What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign was introduced by Align Technologies in 1999 and is considered as one of the leading brands of orthodontic appliances. These are clear teeth aligners that can have come handy as a replacement for metal braces because they are more aesthetically appealing and their thickness is less than one millimeter.


Invisalign incorporates a series of invisible plastic aligners that easily fit over the teeth and help move the teeth toward the desired position gradually. It is


How Does Invisalign Work?

Although Invisalign uses the concepts that were introduced in the 1940s and 1970s, it has become quite simpler than the earlier methods employed. This method requires only one set of photographs and impressions of the teeth, which is basically recorded during the first consultation. Then, with the help of CAD/CAM, a 3-D digital projection is made. The impressions show how the teeth can be incrementally moved to their required position. Based on this image, a series of invisible custom developed aligners are made to aid this movement.

It is important that you wear the aligners for at least 20 hours a day to ensure that the required reposition results are achieved. Each of the aligners has to be worn in its particular order for around two weeks. During this period the teeth move from 0.25 to 0.33 millimeters.

So an Invisalign treatment will need about 20-30 aligners for your upper and lower teeth. Once the aligners are manufactured, they are sent to the dentists who dispense them in groups; usually one or two at a time.

You need to strictly follow the appointment schedule, which spans around one year and is broken up into regular intervals of four to six weeks. This timeline may vary from person to person.

Invisalign Uses

Invisalign is a complete solution for both adults and teenagers, whose permanent teeth have been completely erupted. However, it is recommended that you closely follow the directions of your dentist; otherwise this might affect your treatment. The following is a list of some of the mild dental problems that can be corrected with Align Technologies – Invisalign:

  • 1. Widely Spaced Teeth – This treatment can be used to rectify spacing of 1-5 millimeter between the teeth. The causes for spacing range from shifting of teeth due to missing teeth to abnormal jaw growth.
  • 2. Overlapping – It is also called overjet. This is a phenomenon when the upper teeth are found overlapping the lower teeth.
  • 3. Crowded Teeth – Crowded teeth occur when an individual does not have enough room in his jaws to let the teeth fit normally and comfortably. This can be corrected ton the extent of 1-5 millimeters by Invisalign
  • 4. Crossbite – This is caused when the lower and upper jaws are not aligned, resulting in one or more upper or lower teeth biting the front or sides of the mouth.
  • 5. Simple Malocclusions – This treatment can be used in simple cases of bite irregularities and also during mild relapses after traditional braces are removed.

The Limitations

While Invisalign is beyond doubt an innovation in the niche and provides the entire problem with an aesthetic solution, it does not come without its share of limitations. You may have to resort to traditional orthodontics for correcting problems like complex malocclusions, severely rotated teeth, spacing greater than five millimeters, severely tipped lips, complex bite problems and the likes. A qualified orthodontist will however be able to guide you best over that.

Despite these limitations, Invisalign continues to be the most embraced alternative to metal braces and its aesthetic appeal could well be accredited for that.