Since its advent in 1999, Invisalign has come a long way. In fact, some advanced orthodontic cases that weren’t always treatable with Invisalign are treatable now.
This is good news, if you forgoed Invisalign in the past because your advanced case wasn’t treatable. Today, we’re going to discuss how the Invisalign of today is much different from the earlier versions, and how Invisalign worked its kinks out to treat complicated cases.
In its early days, only people with slightly crooked teeth would benefit from Invisalign. Patients with crooked and gapped teeth or overbites had to opt for traditional metal braces. This made things complicated for people who needed a discreet treatment.
At Invisalign Centre for Invisible Orthodontics, we studied and worked with invisible braces since it was brought to the market in 1999. So, we’ve seen firsthand how Invisalign is changing throughout the years, becoming more and more effective.
When we started offering Invisalign in its formative days, the treatment was somewhat restricted. They just didn’t have the technology to tailor the Invisalign trays to reposition exceptionally crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites.
Part of what makes Invisalign so effective is the technology, but a large player in the treatment is the Orthodontist administering it. The Invisalign provider has to be well-educated on the computer-generated technology and tailor the technology to your individual orthodontic needs.
How SmartTrack Changed the Game
Now, orthodontists are able to use a new technology called SmartTrack. SmartTrack was a game changer for the Invisalign treatment. It improved the material that the aligners are made from to make the thermoplastic more customizable for specific cases.
In previous Invisalign cases, the aligners were made from a stock thermoplastic. It wasn’t specifically designed for orthodontics, but it worked. On the other hand, SmartTrack trays were invented with orthodontics involved.
They saw that we needed perfect the material in the Invisalign trays, and came up with SmartTrack specially for tooth movement. They didn’t get it right on the first try, either.
They tested more than 260 different kinds of plastic sent from labs all over the world and tested the material for orthodontic use. Some were too thick and rigid. Some materials were too supple. They needed a material that was flexible, but also expelled a significant amount of force for at least two weeks. And just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, SmartTrack ended up working out just right.
To test the materials, they put the aligners on sets of aluminum teeth and measured the force it put on the dentition. After much research, they found that unlike the old material, SmartTrack was able to move teeth closely to the computer-generated shape, which helps us track tooth movement more efficiently. The new material is also able to form to the teeth better, so it is able to fit more snugly between the teeth. The snug and supple nature of the new material makes them more comfortable in your mouth.
SmartTrack made the treatment time shorter, because we’re able to track and plan your treatment to the T for perfect results. Since the advent of SmartTrack, they’ve also honed the aligners to allow Precision cuts, which helps correct advanced bite issues. Now, we’re able to treat almost any complicated orthodontic case – underbites, open bites, overly crowded teeth, crossbites, and of course, gapped teeth.
Sounds fancy and expensive, right? In actuality, the new aligners ended up staying about the same price and over the years decreased in price. Invisalign has come a long way since 1999, and it’s only getting better.