Refinement Aligners

by maria | Last Updated: December 10, 2020

All You Need to Know About Refinement

Your choice of Invisalign is unquestionably great because it is the best way to straighten teeth discreetly. Just like any other treatment, teeth straightening using Invisalign also has an element of unpredictability. In normal circumstances, you will get the desired results on stipulated time as teeth will move as intended. However, due to one reason or the other, your teeth might not move as desired and your orthodontist might advise refinement, revision, or mid-course corrections.

What is a Refinement Aligner?


Bringing misaligned teeth in the right position is a challenging task as the duration of treatment could vary between 12 and 24 months and anything can happen during this period despite the best effort of the orthodontist. Based on primary examination a reputed orthodontist might tell in advance about the possibility of course-correction at a specified time. If your teeth aren’t moving as per plan, an orthodontist might make small alterations to get desired teeth straightening or gap closure results.

The refinement is all about adding more clear aligners into your prescribed number of aligners so that teeth could be straightened as per plan. The refinement aligner procedure involves the digitization of a new set of impressions to analyze progress and create a new teeth movement plan for better movement and accuracy.

Do You Need Refinement Aligners? 

Though clear aligners are custom-designed to get perfect teeth-straightening more discreetly, the uniqueness of an individual’s bone, tissue, dental structure, and complexity makes it difficult to get uniform results. The application of the desired force by aligners to achieve straightening results could vary. If the desired movement is hard to execute, your orthodontist might suggest course-correction called refinement.   

Frankly, it is very tough to predict the need for refinement aligners during the treatment as teeth movement depends on biological uniqueness. Your orthodontist will focus on achieving the desired movement using a defined set of clear aligners, and during the course might suggest refinement if the movement isn’t as per expectation. So, it is all about regular monitoring so that the best straightening results could be achieved in the least possible time.  

How Long Refinement Does Take?

The refinement stage normally takes 3-5 weeks, which involves getting a new impression, digitization, re-plan, and clear aligner production. If aligner production is outsourced, it can take longer. The number of additional aligners required for refinement depends on movement analysis and the treatment plan could be recalibrated accordingly. So, the refinement procedure will extend the overall duration of the straightening treatment.

How Much do Refinement Aligners Cost?

The cost of refinement varies depending on the number of additional aligners prescribed by the orthodontist. Your priority is teeth straightening, so some additional cost should not be a matter of concern which could be anything upward of £400. You can discuss the need for refinement during treatment in advance and clear all possible confusion regarding additional costs.

Final Take

All you need to do is follow instructions as specified by your orthodontist and wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. Desired teeth movement is necessary for desired teeth straightening, so you should wear it for maximum time to avoid the need for refinement during the treatment. Refinement cannot be avoided in all cases, but chances could be minimized by following a treatment plan. Refinement is just a corrective step to help you get a perfectly straight smile, so it is better to understand the complexity and let an orthodontist do things required to straighten your teeth in minimum possible additional treatment duration.

Maria Giovanisci is an enterprising dentist from London. Maria graduated from the University of Murcia and began her professional career in her own dental clinic before, she decided to embark on a joint project with her two colleagues. Aside from contributing on this blog, she also works in the public health sector at the new Torrevieja Hospital.