According to the American Association of Orthodontics, over four million Americans are undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment at any given time, and anywhere from 40-70% of the population of this great nation have enjoyed the presence of braces. That means that almost every third person you see out and about — enjoying a salad in a café, gulping down a coffee on the bus, eating a bag of carrot sticks while on the commuter grind – was once (in theory) completely restrained from doing so! They did survive, and they bless us with their smiles on the daily.
But sometimes, for whatever reason, grown-up teeth misbehave. Whether it’s a result of childhood neglect, less-than-stellar eating habits, or just nature’s unpredictable pattern, some of us are left with the distasteful task of finding any slightly bearable treatment, especially since the alternative seems to be a catapult back to middle school and an era of wire-frame glasses and colored rubber bands.
Never fear, Invisalign is here! That isn’t the official slogan (and for good reason) but it would be apt. Since 1997, when a Silicon Valley start-up created the clear plastic aligners as an alternative to traditional braces, some would say that Invisalign changed the brace game forever. With FDA approval that came three years after launch and ten years of perfecting the process, Invisalign’s 2000 TV marketing campaign was deemed “the most aggressive consumer advertising plan the dental profession has ever seen.” With all eyes on the teeth, Invisalign has rocketed into the mainstream dental industry, and it seems like it’s here to stay.
Since Y2K, almost 75% percent of all orthodontists in the United States have been trained to implement Invisalign’s computer-generated systems. The clear plastic trays seem less intimidating from the outset, and present an attractive option for people with metropolitan routines and busy schedules. Treatment plans averaging 22 hours a day for 9-12 months make it a pretty serious commitment, but like any good thing, the time invested isn’t wasted. If you’re hoping to improve esthetic and refine functionality, consider Invisalign: it may be your best bet.
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