Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.
Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made, clear "aligners" are produced. Each "aligner" moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.
Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.
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 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.
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997.
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 generates 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.
Worldwide, over 500,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign. The number grows daily.
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.
Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the 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 an efficient force delivery system.
Invisalign aligners are classified as Class II medical devices by the FDA, and Align Technology has held the necessary 510K clearance from the FDA since 1998 to be able to sell and market the Invisalign System.
Invisalign Express is an orthodontic treatment designed to correct mild orthodontic problems such as minor crowding and spacing. Since it's designed for mild problems only, treatment time is generally less than six months. Ask your Invisalign certified doctor for more information on this new treatment.