If you want to have straighter teeth but haven’t wanted to deal with the hassle of traditional braces, Invisalign® at Dougherty Dental, may be the solution that you need.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that is ideal for adults and those who would rather not draw attention to their orthodontia. Invisalign utilizes a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit your smile. By making small adjustments to the aligners about every two weeks, Dr. Paul E. Dougherty and Dr. Scott O. Szotko can help you to create the smile you have always wanted. Plus, no one will notice that you are wearing the aligners.


Can I remove Invisalign?
One of the amazing benefits of Invisalign is that you can remove the aligners to eat and floss your teeth. Do you have a special occasion where you want to remove Invisalign? That will not be a problem. For best results, it is recommended that the aligners are worn consistently for at least 22 hours per day. We will continue treating your smile with Invisalign until your teeth have moved to the proper location.

How Invisalign works

As Invisalign certified Dentists in La Jolla, California, we are qualified to analyze your teeth and bite to determine if Invisalign is the right treatment option for you.

Your initial consultation
If it is determined that you would be a good candidate for Invisalign, our Dentists will take digital X-rays and digital images of your teeth. We will also make impressions of your bite. The information we gather will be sent to the Invisalign laboratory, where 3D images of your teeth will be created. Our Dentists will create a personalized treatment plan for your precise needs. We will track the precise movements that your teeth will make during treatment and will predict the amount of time it will take to reach your optimal smile. For most adults, treatment time is about one year.

Teens can use Invisalign, too
Invisalign isn’t just for adults. Many teens would benefit from using Invisalign. Because Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners, the orthodontic treatment will be virtually invisible to anyone not wearing the aligner. For teens who are self-conscious about their orthodontic care, they can go through their treatment undetected by peers in middle and high school. Additionally, since Invisalign is removable, this option is ideal for teens who play musical instruments and participate in sports. Teens using Invisalign will be able to enjoy spending time with friends, eating popcorn and other treats that cannot be consumed while wearing metal braces. If you know a teen who would benefit from the use of Invisalign in La Jolla, schedule your appointment at 858-454-2656.

Custom-made aligners
From the measurements taken by our Dentists during your consultation, a series of aligner trays will be custom-made to gradually move your teeth to their correct positions. The aligners are made from crystal-clear, BPA-free plastic. Invisalign is smooth and won’t cause irritation to your gums or cheeks.

Check-ups every six weeks 
Every two weeks or so, you will move to the next aligner in your series. Each aligner gently moves your teeth. The progression of aligners will advance your treatment until your teeth have reached their optimal position. You will need to visit our Dentists roughly every six weeks, so our team can monitor your progress and make any necessary changes to your care.

With each aligner you wear, you will see your teeth beginning to move to their proper places. Your goal will become more visible with each new aligner. Because Invisalign in La Jolla is virtually invisible, you will be able to carry on through life without the hinderance of traditional braces. Your lifestyle won’t have to suffer because of your orthodontic care.

Frequently asked questions

Can Invisalign be combined with traditional braces?

  • As a leading cosmetic dentist in La Jolla, California, Dr. Paul E. Dougherty has extensive experience and knowledge about the process of using Invisalign alone or in connection with metal braces. For some patients, using Invisalign alone is sufficient to give patients the results they need, but some patients’ teeth require additional treatment. Our Dentists will honestly assess your orthodontic needs and can give you options to help you reach your optimal smile.

Is Invisalign more effective than braces?

  • In most cases, Invisalign moves the teeth faster and more efficiently than metal braces. Because this treatment uses custom-made aligner trays, the teeth are pushed in multiple places from the use of the aligner. Traditional braces use a pulling force from the individual brackets on the teeth.

How long do I wear Invisalign?

  • Invisalign’s design allows most patients to achieve a beautiful smile in an average time of a year. Occasionally, Invisalign treatment needs to be used in concurrence with metal braces. Luckily, the use of metal braces can be shortened by completing the remainder of the treatment with Invisalign. During your consultations with Dr. Dougherty, we can talk about your individual needs and how we can reach them.

Does Invisalign use metal brackets?

  • Invisalign’s clear plastic aligners do not use metal because they are not attached to your teeth. Traditional braces use metal brackets that are adhered to the front of the teeth.

How do I care for my aligners?

  • Clean your aligners daily just like you would brush your teeth. Rinse the aligner under lukewarm water. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush the inside and outside of the Invisalign aligner. Rinse the aligner in water to remove residue of toothpaste.
  • If you notice a cloudy white film on your Invisalign tray, you are seeing a buildup of tartar. Tartar buildup cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Instead, you should soak the tray in a denture or retainer cleaning solution, according to the directions on the box.

Is Invisalign painful to use?

  • Orthodontic treatments are often uncomfortable due to the nature of the shifting of the teeth. Luckily, Invisalign aligners are typically very comfortable to experience. Most of our patients only experience discomfort for a couple of weeks after starting treatment. After a short adjustment period, most patients don’t experience discomfort.

Is Invisalign right for you?

  • We hope that you are excited about the possibility of using Invisalign at Dougherty Dental. If you want to learn more about this treatment and how it could work for you, we invite you to schedule your consultation with Dr. Paul E. Dougherty at 858-454-2656.