When you think of going to the dentist you usually think about getting your teeth cleaned, having cavities filled, or perhaps getting minor surgery on your mouth. But many dentists offer a wide variety of services beyond those. Quite a few people are insecure about the way their smiles look. Cosmetic dentists with experience have the ability to address these issues. If you aren’t satisfied with how your smiles looks you need to talk to your dentist the next time you are in for a visit. He or she will probably be able to provide you with a variety of options that DON’T include sending you to the orthodontist.
There are a number of things that could send a person in search of cosmetic dental care. Sometimes it’s just nice to have the confidence boost that goes along with a nice smile. People have been seeking treatment for their smiles for centuries, braces were invented in the early 1800s. One of the most prominent reasons a person seeks smile correction treatment is crooked, overcrowded, or misaligned teeth. Adults facing these issues often want to avoid wearing braces if at all possible. Braces are intrusive, cause irritation, and even limit what the patient can eat. So what’s the answer when a patient wants to correct teeth but doesn’t want braces? Many are opting for a relatively new solution widely available today. The name of the treatment is Invisalign.
In this article we’re going examine Invisalign in detail. You may discover that Invisalign is the perfect solution for you.
The Story Behind Invisalign
Nearly 20 years ago a college student named Zia Chishti was undergoing orthodontic treatment. At some point during the process, he came up with the idea for “invisible” braces. He teamed up with some friends at Stanford University and worked to develop a prototype. In 1997 the team founded the company Align Technology. Their initial concept was approved for use in 1998 by the Food and Drug Administration and shortly after that it went to market. The company used CAD models and 3D printers to create the initial product, technologies that are still used today.
It didn’t start of extremely well for Align Technologies. They spent most of their budget on advertising and were struggling, failing to turn profits. By 2003 the creators of Invisalign had left Align Technology to start a competitor, and new management took over. That’s when things started to take off. Though dentists had been slow to support the technology at first, the results were speaking for themselves. By 2004 things had turned around for the company. They became profitable and the Invisalign product was becoming much more popular.
The company began expanding into markets outside of North America in 2005 and has been growing since that point. By 2008 500,000 people had used Invisalign to straighten their teeth, and that number jumped to two MILLION by 2012. That’s impressive growth. Invisalign provides a consistent product that is proven to get great results. Because of this Align Technology has been able to find long-term success.
Invisalign aligners are designed for streamlined and efficient treatment. To start the process the dentist will x-ray and take an impression of the patient’s teeth. They’ll survey the x-ray and come up with a plan of treatment based on what they see. The next step is to scan the impressions into a computer to get a digital representation of the teeth. Techs will move the teeth into the desired location with special software that marks certain stages between current and desired positions. The program could call for as few as six or as many as forty-eight aligners during the course of treatment. Each aligners should move the teeth approximately .25 millimeters. Once the dentist approves the technicians’ plan the aligners are created in a CAD program and printed on a 3D printer. At that point treatment is ready to begin.
The Treatment Process
The clear plastic aligners that have been printed are simply placed over the patient’s teeth and treatment is underway. They are supposed to be worn for 20 hours per day and should only be removed for cleaning the teeth, eating, or drinking. Keeping the teeth is extremely important to the treatment process as well. Typically each set of aligners will be used for about 2 weeks. The total time for treatment is usually between nine and fifteen months but can vary depending on results.
A Few Advantages of Invisalign
The biggest advantage to using Invisalign is probably the fact that nobody can tell you’re undergoing smile correction treatment. Shiny metal braces are obvious and even obnoxious. Many adults will avoid treatment altogether if they think they need metal braces in their mouths, so Invisalign is a great option. They are also much lower maintenance than regular braces. They’re easy to clean, and you take them out when you eat so you don’t have to avoid certain things and you won’t get food stuck in your mouth. Invisalign is the perfect solution for discretion and comfort.
Searching for comfortable dental offices is about more than just finding a dentist who will treat you right. You also want to find someone who offers a wide variety of services. Be sure to inquire about cosmetic dentistry when you’re seeking your new dentist.