What is Invisalign?

Invisalign (invisible braces) is the esthetic alternative to metal braces.  As is the case with traditional orthodontics, Invisalign enhances one’s smile by moving teeth into their optimal cosmetic position.  However, Invisalign does this without having to resort to unsightly metal brackets and wires.  Tooth movements are accomplished with thin, clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible. (See the Invisalign video ).  And Invisalign aligners are removable and can be taken out to eat or brush your teeth!

Video: The Benefits of Invisalign®


Invisalign® is a wonderful option for patients with overly crowded, overly spaced, and generally crooked teeth. Dr. Margaret Mitchell offers this treatment for patients who want straighter teeth without noticeable traditional braces. Invisalign® aligners are smooth and comfortable to wear all day.

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How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign moves teeth by using a sequential set of aligners that are switched out every two weeks.  Each aligner is designed to gently nudge the teeth into a more esthetic position, resulting in an enhanced smile.

Advantages of Invisalign over Traditional Metal Braces

Virtually Invisible

Invisalign clear plastic aligners are virtually invisible.  Most people won’t be able to tell that you even have them on.

Aligners are Removable 

The fact that the aligners are removable is one of Invisalign’s biggest advantages over traditional metal braces.  With metal braces, you do not see the results until the metal is taken off—typically 2 years in the future.  With Invisalign, you see the results every 2 weeks ... every time you change your aligners!

Comfortable for the Lips and Cheeks

Invisalign clear plastic aligners are smooth, so they don’t cut the lips and cheeks like sharp metal braces.

Invisalign Often Lower in Cost

Invisalign often costs less than traditional metal braces, since it is less labor intensive for the dentist.  Treatment costs vary with case complexity and geography, but typically range from $2,000 - $5,000.

How long does Invisalign Treatment Take?

Most Invisalign cases take less than a year to move the teeth into their optimal position.

Do I need to wear a Retainer at the end of my Invisalign Treatment?

Yes.  Just as is the case with traditional metal braces, your teeth will have a tendency to move back to their original position---unless some type of retention is used.  This usually takes the form of a retainer that is worn only at night (while sleeping).  Permanent retainers that are bonded to the teeth can also be used.

Does Invisalign work on everyone?

Invisalign is designed to be used on adults and teens, but is not intended for use on children due the possibility of non-compliance.

And Invisalign is not intended to be used on the most difficult of cases, where traditional metal brackets and wires allow more control.  However, Invisalign can handle over 80% of all cases, so most people can benefit from it.

Which dental conditions can Invisalign correct?

Overly Crowded Teeth

Overly crowded teeth: This is the most common reason why people seek out orthodontics.  Crowding occurs when the dental arch or jaw is simply not large enough to accommodate all of the teeth.  When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can increase the probability of dental decay, increase the chance for gum disease, and impede the normal function of the teeth

Widely Spaced Teeth

Widely spaced teeth: This happens when the jaw is larger than what is needed to accommodate the teeth.  Spacing can also result when teeth are missing and the remaining teeth move to fill the gap.


Crossbite: This occurs when the upper and lower jaws are misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth.  A crossbite can be present on both the front and/or sides of the mouth and can sometimes lead to tooth wear, gum disease, or bone loss.


Deep Bite: This happens when the upper teeth extend excessively over the lower teeth. It is typically caused by genetics, bad oral habits, or over-development of the bone that supports the teeth. This issue can lead to gum problems and abnormal tooth wear.  The condition is also sometimes associated with TMJ (jaw joint) problems.


Underbite: This occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It can be caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This issue impedes the normal function of the front teeth or molars and can lead to tooth wear.  It can also be a factor in TMJ problems.