How The Technology Behind Invisalign Works

For most of the history of orthodontics, patients have had to rely on braces or other metal-and-wire devices to straighten their teeth. That changed with the invention of a new technology, clear aligners by the company Invisalign.

The company formed in 1997 and received approval from the Food and Drug Association the following year. Sales began in 1998 and within five years, Invisalign became a household name.

Compared to braces, Invisalign’s clear design is more aesthetically pleasing. For people facing orthodontic treatment for a year or more, that is no small consideration.

Many people may not even notice you are wearing them. Braces are adjusted every six weeks, compared to one to two weeks for Invisalign.

With braces, the less frequent adjustments mean a more dramatic adjustment is needed each visit, and that means more pain for the patient. So how exactly does Invisalign work?

Custom Treatment Plan

Before making Invisalign aligners, an orthodontist creates a 3D image of your mouth. That 3D image allows for more precision for the aligners (although some orthodontists still prefer to use physical impressions to make aligners).

Your orthodontist can then plan out the length of your treatment. They can even adjust the 3D image to show you how you will look after completion of the treatment.

Who is Invisalign for?

Almost any orthodontic patient is a good candidate for Invisalign. One issue for some people is that Invisalign must be kept in for 20-22 hours a day, taking them out only for eating and brushing.

That will need to be done for an extended period, and patients who cannot commit to that are not good candidates. However Invisalign aligners are quite comfortable, so that is not an issue for the majority of patients.

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Gradual Progress

Your doctor will create a treatment plan based on the 3D image of the teeth, with a gradual improvement taking place about every two weeks when a new aligner is created.

This process is repeated until the completion of the treatment plan, which can last for a year or more.

But, as Collman Wangsgard Dental points out, with proper care, an Invisalign adjustment can last a lifetime.

What can Invisalign Fix?

Invisalign can manage many different dental problems, including gapped or crowded teeth, underbite and overbite, crossbite and open bite and other orthodontic issues.

It will take months for your teeth to hold their new position, so you may need to wear a retainer afterward. But when it comes to the chance to have straight teeth, most people find that is more than worth it.

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