How does Invisalign work: What issues can Invisalign fix and how long does it take?

December 17, 2022

Illumident Patient

Dr Isabel Holmes

Principal Dentist

Invisalign is a very popular teeth straightening treatment for people in Mount Gambier who want to achieve a picture-perfect smile — and it’s clear to see why.

With its virtually invisible, removable aligner trays, Invisalign offers a much more discreet, comfortable and flexible way to straighten your teeth than traditional braces.

But how does Invisalign work exactly?

And will it be effective for your smile?

As certified Invisalign Go providers, we know this treatment like the back of our hand. So, we’re here to help you get a better understanding of how Invisalign works, how long treatment can take and the different types of dental issues it can fix.

How does Invisalign work?

Just like traditional braces, Invisalign works by using gentle pressure to gradually move your teeth into their ideal position. But the beauty of the Invisalign system is that it uses a series of removable clear aligner trays that are changed every few weeks, rather than fixed metal wires and brackets.

Before you even pop in your first set of aligners, your dentist will use special software to plan out your entire treatment and customise each set of your aligner trays. With Invisalign technology, each tooth is moved individually, rather than receiving the same amount of pressure across all teeth. This gives your dentist more precise control over the movement of your teeth for more predictable results.

At the start of your treatment, you’ll receive the first few sets of your customised aligner trays. Your dentist will give you clear instructions on which trays you need to use first and when to replace them with the next set. Since the aligners can be changed without your dentist’s assistance, you’ll be in charge of replacing your aligners at the right time to keep your treatment on track. But don’t worry, you’re not on your own! You’ll still visit your dentist in-person every 3 to 6 weeks so they can check in on your progress, answer your questions and provide you with your updated sets of aligners as needed.

Although Invisalign aligners can be removed when eating, drinking, brushing or flossing (or for that special event), you must wear your trays for at least 20 to 22 hours per day for the treatment to be effective.

A dentist explains how Invisalign works to her patient at Illumident in Mount Gambier
With Invisalign, you’re in control of your treatment — but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own! We’ll see you every 3 to 6 weeks to ensure your aligners are fitting perfectly and working their magic on your smile.

What is the process for getting Invisalign in Mount Gambier?

At our Mount Gambier dental practice, getting started with your Invisalign treatment is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

  • Step 1: Come in for your Invisalign consultation
    At this appointment, we will assess your smile, determine whether Invisalign Go is right for you and book you in for your oral scan appointment.

  • Step 2:  Scanning and planning
    Next, we take scans of your mouth, discuss how you’d like your new smile to look and put together your personalised treatment plan with all the costs clearly outlined. Here is where we use the special Invisalign software to plan out the movement of your teeth and customise your aligner trays.
  • Step 3: Let the smile transformation begin!

    You’ll receive your custom aligners and start wearing them — but first, we’ll talk you through how to use them and make sure they fit correctly. Over the coming months, we’ll see you every 3 to 6 weeks to monitor your progress.
A dentist uses an intra-oral scanner on her patient for Invisalign treatment
You won’t find any messy impression moulds here! Thanks to our intra-oral scanner, we can comfortably take scans of your mouth for your Invisalign treatment.

How long does Invisalign take to work?

On average, Invisalign Go treatment time can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months up to 12 months.

When it comes to how quickly Invisalign works, this largely depends on the complexity of your case and how much your teeth need to move. As such, minor misalignment cases will take less time while more complex cases will require a longer treatment time to work effectively.

Is Invisalign right for you?

The easiest way to find out is to come in for your FREE Invisalign consultation — call us to book in a time that suits.

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What types of dental issues can Invisalign fix?

Invisalign is great at straightening smiles — but that’s not all it can do! This powerful clear aligner system can also be used to effectively treat a number of dental concerns. Let’s explore the various issues that can be fixed with Invisalign below.

Overcrowded or crooked teeth

Whether it’s genetics or jaw size, sometimes, our mouths simply don’t have enough room to accommodate all of our teeth. And as our teeth fight for space, they can become crooked and start overlapping one another. This issue is known as overcrowded teeth or overcrowding. When this happens, it can be very difficult to keep your teeth clean, leading to a build-up of bacteria and plaque which can cause cavities and gum disease.

Overcrowded and crooked teeth are a very common issue we see at our dental practice at 29 Ferrers Street in Mount Gambier. But the good news is that it can be effectively treated with Invisalign.

Overcrowded teeth
Overcrowded teeth occur when there is not enough room in the jaw to accommodate all of the teeth, causing them to twist and overlap one another.

Gapped teeth

Gapped teeth (also known as spacing or diastema) occur when there is extra space between neighbouring teeth. Teeth spacing can be caused by tooth loss, tooth movement or even just your biological makeup — for example, you may have naturally smaller-than-average teeth or a bigger than average jaw. The concern with gapped teeth is that it’s easier for food particles to get stuck between the teeth, leaving you at risk of tooth decay.

Invisalign works on gapped teeth by gradually moving the teeth closer together with each new set of aligner trays, helping to close the gaps.

Gapped teeth
Got gaps in your smile? Teeth spacing is a common issue and can be easily treated with Invisalign.


An overbite is where the upper teeth stick out and overlap the lower teeth. While a slight overbite is normal, a more pronounced overbite can cause a number of issues. Not only can it affect how you look, speak and eat, but it can also cause your lower teeth to become worn down and lead to serious jaw issues, jaw pain and headaches.

So, does Invisalign work for overbites? It sure does! Although bite issues such as overbites, underbites, crossbites and open bites are considered to be more complex, they can be effectively treated with Invisalign. In bite correction cases, Invisalign attachments will often be used as an additional measure to help guide the jaw and bite back into alignment.

Overbites are a common dental problem — you may sometimes hear people refer to this issue as “buck teeth”.

An underbite is where the lower jaw protrudes forwards and the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. Like an overbite, an underbite can cause some serious oral health issues if left untreated.

Underbites are a lot less common than overbites, but that doesn’t make them any less treatable! Invisalign can help to guide an underbite back into perfect position.

A crossbite is where some of the upper teeth rest inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. It can impact the teeth at the front or the back of your mouth, or both. Like other bite issues, a crossbite can leave you more susceptible to serious dental problems, such as tooth decay, worn down tooth enamel, gum disease and jaw pain.

Crossbites are one of the more complex dental issues that can be treated with Invisalign.

Open bite

An open bite is where the upper teeth and lower teeth don’t meet or overlap when the mouth is closed, leaving an open space between them. Open bites can be caused by genetics or skeletal problems, TMJ disorders, tongue thrusting or even prolonged thumb-sucking or sucking of another object like a dummy or pencil.

This type of bite issue is rare and can be more complex to treat, but it is possible with Invisalign. However, in more severe cases, your dentist may recommend braces as a more suitable dental treatment.

Open bite
Open bites are very rare and often quite complex — but the good news is they can be treated with Invisalign.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for Invisalign?

The easiest way to determine whether Invisalign is right for you is to come in and see mount gambier dentist for your FREE consultation. During the consultation, we will take a look at your teeth and gums and assess whether the Invisalign Go treatment is a good fit for you. Ready to book in? Just call us at our Mount Gambier dental practice to find a time that suits.

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