Frequently Asked Questions:
Can the Invisalign technique be used by any orthodontist or dentist?
In contrast to other countries in Western Europe or the USA, it is not possible here in the Czech Republic, which is a good thing. In the countries above mentioned, even dentists can use Invisalign. However, they often have no idea about the orthodontic treatment principles, tooth movement, scientific results of orthodontic treatments, or how to make a sophisticated treatment plan for an orthodontic patient. Our clinic is the only one in the Czech Republic or Slovakia that possesses a licence for working with Invisalign. We hold to the opinion that only experienced orthodontists should work with Invisalign (or any invisible braces). Dr. Ivo Marek, Ph.D. has been working with Invisalign at Smile Ortho Clinic in Dublin, Ireland, for a long time and has treated dozens of patients using this method.
Can any orthodontic anomaly be treated by the Invisalign method?
Unfortunately, it cannot, although you can find other opinions on various internet sites. Invisalign is suitable first and foremost for adult patients with light aesthetic anomalies where tooth extraction is not indicated. Orthodontists working with Invisalign use a different method for making space in the dental arch – known as "stripping" – to reduce enamel on side (lateral) tooth surfaces by polishing. It is also possible to use Invisalign treatment on patients with permanent teeth extraction; nevertheless, in more complicated cases, the results can be suboptimal. Therefore, the Invisalign method belongs in the hands of an experienced orthodontist, who is the only one to decide whether invisible braces are suitable for the particular case or not. Patients with dental surgery should not be treated by this method at all.
How does the Invisalign method work?
Invisalign works on a totally different principle than the methods you've known about for a long time – removable and fixed appliances. Invisalign uses a custom-made series of clear plastic aligners, and patients themselves can put them on and take them off. From this point of view, they function as removable appliances. Howerer, the aligners are made so accurately that they facilitate the tooth movement in the desired direction and in this respect they act like fixed appliences. The Invisalign method: Align Technology Company makes – according to our requirements – a set of clear plastic aligners and the patients themselves change them every two weeks based on their orthodontist's instructions. Each aligner is "programmed" for tooth movement by .5 mm – the speed is comparable to the tooth movement by fixed appliances.
What is the treatment process?
First of all, the patient must undergo an initial examination (initial medical record, impressions for study models, pictures and x-rays). Then the orthodontist determines the treatment plan and decides whether the Invisalign method is suitable for the particular anomaly or not. If Invisalign is suitable for the patient, at the next appointment special dental impressions for invisible aligners are made and they are (together with the complete record) sent to the USA. The data are processed there and the "ClinCheck" is made. The ClinCheck is a virtual representation of how the teeth will move with each stage of treatment. The ClinCheck is sent back to the orthodontist, who can show it to the patient and modify it, if necessary. When the orthodontist approves the treatment plan, he confirms its final version and the Align Technology Company creates the custom-made aligners, which are delivered to the orthodontist within two weeks. When the first aligner is handed over, what are known as "attachments" are placed on the teeth – these are transparent, and facilitate the orthodontic tooth movement. At the same time, the first phase of stripping is performed based on a schedule set by Align Technology Company. Subsequent check-ups take place every two months thereafter. At the end of the treatment, in most cases a fixed retainer is placed on the lingual surface of the teeth in order to retain (stabilize) the results of the treatment. Additionally, our laboratory creates these retaining devices and patients wear them every night to maintain dental stability.
Are the aligners really invisible?
Yes, they are. The plastic material used for Invisalign aligners is so thin and transparent that the aligners cannot be noticed on patients' teeth. Moreover, they are changed every two weeks for new ones, and therefore they are not contaminated by stains or discolouration.
How much does the Invisalign treatment cost?
Invisalign is a product of the Aligners Company. The recommended price of the invisible aligners prescribed by the producer is about €5,000, but most orthodontists in Western Europe set the price from €5,200 to 5,900. The cost depends on the number of aligners in each treatment set, on the length of the treatment, and on its scientific demands. As mentioned above, we are the only clinic in the Czech Republic or Slovakia possessing a licence for working with Invisalign. This makes us the first, the most experienced, and the best! During the year 2015, there will be a standard price of €4,000 for all our clients for the whole treatment (this is a discount of more than 20 %)!!! The payment can be made in up to four instalments.
Your orthodontist, Dr. Ivo Marek, Ph.D.