Innovative Invisalign

Creating the Most Natural Smiles: With and Without Braces

Lindsey Wortman

Let’s be Clear!  Advancements in orthodontics made it possible to have braces that are practically invisible.  Kalamazoo Orthodontics is pleased to offer our unique take on Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, and other clear or invisible alternatives for patients of any age. Making you look good, while we make you look great!

Dr. Jay Bowman has over 20 years of experience with Invisalign as Kalamazoo Orthodontics was one of the first certified practices in Michigan.  KO became the first Premier Provider in the area in 2006 and later the first Elite Provider in 2012.  KO was also one of first offices in the U.S. to offer Invisalign Teen as Dr. Bowman was one of the 4 in Invisalign Teen Research Team (conducting work under the auspice of an Independent Review Board).  We were also part of a special Insignia Custom Braces/Invisalign combination study.  In addition, Dr. Bowman also visited the Align Technology Center in Costa Rica when he lectured for the Costa Rican Association of Orthodontists.

The Invisalign Teen investigators (from left): Drs. S. Jay Bowman, Brian Amy, Jonathan Nicozisis, and Orhan Tuncay (the author of the first textbook on Invisalign)


Dr. Bowman invented the popular Aligner Chewies and Retainer Retriever devices for use with Invisalign®.  He has designed special pliers for individual adjustment of the aligners (manufactured by Hu-Friedy).  In addition, he has also published reports describing the application of miniscrews and elastic forces with Invisalign® in textbooks and articles.

Kalamazoo Orthodontics was the first in the area to feature the iTero Element digital scanning system.  In fact, we now have 2 of them in each of our private “scanning rooms.”  iTero digital scanners help to eliminate almost all of the traditional gooey dental impressions.  Instead, a touchless wand is used to take thousands of tiny digital photographs of your mouth to create 3D images.  These virtual models are manipulated for treatment planning for clear aligners and other orthodontic appliances.

Kalamazoo Orthodontics offers experience, education, technology, and innovation with Invisalign® and other clear aligner alternatives.  This includes combining Invisalign® with other techniques such as Butterfly System (braces designed by Dr. Bowman), Insignia Custom Braces, and lingual (invisible) braces for comprehensive orthodontic results featuring beautiful, natural smiles. 


Invisalign® is a state-of-the-art alternative to braces that is virtually undetectable to other people.  Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called “aligners” – no brackets or wires.

Invisalign uses incredible three-dimensional computer imaging technology to create your aligners:  the science behind every smile.  We will be able to determine if Invisalign is right for you at your consultation.  Once this has been determined, a precise treatment plan is developed.  Invisalign uses their cutting-edge technology to translate this treatment plan into a sequence of finely calibrated aligners.  

Patients wear each aligner for up to two weeks, removing it only for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.  As you replace each aligner with the next, your teeth will move gradually — millimeter by millimeter, week by week — to the final state of alignment as prescribed.  Since you can remove your Invisalign, you can enjoy your food more and keep your teeth and gums cleaner than with traditional braces.  On the other hand, compliance is key because if aligners are not worn exactly as prescribed, your treatment may not only be delayed, but it can go off-course.

winter smile photo
jay bowman innovative invisalign


Much like the many inventions and concepts for traditional braces created at Kalamazoo Orthodontics, Dr. Bowman began looking for simple solutions for issues of the unpredictability of some specific tooth movements with clear aligners.  This has resulted in his designing the HuFriedyGroup Clear Collection, associated techniques, and also the popular, Aligner Chewies.  These innovations were designed to improve the predictability of aligners and have resulted in the publication of 15 book chapters and articles, many lectures (including the American Association of Orthodontists), and 14 international webinars during the first year of COVID-19.

