Auckland Dentists That Specialise In Invisalign (What You Need To Know Before Hiring One)

Tooth malocclusion is one of the most embarrassing situations a person can have. It includes such conditions as overbites, under bites, gaps, cross bites, crowding and more. The conditions come about for a wide variety of reasons such as tooth injuries, post-extraction shifting, and genetics.

Malocclusion that exists on otherwise healthy teeth can have an adverse effect on a person’s self-esteem and confidence. It could force a person to avoid smiling and interacting with other people. Orthodontic dental specialists have a wide variety of treatment options for people who are suffering with such conditions. Invisalign is a new and highly advanced method of malocclusion correction.

What Is Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign treatment is similar to traditional malocclusion treatment with braces. However, it is more comfortable and discreet than traditional braces are. The system consists of a set of plastic aligners that the dentist molds to fit perfectly around the patient’s teeth. The patient starts with one set of aligners and then visits the dental office for new aligners every two weeks. The aligners work to pull the teeth in the direction that that orthodontist plans for them to. Treatment with this system is generally shorter than traditional braces treatment.

Standard braces are different from Invisalign

What are the Pros and Cons of the Treatment?

The treatment has a wide variety of positive elements to it. First, the aligners are light and comfortable. They are made of a gentle plastic that is soft enough to give the patient comfort, but firm enough to do its intended job. Comfort is one of the main benefits of this treatment method. Another benefit of using this system of alignment correction is the convenience factor. The patient has the option to remove the aligners at any time. The person can take them out for eating and teeth brushing activities. The removability enables the person to maintain hygienic dental practices. Dental hygiene is a main concern with traditional alignment systems.

The plastic aligners are clear, small, and light which provides an element of discretion for people who do not want other people to know about their treatment. The only people who will know that the patient is wearing the device are the dentist and the patient. Plastic aligners help to boost self-esteem by hiding any embarrassing components from the rest of the world. Invisalign clients do not have to concern themselves with ridicule from classmates, co-workers, or other people in the world.

The only con to this treatment is that it may not be suitable for everyone. Patients who have complex malocclusion may have to use an alternative form of treatment. A reliable Auckland dentist will do his or her best to provide a prospective patient with his or her preferred system. A specialist will have to conduct a thorough examination before he or she agrees to provide a person with this system. A thorough examination includes a set of X-rays, a physical inspection of the mouth, and the development of a strategic plan. The system has advanced a great deal since its initial introduction. Therefore, many more patients are eligible for it today.

After wearing the aligners you could look like this

How to Know If a Dentist Is Qualified for Invisalign

Not all dental offices provide this special treatment for its patients. An orthodontist must take specialized Invisalign training to obtain certification for it. Anyone who has concerns about dental provider’s credentials can request a copy of his or her certification for a peace of mind. Currently, more than 40,000 dentists have gone through the training program. These specialists are giving their best efforts to provide each dental patient with an option that makes life easier.

Paying for Invisalign

All dental care requires payment. Patients have several options for financing Invisalign. Dental insurance providers can cover a certain percentage of the treatment. The amount of the benefit will be included under the orthodontia section of the policy. The patient will be responsible for the remainder of the bill, and several options are available for that portion, as well.

One option that a dental office may have is third-party lending option. Third-party financing companies offer dental patients funding for dental work. Some companies rely on a consumer’s credit score for approval, while others will accept patients who have stable bank accounts.

The local dental provider may be willing to offer in-house financing. In-house financing would involve a patient paying a down payment for the treatment and then making monthly installments. Every dental office has its own rules about such a program.

To schedule an appointment to find out more about the clear plastic aligner system, an interested person can schedule a consultation. A specialist will begin the process by performing a series of tests to gauge the person’s level of malocclusion. From there, the provider and the patient will develop the best solution for that person’s situation. The path to straight teeth starts with a phone call.

Align Technology Claims ClearCorrect Has Made 18 Patent Infringements

Align Technology, best known for its Invisalign clear aligner orthodontics filed a 2014 complaint against ClearCorrect for patent infringement. The complaint alleged that ClearCorrect had made a total of 18 infringements on five of its product patents. This was the third time that Invisalign legally cited patent issues concerning ClearCorrect’s use of similar products and digital imaging processes. This third complaint went before the International Trade Commission (ITC) which set an extended target date of April 2014 to complete its review of this issue.

