The History of Invisalign

Written by on August 23, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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Introduction

Orthodontists and patients know Invisalign as an innovative way to straighten teeth without metal braces. Since the product’s introduction over ten years ago, commercials and testimonials have boosted Invisalign’s popularity as a safe alternative to the metal dental braces. Using Invisalign, orthodontists apply clear teeth aligners to gradually straighten teeth over time without the inconvenience of metal braces and retainers. Since its introduction to the market, nearly 1.5 million patients have undergone the treatment procedure.

History

Invisalign is a patented process that uses teeth aligners to mold to the shape of teeth without visible braces or attachments. The immediate advantage of the procedure is cosmetic. Patients value the option of obtaining teeth as straight as traditional braces can allow, in the same amount of time or less. In 94 percent of Invisalign procedures, orthodontists achieved the teeth alignment goal set. In other words, the procedure has roughly the same or greater success as metal braces without the cosmetic inconvenience.

Align Technology, Inc., a California-based orthodontic laboratory, launched Invisalign in 1999. The company formed in 1997 with the vision of transforming the orthodontic care market with invisible braces. The lab tested several trial braces and gained clearance from the Food and Drug Administration by 1998. Based on initial success with Invisalign teeth aligners, the company began to advertise across the United States and Europe between 2000-2001. At this time, the Align company had manufacturer over 1 million clear aligners to treat a number of patients.

Once limited to labs and specialty centers, the Invisalign treatment became available to general dentistry practices in 2002. The following year, most major schools of dentistry added Invisalign treatment to the dental student curriculum. As the use of clear aligners expanded, the company obtained 133 patents as the original invisible teeth straightening system. Between 2005-2007, the company began distributing in Asia and Latin America, introduced Invisalign Express to treat more minor dental problems, and added retainers to its line of products.

By 2008, Align Technology established the Invisalign brand as an effective way to straighten adult teeth. In the same year, the company introduced Invisalign Teen to meet the needs of younger patients, and Invisalign Assist to address complex orthodontic cases. In the next few years, the company added more improvements, including three-dimensional imaging, x-rays, and dental movement monitoring. The company went on to offer the procedure to patients in Africa and the Middle East, and continues to add products to its line.

Conclusion

Since the introduction of Invisalign, patients have embraced with the innovative procedure that provides an invisible way to straighten teeth. The procedure is now available in 45 countries and over 1,200 orthodontist offices. With over 32 million aligners manufactured and counting, Invisalign is sure to remain an option for patients for years to come.

This is a guest post.  Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher in Austin, Texas. He enjoys providing orthodontic tips and recommends his readers visit Austin Family Orthodontics for more information about Austin Invisalign treatment.

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