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Happy Birthday Invisalign!

You’re 20 years old!

Most people have heard of Invisalign, the invisible way to straighten teeth with removable aligners, but do you know the history of this innovative orthodontic product? Align Technology the creators of Invisalign, was founded in 1997 by Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth in San Jose, California. Chishti was an adult orthodontic patient when he came up with the idea of Invisalign. He was struggling with a retainer as part of his own treatment, and realized that such an approach could probably be used for the entire orthodontic procedure. Like so many startup success stories, they began developing their product in a garage! Intensive research in CAD modeling, capturing geometry and 3D printers was necessary to get the aligners on track. Ultimately, they perfected the necessary programming for “incremental retainers,” thanks to access to a campus lab. Invisalign received Food and Drug Administration approval in 1998 and today, Invisalign is in high demand.

In the year 2000 seventy-five percent of all orthodontists in the United States were trained in Invisalign systems — and then the founders offered it to general dentists.

However, it’s still best to trust only an orthodontist with your orthodontic needs, whether braces or Invisalign. Contact Sunshine Orthodontics today for a free Invisalign consultation.

The number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment has increased every year, the percentage of adults in active treatment has grown from about 15% to over 30% in 2017. Below are pros and cons of adult treatment and how it is different from adolescent treatment.

We love our adult patients. They are typically better informed, more motivated, follow instructions better, and usually have better oral hygiene than adolescents. Most adult patients have a better understanding of their own condition and the possible treatment options than younger patients. Unlike teenagers who are many times compelled by their parents, adult patients usually pursue treatment because they want it or because they have been referred by their dentist. These differences usually result in better compliance.

Adult patients do face some challenges not faced by younger patients however. First, they are no longer growing, growth can be a helpful in correcting many types of malocclusion. Examples of this include expanding the palate, opening the bite (by changing the direction of growth), and reducing the “overbite” (by restricting the forward growth of the upper jaw). Additionally, because their metabolism is slower than in growing patients, tooth movement in adults is usually slower and therefore their treatment times longer. Finally, adults tend to have more missing and compromised teeth (worn, misshaped, restored, etc.). This sometimes limits the options that are available to them.

On the upside, adult patients are usually more motivated and compliant than adolescents and are therefore better candidates for esthetic options like Invisalign clear aligners.

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