Invisalign Review

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Several years ago, metal braces were the only way to straighten your teeth and correct any bite problems. And if you wanted to straighten your teeth discreetly, you were left with no choice but to have the uncomfortable lingual braces hidden behind your teeth. 

Fast forward to 2022, Invisalign, the pioneer of a clear aligner system, is the world’s most innovative and discreet way to correct malocclusions (teeth alignment). 

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of clear plastic removable aligners that gently move a patient’s teeth to their ideal positions. With approximately 13.5 million cases done worldwide, they are the most popular and widespread clear aligner solution!

There are downsides, however, and they include long commitment and price (up to $3,000 – $8,000 per treatment). You have to see a dentist or orthodontist frequently from start to finish, but unlike at-home clear aligners, Invisalign can correct simple to complex malocclusion cases.

It may be a disadvantage or an advantage depending if you prefer to work on your smile comfortably at home or be seen by a dental professional. According to a survey done by Olson, J. in 2019, 43.8% of respondents preferred orthodontists when asked about their preference in provider type, and DTC (Direct-to-Consumer aligners) placed second with 34.1%.

Who Is Behind Invisalign?

Invisalign clear aligners are produced by Align Technology, a pioneering company in invisible orthodontics founded in 1997 in California. Align revolutionized teeth straightening by leveraging technology to combine digital treatment planning and mass customization based on biomechanical principles. This enabled the launch of the Invisalign clear aligner system in 1999.

Over 20 years later, Align Technology has treated over 16 million patients with Invisalign. Beyond aligners, Align is also driving digital dentistry advancement through products like the iTero intraoral scanner, which enhances Invisalign workflows and restorative procedures alike.

Here are the PROs and CONs of having Invisalign treatment.

PROs of Invisalign

  • Utilizes innovative technology to deliver precise treatment every time for everyone.
  • Invisalign is one of the most recognized and trusted brands in the orthodontic aligner market.
  • Invisalign is made of patented advanced material SmartTrack.
  • Can correct mild to complex bite problems.
  • Your local dentist or orthodontist will do your initial consultation by taking scans, x-rays, and a thorough dental examination to ensure you are ready to receive clear aligner treatment.
  • The same dentist will work with Invisalign to create a customized treatment for you.
  • Your local dentist will be responsible for managing your treatment, answering concerns, and always being available if any problem arises.
  • Promotes good oral hygiene because it’s easier to brush and floss as compared to having metal braces.
  • More comfortable than metal braces because there are no metal components.
  • Available in Invisalign Teen, which is specially designed for teens.
  • Easy to find an Invisalign Provider since most dentists and orthodontists worldwide offer Invisalign.
  • Some dental offices integrate Invisalign with DentalMonitoring, a remote monitoring app.
  • The only system (Invisalign First) that is available for children aged 6-10.

CONs of Invisalign

  • Very expensive compared to other in-office aligners available and at-home clear aligners.
  • Even with a remote monitoring app, your dentist or orthodontist will have to see you in their office for check-ups.
  • You will not be able to get all your clear aligners. Depending on your case, your dentist might give it to you in batches or one set at a time. 

See our article: Why Can Teeth Become Yellow with Invisalign?

What Are Invisalign Aligners Made Of

Invisalign aligners are made from SmartTrack material, a result of an eight-year research process involving the testing of 260 materials. Patented in 2013 SmartTrack is specifically engineered for the Invisalign system, offering a precise and comfortable orthodontic experience.

SmartTrack is crafted from medical-grade, high molecular weight thermoplastic polymers, selected for their biocompatibility and safety, with established FDA approvals for long-term internal body use. This material is free from substances like latex, parabens, phthalates, glutaraldehyde, epoxy, and BPA. 

The material is characterized by its ability to apply gentle, yet constant force for effective tooth movement, while also providing controlled and predictable tooth movements. It ensures a snug and comfortable fit around the teeth, making the aligners more user-friendly compared to the earlier Ex30 material.

How Is Invisalign Different?

As the pioneer of clear aligners beginning in 1997, Invisalign has continued to innovate and evolve its system over the past 25+ years. Several key features characterize how Invisalign differs from alternatives.

Invisalign aligners are doctor-prescribed and -managed, ensuring patients receive appropriate oversight throughout treatment. The custom-fit clear aligners are also uniquely crafted from proprietary SmartTrack material, engineered to apply calibrated force to teeth for predictable movements. 

The Invisalign system further personalizes treatment with features like SmartForce attachments when needed. These small, tooth-colored attachments act as handles for aligners to grip, enabling precise control over complex movements. With low profiles, they remain barely noticeable while applying the programmed forces in harmony with SmartTrack aligners.

