Assessing Eligibility For Invisalign: Crucial Factors & Considerations

Invisalign has revolutionized orthodontic treatment, offering a modern, virtually invisible solution for straightening teeth. This advanced technology utilizes clear aligners custom-made to fit snugly over the teeth, gradually shifting them into the desired position. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, making them a convenient and discreet option for many patients. However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for Invisalign. Understanding who benefits most from this treatment can help potential patients make informed decisions and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Person inserting Invisalign aligners

How Does Invisalign Work? An In-Depth Look At Clear Aligners

Invisalign aligners are crafted from a special thermoplastic material called SmartTrack, which is designed to apply gentle and consistent pressure on the teeth. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks before being replaced with the next set in the series. Over time, these aligners move the teeth into their proper alignment. Regular visits to the dental clinic are essential to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments.

Identifying The Perfect Candidates For Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign is suitable for a wide range of patients, but certain conditions and characteristics make some individuals particularly well-suited for this treatment.

Mild To Moderate Misalignment

Invisalign is most effective for individuals with mild to moderate dental misalignment. This includes:

  • Crowded Teeth: When there isn’t enough space in the jaw for all the teeth to fit normally.
  • Spacing Issues: Gaps between teeth due to missing teeth or other dental conditions.
  • Overbite: When the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth.
  • Underbite: When the lower teeth extend past the upper teeth.
  • Crossbite: When some of the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth rather than outside.
  • Open Bite: When the upper and lower teeth don’t touch when the mouth is closed.

Committed To The Treatment Plan

Success with Invisalign requires commitment. Ideal candidates are those who can:

  • Wear Aligners For 20-22 Hours a Day: Consistent wear is crucial for the aligners to work effectively.
  • Follow Dental Instructions: Regularly changing aligners and attending scheduled visits to the dental office.
  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Removing aligners to eat and clean teeth helps prevent dental issues.

Adults & Responsible Teens

Invisalign is particularly popular among adults and responsible teenagers who can adhere to the treatment protocol. Adults often choose Invisalign for its discreet appearance, which is less noticeable in professional and social settings. For teens, Invisalign offers the benefit of being less intrusive than traditional braces, making it easier to participate in sports and other activities without discomfort.

Key Considerations Before Starting Invisalign: What You Need To Know

While Invisalign is versatile, there are specific dental conditions and considerations to keep in mind.

Orthodontic Pre-Treatment

Some patients may need orthodontic pre-treatment before starting Invisalign. This is often the case for individuals with:

  • Severe Malocclusion: Significant bite issues might require preliminary orthodontic work to prepare the teeth for aligners.
  • Complex Cases: Cases involving substantial tooth rotation or vertical movement.

Bone & Gum Health

Healthy bones and gums are essential for any orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign. Candidates should:

  • Have Healthy Gums: Gum disease must be treated prior to starting Invisalign.
  • Have Sufficient Bone Density: Adequate bone support is necessary to withstand the pressure exerted by the aligners.

Commitment To Oral Hygiene

Invisalign aligners need to be cleaned regularly to maintain oral hygiene. Candidates must be diligent about:

  • Brushing & Flossing: Proper dental care prevents plaque buildup and tooth decay.
  • Cleaning Aligners: Rinsing and brushing aligners daily to avoid staining and bacterial growth.

When Is Invisalign Not The Right Choice? Understanding Limitations

While many people can benefit from Invisalign, some situations might make traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments a better option.

Severe Misalignment

In cases of severe dental misalignment, traditional braces might be more effective. This includes:

  • Extremely Rotated Teeth: Teeth that need significant rotation may not respond well to aligners.
  • Major Bite Corrections: Severe overbites, underbites, or crossbites might require the strength of metal braces.

Young Children

Invisalign is generally not recommended for young children whose teeth and jaws are still developing. Traditional orthodontic approaches are often more suitable for managing the growth and alignment of their teeth.


Patients who are unlikely to wear their aligners consistently might not achieve the desired results. Invisalign requires discipline, and those who cannot commit to wearing the aligners for the prescribed hours might consider alternative treatments.

Certain Dental Restorations

Individuals with certain dental restorations, such as:

  • Dental Implants: Fixed implants might not move with the aligners, requiring a customized approach.
  • Bridges: Bridges connect multiple teeth and can interfere with the movement of individual teeth.

How To Consult with An Invisalign Specialist: Steps To Take

The first step in determining candidacy for Invisalign is a consultation with an Invisalign dentist. During this visit, the dentist will:

  • Conduct a Thorough Examination: Assess the overall health of teeth and gums.
  • Evaluate Dental Alignment: Determine the severity of misalignment and bite issues.
  • Discuss Treatment Goals: Understand the patient’s objectives and expectations.
  • Create a Customized Treatment Plan: If Invisalign is suitable, the dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan.

Top Benefits Of Choosing Invisalign Over Traditional Braces

For those who qualify, Invisalign offers numerous benefits over traditional braces:

Dentist fitting Invisalign aligners for a female patient

Aesthetic Appeal

Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, making them an attractive option for individuals concerned about the appearance of traditional braces. This is particularly beneficial for adults who want to maintain a professional appearance.


The aligners are made of smooth plastic, which reduces the likelihood of irritation and discomfort often associated with metal brackets and wires.


Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. This means there are no dietary restrictions, and maintaining oral hygiene is easier compared to traditional braces.

Predictable Results

Invisalign treatment involves advanced 3D imaging technology that allows patients to see their treatment plan and expected results before starting. This transparency helps set realistic expectations and track progress.

Fewer Dental Visits

With Invisalign, there are fewer emergency visits since there are no wires or brackets that can break. Regular check-ups are still necessary, but they are often less frequent than with traditional braces.

How Invisalign Transforms Smiles & Enhances Quality Of Life

Invisalign offers a modern, effective solution for many individuals seeking to straighten their teeth. Ideal candidates typically have mild to moderate misalignment, are committed to the treatment process, and maintain good oral hygiene. While it is a versatile option, severe cases of misalignment and specific dental conditions may require alternative treatments. Consulting with a knowledgeable Invisalign dentist is essential to determine the best course of action and achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

At Esthetix Dental Spa, we recognize the significant impact a radiant smile can have on both an individual’s appearance and overall well-being. Our unwavering commitment to excellence allows us to consistently deliver transformative smile makeovers that not only enhance one’s image but also improve one’s quality of life. For any inquiries regarding the procedures displayed or to explore how we can assist in creating your ideal smile, we invite you to contact us. Our Washington Heights Dentist is here to help you achieve a smile that exudes confidence and vitality.

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Esthetix Dentist, NYC’s Dental Implant & Cosmetic Specialist
285 Fort Washington Ave,
New York, NY 10032

Phone: (212) 795-9675