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Invisalign Retainer: What is This Used for and is it Effective?

Invisalign Retainer: What is This Used for and is it Effective?

Invisalign retainer refers to a well-known brand of clear aligners or removable braces in the United States. The manufacturing process of the Invisalign starts by assessing and forming treatment plans for the patient. It is followed by creating molds for fabricating the patient’s actual aligner. The CAD-CAM technologies have also been a part of a large field of dentistry.

Clear aligners are customized using clear plastic with thin and removable features. These aligners are designed for treating patients with Malocclusion, crooked teeth, or a poor bite (the alignment of the upper and lower teeth, with the upper teeth normally slightly forward of the lower teeth) through the pressure from the mold of the prescribed aligner.

How Does an Invisalign Retainer Work?

The treatment procedure for Invisalign involves the following steps:

Orthodontic diagnosis and preparation

The doctor will scan the patient’s current dentition using the latest imaging technology. Using the image, the doctor will determine appropriate treatment and form plans about the sequence of treatment.

Preparation of three-dimensional dentition computer model

The 3D model will be used to demonstrate the current condition of the patient. In this model, the doctor’s prescription will be applied, as well as the materials to be used for the procedure.

Treatment viewing

When the treatment plan is applied, the stimulation of the teeth movement will be demonstrated using the 3D model. It will also show the before-and-after-treatment demonstration of the patient’s teeth.

Construction of molds

The series of molds are similar to the patient’s dentition within the two-week stage of treatment simulation. These molds are customized and shaped for the patient’s teeth, which will give pressure to where the teeth will exactly move according to the desired alignment of the teeth. Often, the replacement of retainers happens every one to two weeks. However, it still depends on the prescription of the professional.

Benefits of Using Retainers

  • Unlike traditional braces, these aligners are nearly invisible.
  • The retainer and aligner are light, thin, and smooth. It provides more comfort, and it is safer and considered conventional for patients.
  • Retainers are removable if you need to do difficult tasks, such as eating, brushing, and flossing. It can also help reduce the chance of having tooth decay and damage during the treatment.
  • Invisalign is designed to correct the alignment of teeth but reducing unintended and unnecessary tooth movements.
  • It reduces the chance of root resorption or damage on the roots of teeth from the pressure, as it is designed for short-time treatment unlike with traditional braces.
  • It is more convenient to replace a lost or broken aligner because the next series of the aligner can be the replacement.

Limitations of Retainers

  • The pricing policy of aligners varies for every professional.
  • The manufacturing process of the actual series of aligners might take a month or more after the diagnosis and placement of treatment.
  • According to research, a patient experiences relapse three years after the treatment from an aligner. However, this topic still needs further research.
  • Aligners alone cannot treat severe Malocclusion, which may need a combination with other conventional braces to see results.
  • The patients may experience a temporary period of irritated gums, cheeks, and lips that may affect speech.

invisalign retainer

Key Takeaways

Retainers are used to correct mild to moderate Malocclusion, crooked teeth, and bite problems. After the aligner treatment, the use of an Invisalign retainer is required to maintain the result. This has a lot of benefits to offer and also some things to consider.

If you’re considering Invisalign, please get in touch with a dentist. It may sound appealing to you, especially since they are removable, but remember that it may not be the appropriate treatment for you.

Learn more about Cosmetic Dentistry here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Understanding Vivera Retainers: Will They Help After Your Braces?, https://www.dentaly.org/us/adult-braces/teeth-retainers/vivera-retainers/ Date Accessed February 12, 2021

Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7018497/ Date Accessed February 12, 2021

ALIGN TECHNOLOGY, INC., https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1097149/000110465907018240/a07-5886_110k.htm Date Accessed February 12, 2021

Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners, https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/orthodontic-treatment-with-clear-aligners/ Date Accessed February 12, 2021

Malocclusion and Orthodontics, https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tn1000 Date Accessed February 12, 2021


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Written by Shienna Santelices Updated Oct 27, 2021
Medically reviewed by Grazielle Millo-Paderes, DDM, MSc