Treatment plans leverage advanced digital scanning technology like the iTero Element scanner. By rapidly capturing over 6,000 images per second of the intraoral environment, the scanner facilitates the creation of meticulous ClinCheck plans mapping out the series of aligners tailored to each case.

See also: Spark Aligners vs Invisalign

Who Is a Candidate for Invisalign Aligners?

As the original clear aligner system, Invisalign offers solutions tailored to a diverse range of candidates seeking discreet teeth straightening. While treatment is prescribed on an individual basis determined by a patient’s unique orthodontic needs and objectives, Invisalign aligners can potentially benefit:

  • Teens and adults of any age with fully erupted permanent dentition. For younger patients ages 6-10 still developing their jaw and arch foundation, Invisalign First guides growth to support proper permanent tooth eruption.
  • Patients with any number of cosmetic alignment concerns including crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth. Invisalign can also address more complex functional issues like overbites, underbites, crossbites, or open bites.

How Invisalign Aligners Work

Unlike most at-home clear aligners, you will need to visit a dental office for an evaluation, digital scans, x-rays, and thorough dental examination before starting Invisalign treatment. It shouldn’t be hard to look for an Invisalign Provider, as most local dentists and orthodontists offer Invisalign. 

After your scans are taken, your orthodontist will coordinate with Invisalign, and they will create your customized plan. Once your orthodontist is happy with the treatment plan, a 3D animation of your treatment plan will be shown to you, including how your smile would look after the treatment. 

Once your trays are ready, your dentist will give you your first set of aligners, and you will go back every month for a routine check-up and to track your progress. Throughout the course of your treatment, your orthodontist may place composite attachments and have you use elastics and some other auxiliary components that will help you achieve a straighter smile. 

After your treatment, your dentist will place fixed retainers or provide clear retainers to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original position. 

See our article: Can You Get Invisalign With Missing Tooth?

Types of Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign provides a variety of treatments tailored to different dental needs and patient types:

Invisalign Express 5

The Invisalign Express 5 is designed for adults and teens with very mild to mild malocclusion, such as very mild spacing, and crowding, and orthodontic relapse and involves up to 5 trays.

Invisalign Express Package

For similar patient groups with very mild to mild malocclusions but needing slightly more care, the Invisalign Express is available. It focuses on minor tooth movements and anterior esthetic alignment, offering up to 7 trays for the treatment.

Invisalign Go Package

Invisalign Go is targeted at adults and teens with mild to moderate malocclusion. It addresses Class I malocclusions without AP correction, dealing with mild to moderate crowding or spacing. This option is suitable for non-extraction, pre-restorative cases, and includes up to 20 trays.

Invisalign Lite Package

For those with mild to moderate malocclusion, Invisalign Lite provides a solution. It is best for Class I cases involving mild crowding or spacing and is tailored for non-extraction, pre-restorative conditions, allowing up to 14 trays.

Invisalign Moderate Package

The Invisalign Moderate treatment is also for adults and teens, tailored to mild to moderate malocclusion. It covers a range of cases, including Class I and mild Class II, mild to moderate crowding or spacing, and mild AP and vertical discrepancies. This plan involves up to 20 trays.

Invisalign Comprehensive Package

For more complex dental issues, Invisalign offers Comprehensive treatment. Designed for adults and teens with moderate to severe malocclusion, it’s suitable for Class I, II, and III cases with moderate to severe crowding or spacing, AP and vertical discrepancies, and complex pre-restorative cases requiring extractions. This treatment offers an unlimited number of trays.

Invisalign First Comprehensive Package

For children, Invisalign provides the First Comprehensive treatment, focusing on early interceptive Phase 1 care. This plan includes predictable dental arch expansion and effective management of erupting dentition with an unlimited number of trays.

Invisalign First Comprehensive Phase 2 Package

Lastly, the Invisalign First Comprehensive Phase 2 is for children requiring Phase 2 treatment. It continues the care provided in the First Comprehensive plan and also offers an unlimited number of trays.

ProductExpress 5ExpressGoLiteModerateComprehensiveFirst ComprehensiveFirst Comprehensive Phase 2
Patient typeAdults  and TeensAdults and TeensAdults and TeensAdults and TeensAdults and TeensAdults and TeensChildrenChildren
MalocclusionVery mild to mildVery mild to mildMild to moderateMild to moderateMild to moderateModerate to severe
Maximum number of trays57201420UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited

How Long Does Treatment Take?

