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Invisalign Braces

Invisalign explainer video dr. Paula Taracido - 3dental
Invisalign Explained By Dr. Paula Taracido Invisalign

Invisalign braces is a real buzz word in dentistry at the moment. At 3Dental we get a lot of enquiries about Invisalign from our patients. It seems like everyone has heard of Invisalign. 

So let’s look at Invisalign braces a bit more closely.

Invisalign was set up in California in 1997. It was originally thought up by a technician who was himself getting braces and realised that the retainer he received could also move the teeth. Armed with this knowledge and with a little help from some engineering buddies he worked out how to move teeth with just retainers (aligners)…

Invisalign is now run by Align Technologies in California though the system is made in Mexico. And they are doing very nicely.

Questions About Invisalign Braces

How Does Invisalign Actually Work?

How Does Invisalign Work - Dr.Paul O'Connell, Dr. Niall Vallely & Dr.Peter Doherty - 3Dental
How Does Invisalign Work? Dr.Paul O'Connell, Dr. Niall Vallely & Dr.Peter Doherty Invisalign

Invisalign braces work as an alternative to more traditional braces. By using a system of clear aligners, it moves the teeth in a very controlled way into the desired position.

The aligners are changed approximately every 2 weeks. It also uses a few composite resin tags on the teeth to push the teeth into position or rotate the teeth a little at a time until the end result is achieved.

How Do I Get Started With Invisalign Braces?

You need to book in for a free consultation to see if Invisalign braces are right for you. This consultation is free at 3Dental.

The dentist or orthodontist will check your teeth and bite and give you your options. Then either a scan or a mould of your teeth is taken and sent to Invisalign headquarters in California.

Invisalign invisible aligners - 3Dental

At Invisalign the scans are loaded into a computer simulated to show the movements required to get the end result. If the patient is happy with the end result, then the aligners can be 3D printed and posted out. 

The dentist will then fit the first aligners and place any resin tags that are needed. The dentist may also make tiny adjustments to the contact point of the teeth (called inter proximal reduction or IPR). The tags are removed by the dentist at the end of treatment.

How Many Aligners Are Needed?

Invisalign Braces - before - 3Dental
Invisalign Braces - after - 3Dental

Before and After (Click to enlarge)


That depends on the complexity of the case and the amount of tooth movement needed. Normally about 20-30 aligners are needed for mild to moderate cases.

I have seen cases of over 90 aligners used but this is at the very extreme range and normally we recommend traditional braces in more severe cases. Dr. Paul O'Connell

Invisalign braces (as of now) is really only suited for mild to moderate crowding or spacing cases. Although with improvements in technology this could change soon...

How Often Do I Change My Aligners?

We recommend every 2 weeks. It can be done quicker e.g. every week, but the results can be less predictable.

Do Invisalign Braces Hurt?

There is some discomfort initially especially on the teeth being moved the most. This discomfort varies from patient to patient, although it's usually not extreme. The discomfort eases in a few days.

And yes, you will talk a little funny for a few days till you get used to the aligners.

What Types of Cases Can Invisalign Braces Treat?

All types from mild to moderate crowding to spacing, rotations and vertical movements. It can also treat open bites though not large ones.

How Many Hours A Day Do I Need To Wear My Aligners?

Invisalign on

The more you wear the aligners the quicker will be the end result. We recommend 22 hours per day taking them off for eating and brushing teeth only.

If you only wear the retainers part time it won’t really work, so Invisalign requires a lot of commitment from the patient.

How Often Do I Need To Attend The Clinic?

We see you on average every 8 weeks or so. Obviously, if you are experiencing any problems or pain we are happy to see you at no additional charge.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

Invisalign Braces - Evelyn - before - 3Dental
Invisalign Braces - Evelyn - after - 3Dental

Evelyn - (Click to enlarge)


Every clinic charges a different fee. At 3Dental we always aim to be the most competitive in the Irish market.

We charge between €3,500 to €4,500 per case depending on complexity. Dr. Paul O'Connell

A full cost breakdown of Invisalign can be found in our How Much Is Invisalign? post.

Also, check out our full orthodontic pricing.

Book Your Free Consultation

What If I Lose Or Break An Aligner?

Invisalign usually allows for a very limited number of additional aligners if you lose or break one or two. Where a lot of aligners are lost or broken then an additional fee is charged.


How Invisible Are They?

Very! Clear aligners are without a doubt the most invisible of all braces.

You can only really spot them up close and even then, they can be hard to spot.

Will Invisible Braces Definitely Move My Teeth?

Invisalign - Shauna Kerringan - before - 3dental
Invisalign - Shauna Kerringan - after - 3dental

Shauna Kerringan


Yes - if you wear them as directed and attend for regular appointments, Invisalign is very reliable. It’s very rare to see a case that doesn’t work out as planned.

In this unlikely situation, 3Dental will finish the braces with clear fixed braces at no extra cost!

Check out our smile gallery to see of our before and after pictures!

Do I Have To Wear A Retainer?

Yes – all braces require a retainer to keep the teeth straight. Invisalign provides a clear Essix type retainer as part of the fee. Some patients request a bonded wire retainer after treatment.

We can provide this through our experienced dentists or orthodontists. There is an additional fee and a new retainer is required after.

For more information on retainers, check out our post on The Ultimate Guide To Orthdontic Retainers.

How Experienced Are The Dentists At 3Dental?

All our providing dentists and orthodontists are trained in the Invisalign system and are highly experienced.


We've lots to say on Invisalign braces as you can see! Check out the Invisalign page for more information. 

Our advice is to view our testimonials and our smile gallery and if you feel like you would like to talk - then give us a call! We'd love to hear from you at our Dublin, Limerick or Galway clinic :)

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