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Q: How old is the company?
A: Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign®, was founded in 1997.

Q: How old is this technology?
A: In 1945 Dr. H.D. Kesling envisioned that one day, modern technology would enable the use of a series of tooth positioners to produce the kinds of movements required for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Align has made this vision a reality. Using advanced computer technology, Align generates Invisalign®, a series of customized appliances, called "Aligners". Each Aligner is worn sequentially by the patient to produce extensive tooth movements in both upper and lower arches.

Q: How many patients are being treated with Invisalign®?
A: Currently, doctors are treating more than 40,000 patients. The number grows daily.

Q: Do doctors need special training in order to use Invisalign®?
A: While Invisalign® can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, specific training is needed. All dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign® must attend a workshop before cases will be accepted from their office.

Q: Does Invisalign® really work?
A: Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth

Q: Does insurance cover Invisalign®?
A: Because dental insurance benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.

Q: Has the FDA cleared Invisalign®?
A: Yes, the FDA has reviewed our application and in August 1998 determined that Invisalign® is exempt from 510(k) pre-market notification.

Q: How do I get started with Invisalign®?
A: Just make an appointment with Dr. Minh Nguyen for an initial consultation.

Q: Can I go to any dentist to be treated with Invisalign®?
A: Specific training is needed to use Invisalign®; as a result, dentists are required to become Invisalign®-certified before they can begin treating patients with Invisalign®.

Q: Will the treatment be painful?
A: Most people experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that Invisalign® is working - sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new Aligner in the series.

Q: Will wearing Invisalign® Aligners affect my speech?
A: Like all orthodontic treatments, Aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having Aligners in your mouth, any lisp or minor speech impediment caused by the Aligners should disappear.

Q: Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?
A: No. Unlike traditional wires & brackets, you can eat whatever you desire while in treatment because you remove your Aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks, unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Nguyen. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your Aligners to maintain proper hygiene.

Q: Will smoking stain the aligners?
A: We discourage smoking while wearing Aligners because it is possible for the Aligners to become discolored.

Q: Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
A: No, gum will stick to the Aligners. We recommend removing your Aligners for all meals and snacks.

Q: What's the best way to clean my aligners?
A: The best way to clean your Aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.

Q: How often must I wear my aligners?
A: Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing and flossing.

Q: Can patients use aligners for bleaching teeth while active tooth movement is occurring?
A: Yes. Consult Dr. Nguyen for more information on teeth whitening.

Q: How often must I see the Dr. Nguyen?
A: Dr. Nguyen will schedule regular appointments - usually about once every three months. This way, your doctor can be sure that the treatment is progressing as planned.

Q: What happens after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
A: This depends on the outcome of the treatment. Some patients might need a positioner, or conventional retainer. Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign® makes. In most cases your last aligner will be your retainer. Dr. Nguyen will discuss these possibilities with you. Every patient is different and outcomes vary.


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