Treatment duration varies from 6 months to as long as 2 years. You might see this as a disadvantage of Invisalign over the at-home clear aligners, which usually take 4-6 months. But, it is worth mentioning that the more complex your bite problem is, the longer you have to wear Invisalign. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to orthodontic treatments, so the duration depends on several factors like:

  • the severity of teeth misalignment and bite problems.
  • patient compliance in wearing Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours daily.
  • patient’s age.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost? 

The cost of Invisalign treatment typically varies, with prices ranging from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on each case’s severity. For those with complex bite problems, such as overbites, overjets, and crossbites, the treatment requires more time and a greater number of aligners, leading to higher costs compared to milder issues like mild crowding.

However, it’s important to note that the final price of Invisalign is not a fixed amount but is determined by the individual orthodontist or dentist. This cost can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of the orthodontic case, the frequency of the patient’s visits, and the overall length of the treatment. Additionally, the rates set by the orthodontist play a significant role in the final cost. These rates are influenced by various overhead expenses, such as salaries, rent, utilities, and other operational costs associated with maintaining their practice. As a result, the actual cost of Invisalign aligners may differ from one patient to another, reflecting the unique characteristics of each case and the specific conditions of the orthodontic practice.

Does Invisalign Really Work?

Absolutely! Invisalign wouldn’t be around, loved by dental experts and patients since 1997, if it doesn’t work. As of June 2022, Invisalign has transformed 13.5 million smiles worldwide. 

According to a systematic review on the effectiveness of clear aligner therapy that was published in the Journal of Craniomaxillofacial Research, Invisalign is the most popular aligner brand, which was used in 16 out of 18 studies. It also showed that the Invisalign system is more effective or offers more clinical advantages than other clear aligner brands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Invisalign offer discounts?

Invisalign doesn’t advertise discounts directly because your dentist or orthodontist determines the cost. Some dental offices may offer discounts, and you need to ask the dental office’s treatment or financial coordinator to learn more about promos. 

Are Invisalign Aligners safe?

Invisalign clear aligners are completely safe and have been approved by the FDA since 1998. They’re made from medical-grade plastic and do not contain bisphenol-A, an industrial chemical better known as “BPA.”

Does Invisalign accept insurance?

If you have dental or orthodontic coverage on your insurance, partial or full Invisalign cost is most likely to be covered, especially if you are seeing a specialist orthodontist. Every dental office differs, too, so it’s better to discuss financing with them.

Does Invisalign fix an overbite?

Yes, and this is backed up by several studies and research. A study published by Khosravi, R. in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics showed that Invisalign had corrected and managed 120 overbite cases relatively well. 

Invisalign Comparison to Others

Invisalign is still the world’s most innovative and leading clear aligner system. However, many patients have doubts about getting Invisalign due to the cost. Invisalign is almost double the price of other in-office clear aligner brands and is 2-3 times more expensive than at-home aligners (i.e., Byte, Candid, NewSmile, SmileDirectClub, AlignerCo).  

The closest competitor of Invisalign is Candid. Candid is a hybrid teleorthodontic system that requires you to see a dentist for assessment but continues the whole treatment remotely at home. Candid costs just a few thousand less than Invisalign, but most patients prefer Candid over Invisalign due to its convenience. 

Nowadays, Invisalign Providers are utilizing DentalMonitoring or other remote monitoring equipment and apps to decrease the frequency of office visits while on Invisalign treatment. Although Invisalign will never go 100% remote like Candid, it is helpful for Invisalign patients with busy lifestyles or work schedules to let their dentist stay on track with treatment while having fewer visits.

See also: Invisalign – We Answer The Most Frequently Asked Questions.


Invisalign is still a popular option for people who want to straighten their teeth and feel assured that a dental specialist is able to look after them and is always available in case of emergency. 

Moreover, Invisalign expanded its types of aligners to Invisalign First (for ages 8 to 12), Invisalign Teen (for ages 13 to 18), and Invisalign adults (for ages 18+) to specifically address the needs and preferences of these age groups. Aside from aesthetics, kids and teens love Invisalign for its superior comfort. 


  1. Olsen, J., Comparison of Patient Factors Influencing the Selection of an Orthodontist, General Dentist, or Direct-To-Consumer Aligners for Orthodontic Treatment. Virginia Commonwealth University. (2019). Available online at: 
  2. Mortazavi,M., et al. An updated systematic review on the effectivity of clear aligner therapy: A review. Journal of Craniomaxillofacial Research. (2020). Available online at: 

Iza Wojnarowski

Content contributor

Iza is a dedicated content contributor for Toothific. Having worn braces twice and currently using Invisalign to correct a mild overbite, Iza brings a unique perspective to her writing. She spends her time staying updated on the latest dental trends and treatments, ensuring her readers have the most current information for their dental care needs.

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