Invisalign is a braces system that has been around for 21 years. Despite reaching this mature age, it’s still considered quite an innovation in the dental world. This is because it was the first commercially available system to use the design of dental retainers to do the work of braces. Over in the US, in the mid-90s, college student Zia Chishti was completing his teeth straightening treatment by wearing a retainer. Anyone who’s had braces as a kid knows that after the horrors of the metal brackets and wires for 2 years, comes the retainer stage. This is when the patient wears a thin plastic shield over their teeth to keep them in place and stop them drifting back into their old positions. Zia mused that, wouldn’t it be great if instead of the cumbersome and hard-to-clean wires, braces could be like retainers, and just slip on and off the teeth easily?
The seed of Invisalign was born. It took a few attempts to get funding to make the prototype, but once this was secured, these clear, plastic retainers were developed and stormed onto the market in 1997. The world of braces hasn’t been the same since. It took a while for the system to be fully embraced by the dental world, but certainly in the last 10 years, Invisalign in SW14 has become a common site, at surgeries such as Sheen Dental. Every High Street dentist has an Invisalign banner outside the practice these days.
What makes it such a popular treatment? Well, just as Zia first thought, the convenience is a huge plus point. In SW14, Invisalign is made of pairs of custom-made clear aligners. These fit snugly over the teeth but can also be removed for eating and cleaning. No chance of bits of food getting caught in the braces and no lengthy cleaning routine to carry out after each meal.
And as far as image-conscious teens and adults go, the other huge benefit is that Invisalign in SW14 is near-invisible. The transparent plastic trays would only be noticed by a professional eye, or perhaps a close friend.
Not a bad outcome for the curiosities of a college student getting his wonky teeth straightened.