Clear Collection Instruments from HuFriedyGroup.   It took five years of designing by Dr. Bowman and then HuFriedyGroup manufacturing the Clear Collection of innovative instruments for clear aligner treatments.  The collection was developed so that orthodontists can more effectively individualize treatment for each patient by easily altering and customizing clear aligner trays.   The Clear Collection pliers can assist in the application of adjunctive forces to broaden the variety of malocclusions that may benefit from clear aligners.  All the instrument names and their descriptions and uses were developed by Dr. Bowman.  His intent when designing these instruments was to enhance and accentuate Clear Aligner biomechanics in order to improve their effectiveness and predictability.  The original four instruments will be joined with 10  more in 2021.  More details and videos can be found on the Hu-Friedy website.

Aligner Chewies.  Invisalign aligner trays must be seated completely on a patient’s teeth for them to work correctly.  The first few days that a new set of aligners are worn, they fit very tightly and may not seat all the way.  To assist in this initial seating, Dr. Bowman created a molded, plastic device called Aligner Chewies. Dentsply/Glenroe Technologies produce these tubular plastic rolls that patients can position between aligners at specific problem spots (where they see an air-gap between the edge of a tooth and the bottom of the aligner tray where that tooth should be seated).  The patient then chews periodically on the Aligner Chewies over the next few days until that gap is closed.  These devices were first introduced in the Fall 2005 issue of Clinical Reports & Techniques journal.

Retainer Retrievers.  The next dilemma that Dr. Bowman tackled was improving the ease with which aligner trays are removed from the teeth.  Aligners are often quite snug, especially during the first days of wear, and it may be difficult for patients to remove them.  Some patients have mentioned even breaking their fingernails.  So, Dr. Bowman had Dentsply/Glenroe Technologies fabricate a molded, plastic alternative, much like a darning needle, that he named the Retainer Retriever – designed to be conveniently attached to a key ring. 

If you could straighten your teeth and improve your smile using a clear, braceless alternative, would you be interested?

According to the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, virtually all American (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset. 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing and 74% of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success. Perhaps Invisalign is an option for your particular needs. Call us for a complimentary evaluation.

How often must I wear my aligners?

Twenty-two hours daily  – removing them only to eat, drink, brush and floss. Compliance is key with Invisalign:  if they aren’t worn exactly as directed, they will not work!

You might like the FREE iPhone App (available on iTunes): Align On Time that will remind you when to change your aligners on a scheduled as prescribed by Dr. Bowman.

Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?

No! Unlike conventional orthodontic treatment with wires and brackets, you may eat whatever you like. Please brush your teeth before replacing your aligners.  You simply brush your aligners with water.

Will wearing aligners affect my speech?

There may be a short adjustment period, usually one day or less.

Is there much discomfort with Invisalign treatment?

You will feel slight pressure or discomfort for a day or so after you insert a new aligner. You might take over the counter analgesics like Motrin or Tylenol if needed.

Will cigarette smoking stain the Invisalign aligners?

What a perfect time the kick the habit! We discourage smoking with your aligners in, as they can become discolored.

Can I chew gum?

No! Gum will stick to your aligners.

How do I clean my aligners?

Brush them gently with toothpaste and lukewarm water. You may also soak them in a “retainer cleaner.”

What are “attachments?”

Small tooth-colored wedges or “bumps” are bonded onto the surfaces of specific teeth to assist in moving them and to keep the aligners seated tightly. These attachments were precisely designed for explicit tasks and add more surface area to the tooth for the plastic to grip onto. This material is easily removed later.

How often will I have appointments?

Regular appointments every six to eight weeks will be needed. This will ensure that treatment is progressing as planned.

How do I prevent my teeth from moving after Invisalign treatment?

You will need to wear retainers following treatment whether you have been treated with Invisalign or conventional braces. We recommend that you wear retainers indefinitely (just at night). Studies have proven that teeth will always tend to move throughout your life. Sleeping in your retainers will ensure that you have a beautiful smile and a healthy bite for life.

A Great Smile Always Gives a Fabulous First Impression!

Call Kalamazoo Orthodontics at 269-344-2466 for a complimentary evaluation to begin the journey to a new, more beautiful smile