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Updated on May 19, 2023
6 min read

Invisalign Consultation

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What to Expect at Your Invisalign Consultation

Clear aligners are a great alternative to traditional braces for many people who want straighter and more beautiful smiles. Many dentists and orthodontists choose Invisalign treatment as their preferred clear aligner treatment program.

Invisalign Product Shot

The first step in getting an Invisalign treatment is to book an initial consultation. You can ask your dentist or use the internet to find top-rated orthodontists in your area offering Invisalign consultations. Some may offer free consultations while others may charge a fee.

An in-depth consultation with your orthodontist will usually involve:

  • Getting a full scan of your teeth
  • Ensuring your eligibility as an Invisalign candidate
  • Discussing your treatment plan
  • Consulting about payment plans

Find a Local Dentist for an Invisalign Consultation

ZocDoc can help you find a dentist in your area that:

  • Takes your insurance
  • Can schedule an appointment ASAP
  • Is close to your home
  • Is top-rated by actual customers
Local Dentist Insurance

What to Expect at Your First Consultation

Each doctor will have a slightly different orthodontic consultation process, depending on their practice. However, there are some things that all patients can expect.

1. Teeth Assessment

The first appointment will typically take the longest, generally lasting one to two hours. If you’re a new visitor, clinic staff will gather your medical and dental history.

After recording your medical history, your dentist will perform a comprehensive assessment of your teeth, which may include all or some of the following:

  • X-rays — Dental x-rays allow your doctor to see the state of your jawbone and the roots of your teeth. These may include panoramic, cephalometric, or full-mouth images.
  • Bite registration — A paste is applied to your teeth, then you will bite down, allowing your doctor to record and evaluate your bite.
  • Dental impressions — The doctor will place a putty in a tray, which you will then bite, leaving an impression of your teeth that will be used to make your set of aligners.
  • Photographs — If your dentist needs to send your impressions to the Invisalign lab, they will also need to take eight photographs of your face and teeth.
  • 3D Digital Smile Scan — Some doctors have an iTero Element scanner and can perform their own 3D scan in-house. 

2. Forming a Treatment Plan

The next step is to discuss your treatment plan. Before your dentist sends your impressions to the Invisalign lab, they will talk you through the next steps of the process.

Your dentist will provide estimations on how long your treatment will take and how often you need to come back for checkups. If they have their own scanner, they will be able to provide you with a digital model of your future smile.

3. Payment Options

Your doctor will review your case with you, as well as discuss payment options for your Invisalign treatment. Once the lab (either in-house or via mail to Invisalign) has your impressions, they will begin to form your custom plastic aligners.

What to Expect After the First Consultation

Your next appointment will take place once your custom aligners have arrived at the dental office. The doctor will discuss a few reminders with you, including:

  • How to wear your aligners
  • How many hours a day you must wear them
  • How often you'll be changing aligners

Your dentist will also answer any questions you may have. You will leave the office with your first set of aligners, which should last you approximately six to eight weeks.

Some people require special tooth-colored attachments, which help the aligners shift your teeth more effectively. They blend in with your natural teeth and your aligners will have small enclosures to fit these attachments.

Invisalign attachments often make it difficult to remove and insert your trays initially. However, the attachments become worn down and smoother over time.

Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.

What to Expect During Your Invisalign Treatment

After receiving your aligners, you’ll follow up with your doctor every six to eight weeks. Your dentist will perform a thorough check-up and make sure your teeth are moving properly.

You will also receive your next set of aligners. Your dentist will then let you know when you need to come back for the next checkup.

People with more severe cases will sometimes need to follow up more frequently. There are discreet metal buttons and elastics that can be used to help move teeth properly. 

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

The average treatment time is 12 to 18 months. However, you may start seeing results in a few weeks. The treatment time varies between 6 to 24 months, depending on the severity of your condition.

Why Invisalign?

Invisalign is a very effective treatment option for minor to moderately misaligned teeth. Over nine million people (including more than 1.4 million teens) have undergone Invisalign treatment.

Here are some of its benefits:

  • Invisalign is an almost invisible tooth-straightening treatment method
  • Due to Invisalign's technology, the aligners can fit almost all teeth
  • Invisalign can fix nearly all alignment and bite issues without getting in the way of your quality of life

Find a Local Dentist for an Invisalign Consultation

ZocDoc can help you find a dentist in your area that:

  • Takes your insurance
  • Can schedule an appointment ASAP
  • Is close to your home
  • Is top-rated by actual customers
Local Dentist Insurance

Is an Invisalign Consultation Free?

Yes, many Invisalign doctors offer free initial consultations. However, not all doctors do. Speak with a specialist beforehand to determine how much the consultation will cost.

How Much Do Invisalign Aligners Cost?

The cost of Invisalign generally falls between $3,000 and $7,000. The total cost depends on the complexity of the case and the length of treatment needed.

Invisalign’s cost may be partially covered by dental insurance. Most dental insurance plans cover Invisalign the same way they cover braces.

Who is Eligible for Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign is a teeth straightening treatment that can help many patients achieve a straight smile.

It can help people with:

  • Crowded teeth When there is not enough room in the jaw for teeth to fit normally
  • Overbites — The upper front teeth close in front of the lower teeth
  • Underbites — The lower teeth jut out in front of the upper front teeth
  • CrossbitesThe upper and lower jaws don’t align
  • DiastemaThere are small gaps between the teeth
  • Open bites — The top and bottom teeth don’t meet
  • Misaligned primary (baby) teeth — Early orthodontic treatment for children with baby teeth or a mixture of baby and permanent teeth

What Can Invisalign Not Treat?

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for Invisalign aligners.

Severe cases like severe jaw malocclusion, impacted teeth, or missing teeth may require alternative treatment such as metal braces. This is why the initial consultation and digital scan are so important.

Where to Get an Invisalign Consultation

Invisalign's Smile Concierge Team can help you make an appointment with an Invisalign-trained doctor near you. They can also answer any questions you may have.


  • Invisalign treatment starts with an initial consultation
  • Your orthodontist will determine whether you qualify for an Invisalign treatment
  • After your initial consultation, your dentist will talk you through your treatment plan and payment options
  • Once your aligners are ready, you will visit your dentist to fit your aligners and receive important reminders
  • You need to visit your dentist regularly for checkups

Last updated on May 19, 2023
8 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 19, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Kravitz et al. “How well does Invisalign work? A prospective clinical study evaluating the efficacy of tooth movement with Invisalign.” American journal of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, 2009.
  2. Phulari, B. “History of Invisalign.” History of Orthodontics, 2013. 
  3. Phan, X., Ling, PH. “Clinical Limitations of Invisalign.” Clinical Practice, Canadian Dental Association, Apr. 2007. 
  4. "Frequently asked questions." Invisalign.
  5. "How much does Invisalign Treatment cost?" Invisalign.
  6. Ke et al. "A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies." BMC oral health, 2019.
  7. "The Invisalign Difference." Invisalign.
  8. "Treatable cases." Invisalign.
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