INVISALIGN

Have you been told you are too old to have your teeth straightened? Do you want your teeth straightened, but you don’t like the look of the unsightly metal braces when you talk and smile? Don’t like then idea of having food stuck between braces every time you eat?

Invisalign may be the answer you’ve been looking for. By using a set of removable clear trays (called aligners) changed intermittently for 9-18 months (depending on the severity), you can straighten your teeth without the hassles of having braces.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions which I have come across while discussing about Invisalign.

What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the new way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable trays (aligners) to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires. It combines 21st century technology and revolutionary manufacturing to customize a treatment for each individual patient.

Does Invisalign really work?
Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental and dental practices around the world, Invisalign has been proven effective at straightening teeth. Over a million patients have either been treated or are in treatment and over 44000 orthodontists and dentists have been trained on how to use Invisalign.

Does Invisalign work as well as normal braces?
In most cases, Invisalign has proven to be as effective as straightening teeth as traditional braces. The level of Invisalign experience will determine how and orthodontist or dentist decides how to treat a patient, be it with Invisalign or traditional braces. Some severe cases may require treatment using Invisalign together with another teeth straightening technique.

How does Invisalign work?
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.

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?

  • Invisalign is clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
  • 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 are aligners made of?
Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn. 

Does it hurt?
Invisalign is no different from traditional braces. There will be some discomfort, and sometimes the plastic trays can be slightly sharp in the beginning. It normally takes about 2-3 trays before the teeth and surrounding tissues get used to the trays. To summerise if you have a low pain threshold, please be prepared for some pain/irritation for the first couple of days for each new tray.

How often do I need to change my trays?
Usually it’s every two weeks, so if you’ve been given 16 trays, that’s 32 weeks or 8 months worth of treatment. Some Orthodontists however may ask you to keep them in for longer than the two week period. This can be for a number of reasons, like a tooth isn’t moving as planned.

Can I drink alcohol with Invisalign?
Yes, but in moderation. Be sure to clean the teeth thoroughly at the end of the night to avoid any wearing of the enamel.

What about refinements?
Refinements are done at the end of the treatment if you’re teeth have not moved according to plan. It comes free with the full Invisalign treatment, however if you have the quick Invisalign plan you don’t get these included.

What’s IPR?
No it’s not Intellectual Property Rights, it stands for Interproximal Reduction. Which to put it bluntly is teeth shaving. The dentist will take a little of the enamel off the edges of the teeth to make room when they’re moving. Initially this can look unsighly, and feel weird when being done, but it doesn’t hurt, and the gaps created will close up – this is often an area where people worry, but there’s nothing to worry about, as the amount of tooth reduction is only a fraction of a millimetre.

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 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 old is the company?
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997. Since then, Align has manufactured over 10,000,000 aligners and 480,000 patients have been in treatment.

How old is this technology?
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.

How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?
There are over a million patients being treated with Invisalign and the numbers are growing daily. Invisalign was launched in Australia in February 2002 and already have already over 500 australian dentists and orthodontists are accredited to treat patients with Invisalign.

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 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.