only takes an hour, maybe an hour and a half! (Again, I’d like to confirm that BRO keeps to this type of timeframe)

The Aligner Manufacturing Process

Once we have all the information we need, we send it to Align Technology. Over on their end of things, the company will transform your impressions into digital information. The Invisalign technicians will create an on-screen 3-D model of your teeth, and then create your treatment simulation. This simulation will map out the proposed plan of action, giving you a glimpse of your smile’s future.

After the treatment animation is finished, Dr. Roberts, Dr. Twomley or Dr. Schuler will evaluate this proposed treatment plan. If your orthodontist here at BRO agrees that the sequence of tooth movements will yield the perfect results, he or she will give approval to proceed to the next step.

Align Technology will use your digital information to create a series of personalized upper and lower aligners. They are then sent to Blue Ridge Orthodontics in Asheville. Once we’ve received the aligners (typically anywhere from 3-6 weeks), it’s time to really get that tooth-straightening party started!

Your Journey to Your Perfect Smile

The amount of aligners you will need varies from person to person. It can be as small of a number as ten, or it can be over thirty! Sometimes the amount of time you need to wear a specific tray can vary too. While they tend to be worn about two weeks each, there are exceptions to this rule.

Some people may also need attachments, little clear buttons on some of their teeth. Attachments work as anchors to help aligners move some of the teeth while others stay stationary. Attachments are only used in certain cases, so you may not need them.

If this is starting to sound a little unpredictable, don’t worry! We’ll let you know these details ahead of time and be there for you every step of the way.

An “Alphabet” of Small Shifts

You may notice that your aligner is snug at first, or even hard to get in and out. That’s how it’s supposed to feel! The reason behind this seemingly ill fit is that the first aligner is meant to take your teeth from Point A to Point B, so it starts at Point B. Your teeth will gradually shift to fit the aligner, which is how they straighten over time. When you’re done with the first set and it’s time to urge your teeth from Point B to Point C, that second set will start at Point C.

As the “alphabet” progresses, your teeth get closer and closer to their desired location.

One of the benefits of Invisalign is that this treatment has the capability of moving faster than traditional braces. However, you hold the power to utilize or negate this advantage. Wearing your aligners for the recommended 22 hours a day will ensure a treatment experience that lives up to its full potential.

If you get to the “end” of your treatment and your teeth are not yet perfect, we will use a set of refinement trays. This is actually pretty common, so don’t be surprised if you were great about wearing the aligners and it still happens to you. Just consider your refinement trays the finishing touch!

Many people ask whether they will need a retainer after they finish Invisalign and the answer is almost always yes. Invisalign may look like a retainer, but it replaces traditional braces’ active role, not the retainer’s role of keeping your newly straightened teeth in place. We can always give you an Essix Retainer, which is made of clear plastic and looks a lot like an Invisalign tray.

Is Invisalign Right for You?

At the end of the day, only you can answer that question! Well, perhaps you and your parents if you’re a minor.

Invisalign can be the right choice for a number of reasons:

  1. You prefer a subtler form of treatment
  2. You’re in a career field where physical appearance is involved
  3. You want a treatment that goes at a faster pace
  4. You prefer a form of orthodontic treatment you can take out
  5. You’re ready for beautiful straight teeth… but not so ready for traditional braces!

Invisalign is chosen for more reasons than we could ever name, but the primary draw is, well, Invisalign’s invisibility! Its potential to be a faster treatment option also appeals to many.

Every one of the 2.6 million people who’ve had Invisalign had their own unique reasons why, and now they have their own inspiring story to tell. If you’re curious about some of our patients’ experiences, feel free to check them out here!


We hope we’ve been able to shed some light on how Invisalign works and whether it may be the best fit for you. If you’d like a great visual resource, you can take a peek at this 2-minute YouTube video of the Invisalign process.

If you’d like to talk more in person about potentially starting your own Invisalign treatment, please set up your free consultation appointment by calling (828) 585-6045 or dropping us a line via our email: [email protected]. Also, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with questions or concerns. There is never any obligation or pressure. We save any “pressure” for nudging teeth perfectly into place!