How Invisalign Aligners Are Made
Created For Patient Flexibility
An orthodontist begins by taking dental impressions, X-rays and photographs of the patient’s teeth and sends them to Align Technology. The impressions are put through a computer program that creates a three-dimensional model. Technicians then straighten the teeth on the computer-generated model moving them to their final position as prescribed by Dr. Bubon or his associates. The patient can even see and give input into how they want their teeth to look!
Each Invisalign aligner moves the teeth in stages. Usually, a patient will wear each Invisalign aligner for 2 weeks. Thus the patient will know approximately when their treatment will be completed by taking the number of Invisalign aligner necessary to complete the straightening process and multiplying it by 2 weeks!
This is a great motivator for wearing the Invisalign retainers [much like a runner being able to see the finish line]! ‘Attachments’ are sometimes bonded to teeth that need to be “rotated” or moved more than other teeth. The Attachments are tooth-colored and made of a glass-like substance so they are virtually invisible. ‘Reproximation’ is a process by which the contacts between teeth are filed down to allow for a better fit. This may also be a part of treatment.
Average treatment time is about one year, again depending on the complexity of the treatment. Simple treatments (minor crowding, minor spacing) may be as short as twenty weeks—this is known as the “Invisalign Express” program.
Although the aligners are removable, they must be worn at least 20 to 22 hours per day to avoid delaying the treatment process. If they are not worn consistently, treatment time will increase. After the regular Invisalign treatment is complete, retainers composed of a similar plastic material are usually required to be worn, at least at night.
Like other orthodontic systems, the patient has some flexibility. The final 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 are included in the original costs.