Invisalign braces are the most modern technology used in orthodontics, redefining orthodontic treatment. Invisalign straightens your teeth by using some plastic “mouthguard” like trays, you change every 2 weeks, for as long as needed till the end.
Any orthodontics treatment starts with the initial consultation and this doesn’t break the rule. Your orthodontist will check you with great care and, should you “qualify” for Invisalign, you’ll be ready to undergo the first step to the trays: your molds. For the Invisalign specialists to really be able to create your patient specific trays, they will need to obtain perfect dental impressions. So, don’t be scared if your orthodontist is that determined to have them perfect. They are needed this way, since your entire treatment for all these months will depend on them. At Align Technologies your impressions, the information about the course of treatment and all other initial materials, will be taken by other orthodontic specialists. They will make a positive out of your dental impressions; the plaster molds helping them see your teeth in their normal form. Because your orthodontist was so careful with those impressions, now, the Align Technologies specialists almost have your “teeth” there, and you won’t have to travel thousands of miles just so they can also do your consultation.
The plaster models are checked again and cleaned. Any residue or imperfection is manually checked and solved, so that the plaster can enter the other stage: 3D processing. State of the art scanners are able to create a three dimensional version of these plasters, and these can now be processed on the computer. A barrier coating is applied to protect it from the possible damage it can take on the next stage. Once sealed, the models get placed into a chase, then in a mixture of urethane resin and hardener. They spend some hours in a vacuum pressure chamber the resin hardens and makes them look as blocks. Each tray gets into a destructive scanning machine. This removes paper thin slices 3000 of an inch, while a digital camera takes two dimensional images of each of these slices. The computer gathers more than 300 such images to create the 3D model.
These materials get sent to the technicians, who check once again if all is correct, the teeth and also the bite as the patient has it. The graphic designers will use a proprietary 3D application to cut each tooth and save it as a separate geometrical unit. The teeth are now separated and re-grouped on each arch in the position they will have once the treatment is complete. From the initial stage to the final result, there are many intermediate stages that make up the entire treatment. These are carefully considered since the treatment is different for each patient and the entire orthodontic process needs time. As in traditional braces case, we cannot have straight teeth over night, so all these stages are just the normal tooth movement created with each aligner till the teeth are straight and the bite corrected.
The quality check process is next, so that all the process, the teeth movement, prescribed treatment etc. are correct. The orthodontist who takes care personally of the patient is the one to decide if the treatment is a “go-go”, together with the patient him/herself. This application form is called “clincheck” After all the treatment was checked and approved the aligners will be created. A series of models are created of photo sensitive thermo plastic, each of them will then be turned into an aligner. The thermo plastic sheet is pressed over each model by the use of heat. Trimming comes next so that the aligners come half a millimeter under the gum line, reducing the chances of sores and making the removal easier for the patient.
The aligners are polished and disinfected in a series of cleaning tanks, each set being then packaged, labeled and shipped to the prescribing orthodontist.
If you enjoyed this article on invisalign braces, there is a good chance you will like these articles from my blog as well:
- “How To Shorten Time In Braces“
- “How And Why Teeth Move During Orthodontic Treatment“
- “What Are Clear Ceramic Orthodontic Braces“
Thanks for Reading !!