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Invisalign - The Clear Alternative To Braces

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth gradually, without unsightly metal or wires. Worldwide, almost 250,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign and the number grows daily.

Dr. Narodovich talks about the major differences between traditional braces and Invisalign.

 

How does Invisalign work?

First, Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to map out your complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your teeth it to their final desired position. A series of clear "aligners" (incorrectly called "clear braces" by some people) are then custom produced for your mouth. Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn. Each "aligner" moves your teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks before it is replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?

  • Invisalign is clear. You can straighten your teeth without unsightly metal braces. Nobody ever needs to know that you're wearing some sort of correction.
  • Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you can eat and drink what you want during treatment. You can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Invisalign is comfortable. There are no metal brackets or wires as with braces to cause mouth irritation, and no metal or wires means you spend less time in the doctor's chair getting adjustments.
  • Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.

What do aligners look like?

Aligners are clear and look similar to tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as "contact lenses for your teeth."

Is this a new way to straighten teeth?

For years, orthodontists and dentists have used removable appliances for limited treatment. Today, with the application of computer technology and custom manufacturing, Invisalign treats a broader range of cases with greater precision.

How did the technology develop?

In 1945, Dr. H.D. Kesling envisioned that one day modern technology would enable the use of a series of tooth positioners to produce the kinds of movements required for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Technology has made this vision a reality. Using advanced computer technology, Align crafted Invisalign®, a series of customized clear appliances called "aligners." Each aligner is worn sequentially by the patient to produce extensive tooth movements in both upper and lower arches.

Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997. Since then, Align has manufactured over 10 million aligners and 250,000 patients have received treatment.

Do doctors need special training in order to use Invisalign?

While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, specific training is needed. All orthodontists and dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training before cases will be accepted from their office. Close to 30,000 orthodontists and dentists worldwide are certified to use Invisalign.

How does Invisalign effectively move teeth?

Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in a highly efficient force delivery system.

Has the FDA cleared Invisalign?

Yes, the FDA has reviewed our application and in August 1998 determined that Invisalign is exempt from 510(k) pre-market notification.

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