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Invisalign – Where it all began

For a long time if you wanted straighter teeth the only options available to you were metal ‘train track’ braces. Even though these style of braces has since fallen out of favour they were a great invention at the time. Straighter teeth used to be luck of the draw, if you were born with them you were lucky, if not, you were stuck with crooked teeth.

As metal brace technology was introduced it became a very popular orthodontic treatment for children and understanding that teeth could be moved from an early age meant you no longer had to be stuck with a crooked smile if you didn’t want to be.

Due to the invasive nature of the treatment and the metal bar fitted to the front of your teeth, the treatment wasn’t a big hit with adults and it is this fact that created such a high demand for what was to become Invisalign.

Where it all began

Invisalign was pioneered by a Stanford Student called Zia Christi who himself was just finishing a long period of orthodontic treatment. Towards the end of his treatment his dentist presented him with a plastic retainer. This retainer is used to keep the teeth in place after the brace has been removed and this got Zia thinking.

If these small retainers can stop the teeth from moving, he wondered if they could also cause them to move?

If it was possible, could this be the type pf treatment that adults would wear? Also having a brace that you could remove yourself that wasn’t glued to your teeth sounded like a better option.

Invisalign is born

Returning to Stanford with his new idea Zia partnered with other students to start the development towards the treatment that would become Invisalign.

As Stanford students, they had access to the latest technology and more particularly 3D printing technology. If it was possible to print these plastic aligners in mass, then why wouldn’t it be possible to design an entire treatment plan around a series of these plastic aligners that slowly move the teeth.

After over 12 months of development, the team launched their company, Align, and decided on the brand name Invisalign.

Their original progress was slow. Many dentists didn’t like the sound of the new treatment and often made a better margin fitting the old style fixed braces instead. After a round of funding, Align went on an aggressive marketing offensive in order to introduce the brand both to the public and the dental world and the treatment started to become popular.

The future of Invisalign

As you would expect, Invisalign is continuing to improve the treatment all the time and new development in 3D scanning technology is reducing the treatment time and possibilities Invisalign offers.

As one of the leading practices in Milton Keynes, Claydon Dental are proud to me a Platinum Elite provider of this treatment and we look forward to developing our relationship with Invisalign in the future.

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