The court battle for patent infringement

ClearCorrect And OrthoClear

ClearCorrect was started in 2006 by Dr. Willis Pumphrey in Houston, Texas. Some five years prior, Pumphrey had been using Invisalign products in the treatment of his patients. The switch to a competing company called OrthoClear was soon made by Pumphrey due to their more efficient manufacturing process and reduced lab fees.

While Invisalign was initially founded by two graduates of Stanford University, Kelsey Wirth and Zia Chisti, Chisti soon opted to leave this business and founded OrthoClear. In 2006, an agreement was struck between OrthoClear and Invisalign such that OrthoClear would no longer manufacture or offer the same clear aligners that were first innovated under the Invisalign brand. During this time, Pumphrey had several patients who were using the OrthoClear brand and thus, he decided to start ClearCorrect rather than revert back to using Invisalign.

ClearCorrect Patent Infringements

This company has two primary headquarters. The first of these is home to Dr. Pumphrey in Texas, while the other is located in Pakistan. Infringing digital data has been produced by the Pakistan headquarters for the treatment of patients and then imported into the US to the Texas office. The resulting computer images are then manipulated by the treating orthodontist in order to provide an ideal match for the patient’s teeth. This entire process is made possible by a special program that creates a three-dimensional model of the patient’s teeth from impressions that are made in-office. Although one part of this process is performed off of U.S. soils, the overall manufacturing of the companies products closely mirrors that of Invisalign.

How Clear Aligners Work

There are a number of benefits in using these devices to improve smile aesthetics that have made them extremely popular among consumers over the past decade. They are a discreet and non-invasive way for adults to reshape and enhance the smile. Unlike conventional or wire braces, aligners can be removed when the patients brushes or eats. They are minimally invasive and are constructed to provide a custom and comfortable fit. Patients also have the option of seeing a 3D viewing of their new devices before the production process is complete. Best of all, these products can be used in treatments for those who have metal allergies and are therefore unable to use wire braces for improving smile aesthetics.

An initial set of aligners is worn by a patient for several weeks. During this time, some pressure will be felt as the teeth are encouraged to gradually shift into a more ideal positioning. Once this transition has been made and the initial devices become incapable of producing further improvements, new digital images will be created and new aligners will then be furnished based upon these images. Thus, the treating doctor will have a continued need for the products that a company produces once care has been started. For Pumphrey, the agreement for OrthoClear to stop its production of aligners meant that he must find an alternative solution in order to complete treatments currently in progress. Pumphrey apparently felt that starting his own brand of aligners was the most practical or advantageous solution. Complaints made against this effort essentially allege that there are no marked differences from the products that his companies produces and the products that were first patented.

As the sole producer of these devices, Invisalign held initial dominance of this market and had sufficient patents on its products and the methods for creating them to limit likely competitors. When ClearCorrect arrived on the scene, Pumphrey appeared driven to model his business after that of OrthoClear in that he strove to maintain a more efficient production process and to limit the related lab costs. This meant that his company could offer virtually the same treatments at a notably reduced cost.

Although other competitors soon arrived on the scene boasting products that had marked differences from those produced by original patent holder on clear aligners, their imaging and production processes were not in violation of existing patents, nor were their devices. Among these are Simpli5 and Insignia.

The ITC Ruling

On April 3, 2014 the ITC announced that ClearCorrect was in clear violation of the patents concerning Align Technology. They ordered an immediate cease and decease on the production of these products and on the digital imaging processes that were being used in Pakistan. This was the first victory for the company after having made two prior and unsuccessful attempts to cite and address patent violations.

The final ruling

The first complaint concerning patent infringement was made by the makers of Align technology in March of 2012. Thus, it took nearly two years for ITC researchers to conclude that these were valid charges that had been leveled. Following the issue of the cease and desist order, the investigation has been closed by the ITC. 18 total violations concerning five Align technology patents were determined, as per the third complete that was filed concerning this matter. For Dr. Pumphrey, this will likely mean having to find alternative methods of completing treatments for patients whose cosmetic corrections are still in progress.