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30 College Avenue Somerville, MA 02144

About Invisalign

Invisalign in Somerville, MA

What is Invisalign®?

  • Invisible way to straighten your teeth without braces.
  • Series of clear, removable, custom-made Aligners.
  • Uses no metal wires or brackets.
  • Custom-made for comfort.


How does Invisalign work?

  • Wear each set of Aligners for about two weeks.
  • Remove only to eat, drink, brush and floss.
  • Your teeth will move gradually each week.
  • Visit us every 8-10 weeks.
  • Total treatment time averages 6-15 months.
  • Average number of Aligners is between 18 and 30.

Invisalign is a series of aligners that are custom-molded to fit your teeth. Each aligner in the series gradually moves your teeth toward your “outcome plan” (the smile & bite that your doctor designed for you).



An orthodontist is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat aspects of your smile and bite. The orthodontic consultation appointment will allow you to more deeply understand your smile/ bite problems. Your consultation with Dr. Rizkallah will efficiently and effectively provide you with insight into your problem, provide you with the expected outcomes of Invisalign treatment, and offer you the opportunity to ask questions about other available treatment options that you may not know of. You should leave the consultation feeling “fully informed” and “knowledgeable” about your treatment options and outcomes. Only an orthodontist can provide you with other options.


Once you have decided that Invisalign will accomplish the treatment outcomes that you desire, you are ready to have high resolution impressions taken of your teeth. This process takes from 30 to 45 minutes. These impressions are then sent to Invisalign for 3-D scanning. 3-D Scanning creates a computerized image of your teeth. This image is then sent to your Doctor for “Outcome Planning & Design.”


The 3-D scan of your teeth and bite arrive at your Orthodontist’s office using proprietary software designed by Invisalign. The software allows your doctor to manipulate the teeth and bite to accomplish “anything.” Unfortunately, Invisalign is not capable of “anything.” A certified orthodontist has the training and experience to design a predictable sequence of movements that will improve your bite and smile, accomplishing the outcome you expect. Your computerized outcome can be far from your actual outcome if your doctor is not experienced and knowledgeable about the limitations of tooth movement.


You will receive 3 sets of aligners at each appointment. Each aligner set will be worn for 2 weeks, and then you will change to the next set. After 6 weeks (you will have worn all three sets), you will return for an appointment for your next 3 sets. At that appointment, Dr. Rizkallah will evaluate your progress and ensure that the movements are occurring properly.

In general, Invisalign treatment with Dr. Rizkallah takes between 5 and 12 months.

RETAINERS: (No additional cost)

Many retainer types are available. Our office uses the “Forgiver Retainer,” a retainer designed by Dr. Rizkallah (See Forgiver Retainer Section).

The importance of a clear, quality, durable, well fitting, forgiving retainer is critical. The retainer is the insurance policy that protects your investment. Read the Forgiver Retainer section to get a better understanding of its unique characteristics and capabilities.

CASE REFINEMENT: (No additional cost)

While Dr. Rizkallah carefully designs “outcome planning” to accomplish “perfect” results with Invisalign, the Invisalign system does not always execute the plan perfectly. The result of most cases is “almost perfect.” As a result, Dr. Rizkallah will encourage you (at no additional cost) to undergo a second course of Invisalign to “refine” minor imperfections that he is not satisfied with. His commitment is to your complete satisfaction.

REBOOT: (aka mid-course correction):

If an Invisalign case is poorly designed during the “Outcome planning & Design” step, your teeth and bite will start doing VERY ODD things. Your bite and smile may become harmed for life. You may only be able to fix these things later with braces. These problems are avoided by carefully selecting a practitioner in your region. Paients that do not carefully select their Invisalign doctor and are struggling with Invisalign commonly do research after they recognize that a problem exists. They commonly end up at our office, for Dr. Rizkallah to “take over” their treatment. Dr. Rizkallah takes over 100 desperate patients a year.

LONG-TERM POTENTIAL PROBLEMS (Common complaints about Invisalign)

1. “My teeth shift a lot if my retainers are out.”
This is a serious problem if the cause is one of the following: inappropriate widening of the intercanine distance, insufficient interproximal reduction, destabilizing bite design, and undiagnosed speech/ swallowing habits. To avoid these issues, see a certified orthodontist.

Less serious causes are simply resolved by wearing a retainer properly for 3 months, thereby allowing your teeth to stabilize. When a well designed plan is followed by 3 months of retainer wear, long term shifting is not seen.

2. “My bite feels uncomfortable.”
This is a serious problem caused by a “smile-focused” outcome design. If all you want is a nice smile, you may only get that. It may, however, ruin your bite. A Certified Orthodontist is uniquely trained to move teeth in a way that positively impacts both the smile and bite.

3. “My retainer broke.”
Very few retainers are available that do not break. See the “Forgiver Retainer” section to consider your options and understand the benefits/detriments associated with different retainer types. Choose your retainer carefully.

4. “I have small spaces between my teeth now.”
I have retreated many patients that were originally treated by other invisalign practitioners. The most common complaint that pushes someone into retreatment is “excess spacing.” The invisalign system commonly produces residual excess spaces. Most doctors cannot resolve these issues, and simply say “don’t worry about it.” That usually works for a few months. Eventually, the nuisance spaces collect food particles and cause gum problems.

In the event that residual space exists, Dr. Rizkallah can quickly close these spaces using techniques available in his “Forgiver Retainer.” He closes residual spaces within hours. If you are a “residual space” orphan, contact Dr. Rizkallah for a quick fix.

5. “Now I need braces?”
Poorly designed Invisalign treatment can be harmful to a patient. These patients eventually see a Certified Orthodontist (because they won’t make the same mistake twice) for a consultation. The certified orthodontist will, if the situation is bad enough, feel the need to retreat the failed Invisalign case with Braces. I end up fixing other practitioners Invisalign cases with braces at least a dozen times a year.

Invisalign – Before and After