Chances are you’ve heard of Invisalign before. You likely have friends or family members who have it and you’ve probably even researched it online…I mean…you are reading a blog about it as we speak! We’ve been using it since 1999 and love it. Our patients love that it’s more attractive than traditional braces and offers the ability to easily brush and floss and eat whatever they choose. The perks of Invisalign are huge. The marketing strategy is impressive. Because of its popularity, more and more patients are requesting Invisalign. This demand has resulted in more orthodontists and general dentists offering Invisalign in their practices. So does it matter where you get your Invisalign?
Invisalign is a series of clear, removable aligners that deliver precise forces to sequentially move teeth. There is a misconception in the general public that Invisalign is the same regardless of where you get it. Things like Tide™ laundry detergent and Pepsi™ are the same regardless of where they’re purchased. Invisalign, however, is NOT the same from office to office. Invisalign and braces are just tools that doctors use to straighten teeth. The outcome of ALL orthodontic treatment (including Invisalign) depends on two factors: 1) an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, and 2) your doctor’s ability to execute the plan.
For Invisalign, diagnosis and treatment planning begin with photos and a 3D scan of your teeth. This information is sent to Invisalign and a 3D digital model of your teeth, called a ClinCheck, is created. Using this ClinCheck, your doctor identifies all of the clinical problems that exist and determines how each issue will be addressed. How do we address crowding—do we expand the jaws or do we extract some teeth? How do we correct the overbite—do we move the bottom teeth forward or the top teeth back? These are all critical decisions that must be made by your doctor! The technicians at Invisalign are NOT dentists or orthodontists. They have no training in diagnosis or treatment planning.
Once your doctor determines the diagnosis and treatment plan, he or she decides how the aligners will deliver the forces needed to move your teeth. Do we see a recurring theme here? Your doctor drives treatment, not Invisalign! Your doctor identifies all the problems that exist. Your doctor determines the treatment plan. Your doctor designs the trays to move your teeth.
Think about getting a haircut. The scissors are the tools. The quality of haircut depends on the knowledge and skill of the stylist, not the scissors. Now think about straightening teeth. Braces and Invisalign are the tools. The quality of orthodontic treatment depends on the skill of your doctor, not the actual braces or Invisalign trays themselves.
Any dentist or orthodontist can provide Invisalign treatment. Because of Invisalign’s popularity, more dentists with little to no orthodontic training are providing Invisalign to their patients. Remember, the results of Invisalign treatment are determined by the skill and experience of the doctor. Orthodontists spend 2-3 years of additional training studying only tooth movement. They’re experts in the biomechanics and physics of tooth movement. They know the forces necessary to predictably align teeth. Any dentist can order a set of aligners, but not all doctors can accurately diagnose and treatment-plan an orthodontic case. Failed Invisalign treatment is usually due to one of two reasons: 1) poor patient compliance with wearing the aligners, or 2) poor or inadequate planning by the treating doctor. An experienced Invisalign provider goes a long way in maximizing the chance of successful treatment.
So does it matter where you get Invisalign…we sure think so!
Invisalign Treatment with Bankhead Orthodontics
The orthodontists at Bankhead Orthodontics are Invisalign experts! We’re ranked in the TOP 1% of Invisalign providers in the NATION and the largest provider in St. Louis. We pride ourselves in taking the cases that other doctors say “are not suitable for Invisalign” and turning them into success stories. Because of our skill and experience, our doctors have been featured in educational materials developed by Invisalign. With Invisalign, there is no substitute for experience!
CONTACT US to schedule your complimentary consultation to see if Invisalign is right for you!
NOTE:Dr. Jeff Lenius is an Orthodontic Specialist at Bankhead Orthodontics in St. Louis. He completed dental school at The University of Iowa and received his orthodontic specialty training at The University of Colorado. His private practice is limited to orthodontics, including traditional and two-phase treatment, clear and metal braces, Invisalign™, lingual braces, self-ligation appliances, SureSmile™, and functional appliances. He is licensed to treat patients in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is designed to educate patients about currently accepted orthodontic principles and is not intended to debate alternative treatment theories. The views and opinions expressed in this article are protected by copyright laws and may not be used without written permission from the author.
**We would like to thank Dr. Greg Jorgensen for his contribution to this blog. Portions of this article appeared first at http://www.gregjorgensen.com/blog/2011/09/does-it-really-matter-where-i-get-my-invisalign/