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Invisalign PDF Print E-mail

Invisalign

Invisalign Logo
Invisalign Logo

Invisalign is a method of orthodontic therapy promoted as an "invisible" way of straightening teeth without using traditional braces. It instead uses a series of clear custom-fabricated aligners designed to gradually and sequentially move teeth to their desired positions.

Contents

  • 1 History
  • 2 Avantages & Disadvantages
    • 2.1 Advantages
    • 2.2 Disadvantages
    • 2.3 Lack of scientific Support
  • 3 Pricing
  • 4 Seeking Treatment
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

History

Invisalign is a trademark held by the developers of the system, Align Technology Inc. Introduced in June 1999[1] the company claims that more than 500,000 patients have been treated using the system. Align Technology was in a legal battle with the makers of a competing product, OrthoClear, from early 2005 until September, 2006. [2] In a complaint filed with the ITC on January 11, 2006, Align alleges that OrthoClear utilizes Align's trade secrets and infringes twelve Align patents, comprising more than 200 patent claims, in the production of OrthoClear aligners at a facility in Lahore, Pakistan.[3]

On September 27, 2006, Align Technology, Inc. settled its litigation with OrthoClear. OrthoClear has stopped accepting new cases and discontinued its aligner business worldwide. Align acquired all disputed intellectual property. Contrary to some reports, Align did not purchase OrthoClear.

In the settlement OrthoClear agreed to cease importing aligners into the United States. Through the Patients First Program, doctors will be able to register and submit their current OrthoClear patients for Invisalign at no charge to the doctor or patient. There may be a delay in further aligner treatment of 5 to 6 months. Align Technology has announced it intends to ship new Invisalign aligners to former OrthoClear patients in March of 2007 but the exact date will be determined once the number of former OrthoClear patients switching to Invisalign is known.

 

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

The main advantage of the treatment is cosmetic: the aligners are completely transparent and difficult to detect. This makes the method particularly popular among adults who want to straighten their teeth without the unflattering look of traditional metal braces, which are commonly worn by children and adolescents. In addition, the aligners are marketed as being more comfortable than braces. According to the company, Invisalign aligners are more comfortable than metal braces as they may not irritate the soft tissue of the mouth as much as traditional braces. [4] Due to the removable nature of the device, various food types can be enjoyed without the encumbrance of metallic braces.

 

Disadvantages

Despite the considerable cosmetic advantage of Invisalign, the product also has many disadvantages: the very fact that the aligners are removable means they are not continually correcting the teeth. Unlike traditional fixed braces, they are largely dependent on a patient's habits and their consistency in wearing the aligners.

The aligners must be removed for eating. They and the teeth should be cleaned before re-inserting afterwards. This can be troublesome for people who are constantly snacking and may mean the patient has to clean their teeth up to six times daily. However, this tends to discourage snacking, which some people might find useful.

Unlike traditional braces, if a patient grinds or clenches his or her teeth during the day or while sleeping, the aligners or braces can become damaged. In these cases a new aligner may be required or it may be suggested that a patient switch to a metal retainer. Also, aligners or braces may cause a slight lisp at the beginning of treatment. This usually disappears as the patient becomes used to the treatment.

 

Lack of scientific Support

In a recent systematic review of the literature, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, Manual Lagravere and Carlos Flores-Mir were unable to draw strong conclusions about the effectiveness of the Invisalign system. They pointed to the need for randomized clinical trials to provide proper evidence. [5]

 

Pricing

The treatment price is often the same as or more than traditional braces. Treatment price is set by the dentist or orthodontist, although the cost of treatment varies considerably by doctor. Doctor fees are usually determined by complexity and length of treatment. Many treatments run $3500 - $9000, with some treatments priced as low as $2000. The minimum price is limited by the fact that Invisalign can charge the Doctor as much as $1500 for their services.[citation needed]. Typical US/Canadian orthodontic insurance may cover $1000-2500 of treatment. Most dentists and orthodontists offer financing plans. Prices are approximate and in US dollars.

An orthodontist begins by taking dental impressions, X-rays and photographs of the patient's teeth and sending them to Align Technology. The impressions are put through a CT scan from which a computer creates a three-dimensional model. Technicians then individualize the teeth in the computer model and move them to their final position as prescribed by the orthodontist. Custom software then simulates the movement of the teeth in stages. The orthodontist reviews the simulation online using Align Technology's ClinCheck via a web browser and approves the treatment. Once approved, a plastic resin aligner is manufactured for each stage of the computer simulation and shipped to the orthodontist.[6]

Average treatment time is less than a year, again depending on the complexity of the treatment. Simple treatments (minor crowding, minor spacing) may be as short as six months. Although the aligners are removable, they must be worn constantly to avoid delaying the treatment process. If they are not worn consistently, treatment time will increase.

After the regular aligner or braces treatment is complete, retainers composed of a similar plastic material are usually required to be worn, at least at night.

Like other systems the patient has some flexibility. The end position of the teeth is not completely determined by the last aligner. If the patient wants to change the end position because the actual position is not optimal, new aligners are ordered, which is usually included in the originally quoted cost.

 

Seeking Treatment

Although most orthodontists and many dentists are certified to provide Invisalign treatment, it is important to find an experienced doctor. Experienced orthodontists and dentists can use Invisalign to solve a wide variety of problems. Invisalign's web site lists the most experienced Invisalign providers in the U.S. and Canada. It may be beneficial to seek a second option to determine applicability and pricing differences.

These "clear" treatment retainers are most suitable for skeletal and dental Class I, mildly crowded orthodontic cases with good profile (less than 3 mm of crowding) that normally can be treated with removable retainers. Rotations of the posterior teeth tend to be difficult to resolve. Compliance with these appliances is necessary, and the patient is expected to wear them for at least 20 hours per day. Unlike traditional dental appliances, most patients are actually motivated to wear these appliances because of their superior aesthetics. There is an advantage for patients using these appliances if they have periodontal or gum problems because, unlike appliances like braces, these removable appliances allow easy daily oral hygiene practices.

If one has a particularly difficult case, it is advisable to seek a proper consultation and diagnosis from an orthodontist prior to starting treatment. Generally, orthodontists can perform more complex movements than dentists and can supplement these clear retainers with a brief period of fixed appliances (traditional braces) to either attain complex tooth movements prior to starting or detailing the dentition at the conclusion of treatment.

Some orthodontists occasionally use attachments, small pieces of composite affixed to strategic teeth, to help move the teeth more quickly and to produce certain tooth movements. The attachments are sometimes referred to as 'buttons' by dentists and orthodontists and are removed manually at the end of treatment. These "buttons" are normally tooth-colored.

 

 

References

  1. ^ Alton Bishop, Randol Womack and Mitra Derakhshan. (Sep-Oct 2002). "An esthetic and removable orthodontic treatment option for patients: Invisalign". The Dental Assistant, p 14.
  2. ^ Manual O Lagravere, and Carlos Flores-Mir (2005, Vol 136 no 12) The treatment effects of Invisalign orthodontic aligners: A systematic review. Journal of the Americal Dental Association. p 1724-1729.
  3. ^ Align Technology, Inc. (Apr 6, 2000). Straightening Teeth Over the Internet; Thousands of Orthodontists Use Web for First Time to Treat Patients. Press Release.
  4. ^ Align Technology, Inc. (Jun 20, 2006). NAD Refers OrthoClear Inc. to FTC. Press Release.

 

External links


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

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