In 1997, two Stanford business students named Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth started a business named ‘Align Technology’. The main product of their business was a new and exciting alternative to traditional braces – near-invisible aligners. Several universities rejected their product until the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry allowed them to test their product on actual patients. Their successful tests were noticed, they received funding and Invisalign first became available to orthodontists just two years after launching the business.
It is rumored that one of the reasons they were able to receive a large amount of funding was because when they were pitching their product, the investors were impressed that nobody noticed that Chishti and Wirth both wearing Invisalign for the duration of the meetings
But what is Invisalign? Why are orthodontists always raving about it? What is Invisalign made from? Is it completely safe for my mouth and teeth?
What is Invisalign made of?
Invisalign trays or aligners are made from medical grade plastic. To be more specific, the plastic is polyurethane resin from methylene diphenyl diisocyanate. OK… But what is that in regular English?
Basically, that means that it is a clear plastic. Some people might feel uneasy about having plastic in their mouths for an extended period of time, thinking that it might cause long term harm or damage to mouth or teeth.
Fortunately, we can be assured by several reliable authorities that Invisalign is safe. Since 1998, Invisalign has always had FDA approval. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) – the official compendium of drug information for the United States, has also deemed it safe. The USP standards for medical devices and prescriptions are met, and the materials in Invisalign are biocompatible for human use. There are no metals used in Invisalign treatment. In short, you can be reassured that your health will not be interfered with in any way.
Furthermore, the Invisalign trays are made in a highly controlled environment with specialized laser robots to mold each individual tray.
What about BPA?
If you know your plastics, you’d know that BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical found in many hard plastics and the coatings of many food and drink cans. It is an endocrine disruptor that can interfere with natural hormones in the body.
The good news is that Invisalign aligners do not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers.
Furthermore, Invisalign will not harm pregnant mothers or their babies. Invisalign is the best option for avoiding problems that can occur during pregnancy such as pregnancy gingivitis.
The Benefits of Invisalign
This is what Invisalign will do for your teeth:
- Will treat many different types of cases, including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite.
- Straightens your teeth.
- Lets you eat whatever foods you enjoy.
- Allows you to remove the device whenever you want.
- Lets you enjoy close to invisible teeth-straightening.
- Gives you the opportunity to brush and floss your teeth normally for better dental health.
- Is made of smooth, comfortable plastic instead of sharp metal that might irritate your teeth and gums.
- Frees up your busy schedule – office visits are only every four to six weeks.