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What is Invisalign?

invisalign invisible braces Scarborough

Invisalign is an aesthetic orthodontic technique that uses a series of doctor-prescribed, clear aligners to correct malaligned teeth, bites, and smiles for teens and adults. It has been around since the late 1990s and been used by more than five million patients, including celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Heidi Klum, and Katherine Heigl.

The idea of using removable appliances to move teeth has been around much longer. However, Align Technology has developed an extremely precise, 3D, digitally controlled method that enables doctors to move teeth with aligners that are clear, comfortable, and effective.


The aligners are made of an FDA-approved, medical-grade plastic that is customized to fit your teeth. The doctor determines how teeth move in terms of speed, order, and direction. Depending on the movements required, there is a new aligner every few days to a few weeks, which fits your teeth slightly differently from the previous one to gradually improve alignment.

Just like regular braces that place pressure on the teeth all the time, Invisalign must be worn for as close to full-time as possible. The general rule is 22 hours per day, which allows two hours for brushing, flossing, and eating (unfortunately there is no data to show effectiveness of movement with night-time wear only).

The average treatment time with Invisalign is about one year to 18 months, and the full range is from six months to a few years, depending on treatment planning, compliance, and severity of the malocclusion.


Align Technology has invested significant resources since its inception to develop the Invisalign technique, including Invisalign G3, Invisalign G4, Invisalign G5, Invisalign G6, and Invisalign G7, the iTero® iOC scanner, optimized attachments, precision cuts, torquing ridges, SmartForce features, and SmartTrack® aligner material.

It is the obvious choice for clear aligner therapy, for both doctors and patients in this regard, since it provides doctors with the greatest ability to control tooth movement to produce the best results.


There are several other aligner systems (e.g., ClearCorrect™, 3M, Dentsply/Sirona) that might seem similar to Invisalign, but at this time, the technology and system is far superior to others available. In comparison to at-home aligners, the difference is the treatment planning and monitoring by a specific doctor, monitoring of care, and taking into account specific and individual goals of treatment.

With options and costs for treatment available from orthodontists for similar price points, depending on the scope, there’s no reason to do it yourself, when you can have treatment at an orthodontic office.


The following is a list of the types of Invisalign available (the Invisalign portfolio has changed as of July 1, 2018). There has been a move away from an Invisalign Teen product, with changes to emphasize early use of Invisalign for children, and accommodations for cases that require less movement or movements within a single arch only.

There are various reasons for the use of each product, but keep in mind that they will not change the rate at which teeth can be moved. Most providers will be using the Invisalign Comprehensive Package, Invisalign Lite, or Invisalign Assist, in order to have additional aligners available.


Invisalign Express 5

Treat patients with minor orthodontic issues, such as very mild spacing, crowding, and orthodontic relapse. Invisalign Express 5 offers the same high-quality Invisalign features you expect.

Ideal for:

  • Very minor crowding
  • Very minor spacing
  • Very minor tooth movement before restoration

For patients requiring: up to five aligners

Additional aligners: available for purchase 


Invisalign Express Package

Adjusting an orthodontic relapse case doesn’t have to be expensive. Our new Invisalign Express Package provides a cost-effective solution for smiles that require only minor corrections in as little as three months.

Ideal for:

  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Minor crowding
  • Minor spacing
  • Minor aesthetic concerns

For patients requiring: up to seven aligners

Additional aligners: one set included for one year


Invisalign Express 10

With Invisalign Express 10, you have the benefit of a shorter-duration Invisalign treatment for tooth alignment as a precursor to pre-restorative work and minor crowding/spacing cases.

Ideal for:

  • Mild crowding
  • Minor spacing
  • Tooth alignment prior to pre-restorative treatment

For patients requiring: up to ten aligners

Additional aligners: available for purchase


Invisalign Lite Package

Now you have the versatility you need to treat mild to moderate cases. Invisalign Lite features the same technological innovations that have made Invisalign clear aligners the trusted choice for orthodontic treatment.

Ideal for

  • Pre-restorative tooth movement
  • Mild to moderate crowding
  • Mild to moderate spacing

For patients requiring: up to 14 aligners

Additional aligners: two sets included for two years


Invisalign Comprehensive Package

When ultimate flexibility is your top priority, Invisalign Comprehensive Package allows for maximum treatment planning across a wide range of malocclusions.

Ideal for:

  • Comprehensive orthodontic movement
  • Moderate to severe crowding
  • Moderate to severe spacing

For patients requiring: unlimited aligners

Additional aligners: unlimited sets included for five years


Invisalign Assist Package

Designed for aesthetically oriented treatment, Invisalign Assist offers built-in features that provide more clinical guidance and support throughout treatment.

Features include:

  • Progress tracking tool
  • Detailed appointment plans
  • Compliance indicators
  • Orderable without progress tracking

For patients requiring: unlimited aligners

Additional aligners: unlimited sets included for five years


Invisalign First Comprehensive Package

Offering orthodontic specialists a clear aligner treatment option for growing patients.

Invisalign First treatment offers:

  • Predictable dental arch expansion
  • Effective management of erupting dentition
  • Solutions for shorter crowns

For patients requiring: unlimited aligners

Additional aligners: unlimited sets included for 18 months


Patient-centric customization

The new Invisalign product portfolio gives you more choice and flexibility. Patient-centric customization enables you to customize your treatment and tailor your plan to the individual needs of each patient.


All products:

  • Eruption compensation*
  • Molar tabs*
  • Precision cuts**
  • Bite ramps**
  • Passive aligners**
  • Compliance indicators
  • IPR

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