Since the dental specialty of treating malocclusions (misalignment between dental arches) began in 1901, the huge technological advancement of Invisalign is quite frankly, the first MAJOR paradigm shift in available treatment!
It has enabled orthodontists to achieve fantastic cosmetic results, many times without surgery or extractions. In fact, it enables us to get amazing results in a treatment time span of only 12 months, even treating patients as young as 12 years old…basically anyone with all their permanent teeth!
It only takes about 12 months to treat the average dental patient with Invisalign. Designing from those 3D image scans described in the last section, an orthodontist uses 48 lower and upper aligner models, on average. So we can process the Invisalign material on each model which is varied on an incremental basis, the main ingredient of these models is a UV light, polymerizing resin.
A robotics program is used to guide a laser in cutting this “Smart Track” material, before it is pressed down on the model. In order to smooth the edges, these aligners that have been freshly formed are then tumbled with a bunch of ceramic beads. Then they are bagged after being labeled with the assist of a computer.
The orthodontics patient will then begin wearing these 48 sets of incrementally progressive aligners, one set every one to two weeks, that will help yield wonderful results by slowly and progressively moving your teeth into their desired alignment.
Some orthodontics patients may desire or need some minor refinement, just a little tweaking after the Invisalign treatment is finished, to get more ideal results. In that scenario, the orthodontist will help them get the really perfect results desired or needed by doing one more scan, and creating three or four more months of trays.
In order to hold their final results, after finishing Invisalign treatment, patients will be wearing a retainer at night, and many of ours opt for Vivera, an Invisalign retainer. Although the Vivera retainer’s sole function is to hold the teeth in the final position you achieved with Invisalign, they are constructed exactly like the aligners.
The patient now can truly say, “voila,…look Ma, NO braces’!
A total “paradigm shift” is the very best way of describing the amazing technology that is represented in Invisalign! A century ago the only means of traveling from New York to Las Angeles was by car, bus or train. Then, along came the airplane, creating a complete paradigm shift, much like Invisalign has done in regard to orthodontics.