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How Long has Invisalign Been Around? A Dentist Explains The History of Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign® clear aligners have changed the way people go about straightening their teeth. For over a century, metal braces were the go-to way to improve the alignment of teeth. These devices are made up of metal brackets and wires that mar the way a person's smile looks during treatment. Many have likened the brackets and wires of metal braces to miniature railway tracks, and there is certainly a similarity.
The conspicuous nature of metal braces led to many adults avoiding treatments they needed simply because they did not want to deal with a mouthful of metal. These traditional braces also led to other hassles such as detached brackets and bits of food getting stuck underneath the wires. Thanks to clear aligners like Invisalign®, those who have never obtained the orthodontic treatments they need can now get them discreetly. It has changed the way the world looks at teeth straightening.
The origin of Invisalign® clear aligners
Invisalign® was developed by Align Technology, a business that was founded in 1997 in California. The company has grown a lot since then, and it now has over 3,000 employees and pulls in over half a billion dollars in revenue each year.
How they were created
Interestingly, the creator of Invisalign® was a patient who had just finished treatment with metal braces and had experienced all the inconveniences associated with them. He was using a plastic retainer at the time and wondered if dentists could use something similar throughout the entire process of improving teeth alignment. He found a few willing partners on the Stanford University campus he attended and went on to develop Align Technology.
How the system works
The organization was created to offer an alternative for people who want straighter teeth but are unwilling to put up with metal braces. It uses a series of transparent plastic aligner trays that are swapped out every two weeks. These trays apply a gentle force on the patient's teeth, slowly moving them into an aligned position. Since the trays are removable, they do not get in the way when it is time to brush teeth, clean the mouth or eat. In order for the treatment to be effective, Invisalign® clear alignerssshould be worn at least 20 hours daily.
How they have evolved
Invisalign® was approved for use by the general public by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998. The company has perfected these aligner trays over the years, and they are presently used to treat teeth alignment issues such as overbites, underbites, crossbites and spaces between teeth. Nowadays, Invisalign® has emerged as the leading competitor to metal braces. It is a battle these clear aligners are expected to eventually win since they offer many advantages over traditional metal braces:
- Shorter treatment times
- Nearly invisible aligners
- More comfortable experiences for patients
- Ease of maintaining oral hygiene during treatment
- Ability of wearers to enjoy their favorite foods
Give Invisalign® clear aligners a try
Call or visit our Gilbert clinic to learn more about Invisalign® and how these clear trays can help correct teeth alignment without the embarrassment and hassles associated with cumbersome wire braces. Our dental professionals are always willing to answer any questions.
Get started today…
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