Invisalign is one of the orthodontic treatment for straightening teeth. Traditional orthodontic treatment consists of using metal brackets and wire to move teeth. For invisalign, a set of multiple clear trays is precisely designed from digital impression of the patient’s teeth and they are used to move teeth in precise controlled manner. Let me demonstrate how it is done.
This is one of my recent invisalign patient. She comes in with upper and lower mild crowding of teeth. She would like to have especially the front teeth straightened. From my experience, invisalign is very effective at correcting this type of dental problem. So I offer invisalign to the patient.
I would take a set of xray radiographs and also photographs of the patient’s teeth. Then I would take upper and lower impression of patient’s teeth. I gathered all of these information and then send it to invisalign lab.
After a few days, the invisalign lab would have scanned the impression into a digital copy. I would then design the treatment in the computer. I would specify the type and degree of movement for each teeth. The computer software would create treatment simulation for this patient based on my specification.
My staff would call the patient back to my office for reviewing the treatment proposal and the computer simulation. If patient has any questions, I would then make modification to the treatment. With patient’s approval of treatment, I would notify the invisalign company to fabricate a set of clear aligner trays. These aligner trays are like the mouth guard. They are stiff but also resilient. They can control the teeth movement according to the pre-defined treatment path.
For this patient, 10 sets of upper and lower trays were fabricated. The patient would wear each set of aligner for 2-3 weeks. After the first set of aligner, she would change to the next set of aligners in sequence.
I would make a special retainer for her so that her teeth can be kept in proper position.
Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS
Practicing Family Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.