Align Technology, the publicly traded company behind Invisalign, first created clear tooth aligners in the 1990s as an alternative to metallic orthodontic appliances. It sells its aligners through dentists and orthodontists, which has helped it reach more than 6 million customers over the past two decades. Align Technology is a manufacturer of 3D digital scanners and Invisalign clear aligners used in orthodontics. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona; manufactures aligners in Juarez, Mexico, and scanners in Israel and China.
Invisalign is the most popular clear aligner company, but it's not the only one. Its direct competitor, ClearCorrect, manufactures plastic aligners with a thinner material. ClearCorrect is made of polyurethane resin, while Invisalign is composed of proprietary thermoplastic material. Both constructions are FDA-approved, BPA- and phthalate-free.
Dental school clinics offer an affordable alternative for patients who don't have orthodontic coverage or who can't afford Invisalign, even with dental insurance. Prices are significantly lower in these clinics, compared to private dental offices. Invisalign aligners were the first of their kind to hit the market more than 20 years ago. At that time, they have continually led the field of innovative and almost invisible orthodontic care.
Recently, new brands have emerged that offer direct-to-consumer clear aligners, which are mailed to the customer at home and do not require them to see a licensed orthodontist in the office. X-rays are a necessary part of orthodontic treatment, so to purchase x-rays, mail-order aligner companies have customers pay out-of-pocket for x-rays at their dentist's office, at a different cost than clear aligner treatment. Conversely, because mail-order aligner brands do not offer direct supervision by a licensed orthodontist or office visits, and because of frequent consumer complaints about the effectiveness of treatment, your insurance provider may refuse coverage or cover a smaller portion of the same. Mail-order aligners do not have access to this technology, so they are based on generic plastic, which can affect the effectiveness of the results.
They can boast that their aligners are made with BPA-free plastic, but all aligner plastics are BPA free, regardless of brand. Mail-order aligners are limited in orthodontic conditions treatable with your aligners. Without the direct supervision of an orthodontist, they can only treat mild to moderate cases in which the teeth do not require complex movements. Mail order aligners are also not allowed to use attachments, small fasteners that attach to certain teeth to give the aligners a better grip.
Invisalign accessories help align even complex cases, but without them, mail order aligners have limited effectiveness. Therefore, treatment with Invisalign can solve many more types of cases, as well as more serious cases, than mail-order clear aligners. While many mail-order aligner brands boast results in 6 months, this isn't necessarily the case. Only mild to moderate conditions can be corrected within 6 months, more complex conditions may require a longer treatment time.
Without the direct supervision of a licensed orthodontist, it can be difficult to assess how long a case may take to finish treatment. If problems arise, they may not be noticed at first, which can lead to delays in treatment or, in some cases, damage to the teeth. Mail-order brands market their aligner treatment saying “results in 6 months. But this is only true in some cases.
More complex cases will take more than 6 months and may require many more aligners than included in the original price. The Invisalign treatment can achieve results in 6 months, but it also treats complex cases faster, by using newer patented technology and optimized for precision movement and effective results. In addition, mild cases could be treated faster than 6 months with Invisalign therapy or braces. Mail-order aligners can treat fewer types of dental conditions, rely on older technology, and cover less the cost of treatment than Invisalign therapy.
Many consumers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau about their mail-order aligner treatment, after it was unable to straighten their teeth or, in some cases, permanently damage them. The AAO urges caution regarding home treatment, where your case is supervised by a doctor you have never met and whose credentials you do not know, and who can only consult you virtually. Teeth Aren't Virtual; Treating Them Virtually Can Have Serious Consequences. Some virtual visits are acceptable during the course of treatment if the doctor can also make regular office visits.
In-office supervision by a doctor and the use of important in-office equipment, such as x-rays, are critical to properly aligning teeth. Yes, more than 2,600 disgruntled customers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau due to poor results with mail-order aligners. Some customers saw no improvement, while others saw their conditions worsening due to the use of aligners, as well as other problems such as tooth damage or chipping, gum damage or severe pain. For results you can rely on and the technology that offers them, it is best to go to a licensed orthodontist.
Invisalign aligners are manufactured in Mexico and treatment plans are created in Costa Rica. Finally, insurance options are limited for mail-order aligners (a small reimbursement, if any), while in-office Invisalign treatment is more likely to be covered in advance and a larger portion will be covered, as you see a licensed doctor during your office visit. You deposit money into the account and can use it to cover certain medical, dental and orthodontic costs, including Invisalign clear aligners. Some plans only cover treatment with Invisalign or braces for children age 19 and younger, and most providers set a lifetime maximum amount.
However, the bottom line is that Invisalign is just another tool that a doctor can use to straighten teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, and most orthodontists recommend treatment with Invisalign instead of mail-order aligners, and the AAO has even issued a warning against the use of these at-home treatments that do not offer medical supervision direct. Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that provide precise forces that sequentially move teeth to predetermined positions. Insurance plans may cover the cost of Invisalign if your policy includes dental insurance plans and orthodontic coverage.
Jorgensen's 25 years of specialized practice and nearly 10,000 completed cases qualify him as an expert in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign) and multiple bracket systems (including conventional, Damon and other self-ligating braces) braces, Suresmile and lingual braces). This strategy of continuous innovation has led the company to launch approximately one new Invisalign product per year. Invisalign works by applying pressure and force, gradually shifting teeth to correct alignment and position. .
Leave a Comment