Traditional orthodontia is effective yet conspicuous. Many adults refuse to have braces placed because they don’t want others to see the metal brackets and wires in their mouth. Luckily, technological advancements have led to the development of clear braces, otherwise known as the Invisalign system. Invisalign is a safe, FDA-approved medical device that invisibly improves the alignment and positioning of your teeth. Dr. Susan Fredericks works with Woodland Hills Invisalign patients at Southern Cal Smiles.

If you’re looking for a way to straighten your smile without earning the nickname “metal mouth,” schedule a consultation with female dentist Susan Fredericks to learn more about Invisalign.

Improve Your Smile with Invisalign

Invisalign is an invisible orthodontics system that uses clear plastic to move your teeth into the desired position. The removable aligners come in sets of two (upper and lower) and resemble teeth whitening trays. They are comfortable, easy to wear and very discreet. No one will be able to tell that you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment (unless you tell them!).

Invisalign can improve the following conditions:

  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Spacing issues between the teeth
  • Unevenly aligned teeth

Straight, evenly spaced teeth are not only cosmetically appealing; they are also good for your oral health. They are easier to brush and floss and more likely to maintain a proper bite. If your bite is thrown off, you may experience jaw pain, increased wear and tear on your teeth and problems speaking or eating.

Are you right for Invisalign?

Ideal candidates for Invisalign are individuals who need to correct crowded, crooked, protruding teeth or irregular spacing. Invisalign is typically used to treat more simple orthodontic cases in crooked teeth. Your Woodland Hills dentist at Southern Cal Smiles will be able to determine which treatment is best for you based on your orthodontic needs, the severity of your case and your personal preferences. Schedule your consultation today to find out if Invisalign would be well suited for you.

What Can I Expect During Invisalign Treatment?

The first step of Invisalign treatment is being fitted for your aligners. Dental X-rays, pictures and impressions will be taken to recreate a virtual model of your teeth. This information helps to map out your Invisalign treatment, and helps the dental laboratory craft your customized set of aligners. The Invisalign team will show you how the aligners will gradually move your teeth into the desired position.

Once your first set of Invisalign aligners is ready, the Invisalign team will give them to you and explain how to wear them. In general, you should wear them for 20 to 22 hours per day and remove them only when eating, brushing and flossing. The aligners require regular cleaning, which the team will show you how to do.

You should receive the next set of aligners in your personalized series every two weeks. You will visit the Invisalign team periodically so they can observe your progress and answer any questions you may have.

The length of Invisalign treatment varies by patient, but typically takes about a year.

Comparing Invisalign and Braces

Southern Cal Smiles in Woodland Hills wants to educate and make sure the Invisalign treatment is the best option for you. Dr. Susan Fredericks helps educate Calabasas residents on the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces.


Braces consist of brackets and wires that are affixed to the teeth and secured in placed with elastic ties. Braces can be made of metal, ceramic or a combination of the two. Although braces are effective in straightening teeth, many patients dislike them due to their conspicuous and bulky design.

Invisalign consists of clear, removable alignment trays that slip over the teeth. The alignment trays are custom-made using impressions of the patient’s teeth, ensuring a precise fit. Each set of aligners is worn for two to three weeks after which they are replaced with another set of aligners that will gradually shift teeth into the desired position. Invisalign is highly preferred by patients over braces for their clear, inconspicuous design. Calabasas residents typically prefer Invisalign over traditional braces as they are able to continue without bulky brackets and wires on their teeth.

Braces are worn 24/7 while Invisalign clear aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day and only removed for eating, drinking, brushing, flossing and cleaning.

Length of treatment

The length of treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on the amount of correction needed. Braces can be worn anywhere from six months to two years, or longer. Invisalign typically requires a shorter treatment time, as little as six months. However, more severe cases may take longer with Invisalign than with traditional braces.


The cost of Invisalign is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. Ultimately the cost of your orthodontic treatment will depend on a variety of factors including the length of treatment. Your dentist can give you a specific cost estimate during an in-office consultation.

Invisalign FAQs

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?
Generally speaking, insurance companies that cover traditional braces should also cover the Invisalign system. We also offer financing options such as CareCredit that can help you pay for your treatment. For specifics regarding your insurance plan coverage, we suggest calling your provider. If you have questions about financing, please call our office and we would be happy to assist you.

Will Wearing Invisalign Affect My Speech?
Most Invisalign patients do not experience negative effects on their speech. Immediately after receiving your aligners it may take you some time to adjust to having the aligners in your mouth, but the effects should subside as you get used to Invisalign.

How Do I Care For My Aligners?
To maintain the condition of your aligners, it is important to take them out when you eat or drink so they do not get stained. Additionally, they can be cleaned using the Invisalign cleaning kit, or can be washed with a brush in lukewarm water. You should also brush your teeth before reinserting your aligners when you take them out to eat.

Does Invisalign Treatment Hurt?
At the beginning of each stage of treatment, some people may initially experience some discomfort when wearing their new aligner. Patients typically describe this discomfort as a slight pressure, which is normal as the aligners gradually adjust your teeth into the desired position. After a few days the discomfort should subside.

Will I Need to Wear a Retainer Once My Treatment is Complete?
As with any orthodontic treatment, it is important to wear a retainer afterwards to maintain your beautiful results and to keep your teeth in their ideal position. Dr. Fredericks will go over retention instructions with you in order to help maintain the results of the treatment.

Learn More about Invisalign

Would you like to learn more about Invisalign? Woodland Hills dentist Susan Fredericks encourages you to contact Southern Cal Smiles for a one-on-one consultation to discuss Invisalign treatment in more detail. Call or email us today to schedule an appointment.