The start of clear aligner treatment is not a single visit but a series of two visits. Our office currently uses Invisalign® aligners, however, there are multiple other companies now available with the same types of products.
At the records appointment or first visit, we will take a special type of impression OR a scan. The impression is a type of material that is extremely stiff and detailed called polyvinyl siloxane. This is also the type of impression a general dentist would take when making a crown. The impression OR scan is then sent away to Invisalign in Costa Rica.
Once Invisalign receives the impressions, they digitize them into their software. If a scan had been taken, it is uploaded into their software. A computer technician will then create a computer prediction on how the teeth will move. The prediction creates incremental tooth movements and clear aligners are fabricated to perform and mimic these movements.
The most important point that Dr. Renick explains to the patients who chose Invisalign treatment is that just because the computer says the tooth will move a specific way doesn’t always mean that biology will agree. Remember that the whole system is based on predictions. That being said, with all the advances in research done with clear aligners in the past 20 years, the results are good. However, in most cases, a refinement submission will be made toward the end of the first set of aligners to account for the biologic differences.
How do we get so close when a computer technician is doing the predictions? The technician does not do it alone. Part of the initial progress involves what is called a ClinCheck. The technician will send Dr. Renick the prediction and Dr. Renick will adjust the prediction with the software tools. This creates a cooperative effort between someone with the computer expertise and someone who understands the biology of tooth movement. It’s this collaborative effort that makes clear aligners a good and effective treatment modality.
A number of weeks will pass while the ClinCheck is reviewed and adjusted. Once it is approved, the final predication will be sent to the industrial unit in Mexico for the actual fabrication of the aligners. They will then ship to the office and a second appointment will be scheduled with the patient.
When Invisalign treatment first was introduced into the clinical setting, it was limited in what it could do. They approached research at certain universities to find out how they can make the product better, more efficient, and create better results. Invisalign treatment has now gone through at least six generations of improvements since its inception to make it the great product it is today and make it a truly viable treatment option. One of the biggest advancements that was a game changer was the addition of attachments to teeth to allow for tooth movements in all three planes of space!
The attachments are bonded, tooth colored composite “bumps” that are placed on certain teeth in certain areas. These are the “handles” on the teeth that can create certain movements once the aligner is snapped into place. These attachments are bonded to the teeth much as regular brackets are and will be placed at the second appointment.
At this appointment, we will give you your first sets of aligners with instructions on the proper care and wear.
We welcome you to call Renick Orthodontics at 740-936-5003 to learn more about Invisalign treatment in Sunbury, Ohio, and the surrounding areas and schedule your appointment with Dr. Renick.