What is Invisalign?
Introduced in 1999 by Align Technologies, Invisalign incorporates a series of invisible (clear) plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth and are designed to move your teeth gradually into the desired position. Today, Invisalign is a leading brand of orthodontic appliance, primarily because the removable aligners (less than one millimeter thick) are designed to be more aesthetically pleasing than conventional wire-and-bracket dental braces for treating certain types of minor misaligned tooth problems.
How Invisalign Works?
The Invisalign method starts by taking only one set of impressions and photographs of your teeth, taken during the initial consultation.
These impressions are used to create a three-dimensional computer projection of how the teeth could be moved incrementally, forming the basis for developing a series of custom-made aligners designed to accomplish this movement.
Invisalign aligners are manufactured at the Align Technologies dental laboratory using computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) processes. The aligners are then sent to our office and given to you in groups of one or two at a time during regular check-up appointments (about every four to six weeks) so that treatment can be properly managed.
A typical Invisalign treatment requires 20 to 30 aligners for both the upper and lower teeth. Most adults complete their treatment in less than one year. However, treatment time depends on the specific alignment problem.
More on Invisalign Treatment
Invisalign is currently approved for adults and teenagers with completely erupted permanent teeth who can faithfully follow the directions for treatment – how long they have to wear the aligners each day, what they can and cannot eat and drink, seeing their dentist for follow-up appointments, etc.
Invisalign can be used to correct the following types of mild dental problems:
- Overly crowded teeth. When there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth to fit comfortably or normally (one to five millimeters).
- Widely spaced teeth. When there is too much space between the teeth due to abnormal growth of the jaw or shifting of the teeth due to missing teeth (one millimeter to five millimeters).
- Overbite/overjet. When the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth.
- Crossbite. When the upper and lower jaws are misaligned, causing one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, on either the front and/or sides of the mouth.
- Mild relapse. After traditional braces have been removed, when some relapsing tooth movement has occurred.
Invisalign may also be a treatment alternative for certain simple malocclusions (bite irregularities).
*Interest-free financing offered through Care Credit, subject to credit approval.