Invisalign braces are “invisible” braces. It has to be put into quotation marks because they obviously aren’t completely invisible. The people who invented them, though, worked hard to make them as close to invisible as they could get. They definitely wanted them to blend in.
Invisalign braces hit the market for the first time in 1999. More than five thousand people have used it for teeth straightening since then. There was a short period of time when it looked like there might be a fight over the technology with a company called OrthoClear. By the end of 2006, though, OrthoClear had dropped out of the market and the lawsuit was settled. There are a few who believe that the Align Technology (the company that owns the trademark for Invisalign) purchased the company but that has been found to be a myth.
Rather than employing wires and brackets, Invisalign employs aligners. These aligners push your teeth into their new spots. Aligners are both clear and removable. They aren’t really braces—not in the traditional sense anyway. Braces are made of brackets and wires. Invisalign lets you straighten your smile without all of that stuff.
Patients have X-rays done and then have molds taken of their teeth. The Orthodontist uses the mold to plan the route your teeth should take from their current positions to straightened and proper positions. After that is planned out, the aligners get built to work specifically with the mouth of the patient. The patient wears each aligner for fourteen days. After that, they switch to the next one in the treatment plan. It usually takes about a year for a patient to complete the process when they use Invisalign.
The Invisalign manufacturing proces
People opt for Invisalign over regular braces for lots of reasons. The biggest reason they choose Invisalign is cosmetic. The trays are quite clear and it is rare that other people will notice that the treatment is taking place. It also gets chosen because the treatments are removable. They can be taken out of the mouth to make it easier for the patient to eat; drink or even if the patient simply needs a break or some relief. They also keep patients free of the “side effects” of traditional braces: cuts from wires, damage to the teeth, etc.
Obviously Invisalign carries some disadvantages as well. It depends upon the patient strictly sticking to the instructions they were given by the orthodontist. If a patient doesn’t follow the directions exactly, Invisalign isn’t going to work. It costs more than regular or traditional braces. The teeth need to undergo a thorough cleaning every time the aligner is taken out of the mouth. This can be problematic and irritating for patients who like snacking. If the patient has a tendency to grind his or her teeth or to clench the jaw, the aligners will be damaged.
Usually Invisalign runs between four and nine thousand dollars. It depends on how much work people need to do. Just like with everything else in orthodontia, how long the device needs to be worn will contribute quite a lot to the total cost. They also cost more than metal braces because, rather than using the same brackets and just adjusting the wires, the aligners are made specifically to fit a patient’s teeth.
If you don’t have a lot of work to do in your mouth and you’re worried that braces might mar the way you look, you should think about choosing Invisalign. Just make sure that if you do make this choice, you follow your Orthodontist’s directions completely and totally or you could wind up getting regular braces in the long run anyway.