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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.
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 18,000,000 aligners and over 890,000 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?
Worldwide, over 890,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign. The number grows daily.
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. Over 35,000 orthodontists and dentists worldwide are accredited 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.
Has the FDA cleared Invisalign?
Yes, the FDA has reviewed our application and in August 1998 determined that Invisalign is exempt from 510(k) pre-market notification.
What is Invisalign Lite?
It is an orthodontic treatment designed to correct mild orthodontic problems such as minor crowding and spacing. Since it's designed for mild problems only, treatment time is generally less than seven months. Ask your Invisalign accredited doctor for more information on this new treatment.
Will the treatment be painful?
Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that Invisalign is working sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Like all orthodontic treatments, aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?
No. Unlike traditional wires and brackets, you can eat whatever you desire while in treatment because you remove your aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.
Will smoking stain the aligners?
We discourage smoking while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become discolored.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
No, gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.
What's the best way to clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
How often must I wear my aligners?
Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing and flossing.
Can patients use aligners for bleaching teeth while active tooth movement is occurring?
While we are aware that some patients are using aligners for bleaching, Align has not examined the compatibility of currently available bleaching products with our aligners, nor have we demonstrated its efficacy in clinical studies. Align recommends that you consult your orthodontist or dentist for more information on whitening teeth.
How often must I see the Invisalign Accredited Orthodontist or Dentist?
Your orthodontist/dentist will schedule regular appointments, usually about once every 4-6 weeks. This is the only way your doctor can be sure that the treatment is progressing as planned.
What happens after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
This depends on the outcome of the treatment. Some patients might need a wire retainer. Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign makes. Discuss these possibilities with your treating orthodontist or dentist. Every patient is different and outcomes vary.
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