Dr. Debra Fink is a Premier Provider of Invisalign and Compares the Different Treatment Options for You
Many of my patients often ask me to explain the differences between the various types of Invisalign St. Louis orthodontists offer.
Invisalign is first introduced
In 1999, Align Technologies introduced Invisalign which was one of the more revolutionary products that had been introduced into the field of orthodontics for some time. Until the introduction of Invisalign, orthodontists generally had two choices for moving teeth: a number of types of braces could be placed on the front side of teeth and lingual braces could be placed on the inside surfaces of teeth. What set this new form of treatment apart was that a set of clear, almost undetectable aligners could now be customized by the orthodontist for a patient’s specific teeth and mouth. Even though lingual braces and tooth colored braces also offered patients discreet treatment, Invisalign offered an obvious advantage which was that it could be completely removed for short periods of time.
New Invisalign treatment options
Building on its initial success, Align Technologies now offers a number of products beyond the full Invisalign set:
- Invisalign Express: Rather than using the standard twenty or thirty sets of aligners, this new one to ten stage treatment option was developed to correct minor orthodontic issues, such as small misalignment, rotation, crowding or spacing problems. In addition, this system was designed to fix problems that occur because of early onset orthodontic relapse. As a result, this new treatment system could be used to complete orthodontic treatment in less than six months in many cases. I have found, however, that for the types of problems that this treatment option was designed to fix there are often significantly better and more cost effective alternatives.
- Invisalign Teen: This option is almost the same as the full version of this treatment, however, it does have some important differences. First, each aligner has a device that provides an indication of whether the patient has been wearing the aligners consistently and thus is ready to proceed to the next stage of the treatment program. In addition, the aligners can be modified if more teeth are on their way into a teen’s growing mouth as is often the case with the eruption of second molars.
Other complementary products that speed up treatment
In addition, there are a number of companies that offer products that are designed to be used in conjunction with Invisalign with the goal of speeding up treatment times:
- Accelerated Invisalign: This process reduces the amount of time spent at each stage of Invisalign treatment by approximately 50% using a new technology called AcceleDent. AcceleDent is an FDA-approved medical device that resembles an athletic mouth guard and is a hands-free appliance that is used 20 minutes per day as a complement to Invisalign treatment. The device uses SoftPulse Technology to help treatment work faster and it accomplishes this by generating small vibrations called “micropulses” to gently accelerate tooth movement.
- The Propel System: This system reduces total orthodontic treatment times by up to 50% based upon state of-the-art research that was accomplished at New York University’s College of Dentistry. The Propel system uses a patented, FDA-registered medical device and each installment of this treatment can be completed in minutes and can also be used in conjunction with Invisalign treatment. This system relies upon a natural process called Alveocentesis and is designed to create Micro-Osteoperforations that stimulate the bone surrounding the teeth which helps teeth shift faster into their desired positions.
Thus, Align Technologies and a number of companies that produce complementary products have continued to innovate and produce a wide array of products that allow orthodontists to provide solutions to most orthodontic problems and I am proud to offer Invisalign in St. Louis.