Advances in Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign Laurel, MD

Since the company behind Invisalign® was founded in 1997, this clear plastic version of braces has become popular as a way for adults to straighten their teeth discreetly. Invisalign® has always had the advantage of being hard to see and requiring fewer dental visits to tighten, rewire and replace. In recent years, advances in the aligners have made them more effective for more people.

Greater challenges

Over the years, Invisalign® aligners have become more advanced, and new materials and attachments have added options for dentists and their patients. These aligners may now offer help for those with unique situations.

Jaw movement

Early versions of these clear aligners were best for crowded or spaced-out teeth and could handle minor overbites or underbites, but anything that required movement of the jaw was beyond its capabilities. Invisalign® with mandibular advancement uses wings to push the lower jaw forward, making it an option for those whose mouths need significant work.

Faster work

SmartTrack® materials have sped up the time it takes to straighten teeth with Invisalign®. The aligners fit better and can be removed more easily. The dentist can switch patients to new versions once a week instead of every two weeks. As a result, the progress is more predictable, and it may be easier for users to stick with a program that requires a great deal of focus and compliance. SmartForce® attachments also move things along with add-ons that give certain teeth a little extra push to move into place although they may make the aligners slightly more visible. 

Younger users

Clear straighteners have always had an appeal to teens who want to avoid a metal-filled brace-face at all costs. Invisalign® Teen, introduced in 2017, has features that make it particularly appropriate for younger users. It accommodates growing teeth, but it also allows for the habits of teenagers who may have trouble being responsible in their use of removable aligners. A dot on Invisalign® Teen aligners changes color the more they are worn, so it is easy to tell if they are not being worn sufficiently. Since younger users may be more likely to remove aligners while away from home and leave them behind, the teen version comes with more free replacements.


Invisalign® is no longer the only option for clear teeth straighteners. Competitors have moved into place with less expensive alternatives and online availability. While Invisalign® may still be the best and most effective option, chances are the company will have to continue to come up with advances and adjustments in order to remain dominant. That is good news for users who would like to not only have a less obvious straightening experience but a quicker and more effective one as well.


The current versions of Invisalign® are far more sophisticated than the earliest iterations, and continued advancements have made them more practical and more effective for a greater range of patients. Those users may wish for future improvements that make the liners more comfortable, more invisible, more affordable and more accommodating to things like eating, drinking and speaking. Yet compared to a mouth full of metal braces, they will always seem like an advancement all by themselves.

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