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Aristides B. Melkos
Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(5): PI39-42
BACKGROUND: Increased aesthetic demands during orthodontic treatment resulted in several treatment alternatives. However, the need to avoid conventional fixed orthodontic appliances led, with the use of computer-aided scanning, imaging, and manufacturing technology, to the development of new therapy concepts such as Invisalign. MATERIAL/METHODS: The Invisalign orthodontic technique involves a series of clear removable appliances and has been applied to correct a variety of malocclusions. RESULTS: The Invisalign method is an aesthetic orthodontic option for many patients, but it is suited mainly to adults or adolescents who have a fully erupted dentition and it has its indications and limitations. It handles simple to moderate non-extraction alignments better than mild to moderate extraction cases. The aligners are clear and therefore aesthetically ideal for the patient; they are comfortable to wear and, as they are removable, they provide simplicity of care and better oral hygiene. They also allow the evaluation of treatment options in detail before beginning treatment by using a virtual treatment model. It is also important to point out that this method has some disadvantages, which are associated with patient compliance, limited control over specific tooth movements, and additional documentation time. CONCLUSIONS: The Invisalign concept is an aesthetic alternative in orthodontic treatment, with advantages and disadvantages. It can be utilized to treat simple to moderate alignment cases, especially in adults, and serves as an additional part of the armamentarium of the orthodontist.