What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that straightens teeth without the use of metal braces. Invisalign uses a series of custom-made clear braces that cover your teeth and gently pull them into the proper position over prolonged period. They are not fully invisible but compared to a standard metal brace they are less noticeable. Invisalign technology is predominantly used by adults and teens looking to stringent their teeth.
Who created Invisalign?
Big shocker, the man who created Invisalign was not a dentist at all! Zia Chishti majored in Computer Science and Economics at Columbia University, graduating in 1992. Shortly thereafter, he went to Stanford to get his MBA. While studying for his MBA degree at Stanford Zia decided to undergo orthodontic treatment. His personal journey led him to develop an improved clear method to straighten teeth, Invisalign.
In 1997, Zia along with three other students from Stanford founded Align Technologies. In 1998, Invisalign got its approval from the FDA. The current Invisalign Braces have been tested and proven to work. While the technology is still considered to be new, it has certainly improved and yields great results for many orthodontic cases.
Are Invisalign Braces as Good as Metal Braces?
Both, metal braces and Invisalign are designed to do one thing: straight misaligned teeth. Invisalign has now been around for more than 20 years and the technology is as good as metal braces. Most mild to major cases can be fixed with Invisalign. Some orthodontic treatment is severe and metal braces might work better due to the pressure that is applied. But majority of people will be decided between the two based on the price point.
The chart below details some difference between Metal Braces and Invisalign:
| Braces Invisalign|
Not removable during treatment. The patient needs to wear braces 24/7 for an average of 2 years, depending on severity of the misalignment.
|Removable-can be removed during treatment time. The patient 22-24 hrs./day for 6 to 18 months, depending on severity of the misalignment.|
|Metal-typically silver; can pay extra for color or enamel color.||Clear/invisible|
|Brush brackets and wires regularly while brushing teeth; water pick may be helpful.||Invisalign Cleaning system or brushing and rinsing trays in lukewarm water.|
|Cannot be removed and patient will need to clean/brush teeth regularly to ensure that food does not get stuck.||Patients will need to remove trays each time they eat. While this is great, it means that mealtime are more planed and snacking is usually eliminated.|
|May have some pain, sores or discomfort from wires, brackets, or tooth movement.||May have discomfort from tooth movement.|
How much does Invisalign cost compared to other orthodontic treatments?
Below, you will find a few estimated price points for orthodontic treatments. Some of these you can buy directly online, and some are only provided by visiting a local orthodontics’ office. The online versions tend to be cheaper, but you are not assisted with your treatment by a professional team.
|Invisalign||$3,500 to $8,000|
|Metal Braces||$1,800 to $5,500|
|Ceramic||$4,000 to $8,000|
|Lingual||$8,000 to $10,000|
|Smile Direct Club||$1,500 to $2,000|
|Byte||$1,500 to $2,500|
|Alignerco||$1,000 to $1,500|
|NewSmile||$1,000 to $1,500|
|Candid||$1,000 to $2,000|