History of Invisalign

The History of Invisalign
Posted on 04/30/2019
The History of Invisalign

The History of Invisalign

Most of our West Palm Beach patients would never know that they haven’t had the choice between braces or Invisalign clear aligners to create their beautiful smiles. But while treatment with metal braces has been around for centuries, Invisalign is actually relatively new, having only been made available to orthodontists since 1999. Dr. Lunsford has offered Invisalign to his patients since that time and he and Dr. McCaffrey are now two of the most experienced Invisalign providers in the Wellington, Florida, area.

Have you ever wondered who discovered Invisalign clear aligners and how they came to be one of the most important and sought after invention in the orthodontic world? It all started near a coastline halfway across the country from Boynton Beach - at a Stanford University. It was there that Stanford student Zia Chishti was finishing up his braces treatment and began to ponder how straightening teeth - either for cosmetic reasons or to address common orthodontic problems that could lead to more serious health issues - could be accomplished faster and easier. Once he received he received his retainer to wear to keep his teeth from returning to their previous position, he made the connection between that and using plastic trays to move teeth. Together, with his student partner, Kelsey Wirth, he created and marketed the new Invisalign treatment that orthodontists around the world now offer their patients.

History of Invisalign In Timeline Form

Here’s a quick rundown of the events that led up to our West Palm area patients having the option to use clear, almost invisible aligners to create their perfect smiles:

  • Prior to 1997 - millions of patients rely on some type of braces with brackets and wires to gradually straighten their teeth over time.
  • 1997 - Standford students Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth start a company called Align Technology. They would raise $140 million in venture capital from 1997 to 2000.
  • 1998 - Chishti and Wirth finally get permission from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry to complete the first feasibility study on actual patients, confirming that the idea would work.
  • 1998 - Invisalign is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • 1999 - The students secure more funding and produce the first Invisalign product available to orthodontists.
  • 2000 - Align Technology conducts an extensive $31 million direct-to-consumer marketing campaign that creates high demand for Invisalign. Adults and teens both like the idea that the treatment is almost invisible and that you can remove the aligners so you don’t have to avoid any foods as you might with braces.
  • 2001 - Another $130 million is raised in an initial public offering.
  • By 2001 - 75 percent of the 8,500 orthodontists in North America had been trained on the Invisalign system.
  • 2001 - Wirth resigns from Align Technology after the company loses money.
  • 2002 - Chishti resigns from Align Technology and Thomas Prescott replaces him as CEO and re-focused the company on North America and cuts the marketing budget to about one-third its original size.
  • 2005 - Chishti opens OrthoClear on his own. After a long legal battle, Align paid OrthoClear to stop production in 2006.
  • 2004 - By this year, patients who had received Invisalign treatment had more than doubled from two years earlier to 175,000.
  • 2005 - The Invisalign Express 10, which uses 10 aligners, was introduced.
  • 2007 - iTero 3D digital scanners introduced and create a better way for your West Palm Beach orthodontists to map a series of Invisalign aligners to your teeth. As owners of ITero, Align continues to make improvements to the scanners which benefit Invisalign patients.
  • 2008 - Invisalign Teen is introduced and marketed to teens who are looking for a more discreet method of straightening their teeth.
  • 2009 - 2010 - Various Invisalign improvements were introduced (The 1.5, the G3, the G4) as Invisalign capitalized on technological advancements to improve its product.
  • 2013 - After eight years of research and development, Align begins to market SmartTrack - a plastic material specially engineered for the Invisalign system that makes aligners more comfortable and easier to put on and take off. This highly elastic material also delivers gentle, more constant force to improve control of tooth movements.
  • 2014 - Align Technology rolled out Invisalign G5 which is designed to treat deep bites.
  • 2015 - Joe Hogan takes over as CEO of Align.
  • 2016 - Align Technology sales hit $1 billion for the first time.
  • 2017 - Invisalign treatment reaches its 4 millionth patient in September.
  • 2019 - Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics continues to use our skill and experience to provide Invisalign treatment to our West Palm Beach, Wellington and Boynton Beach area patients as an alternative to traditional braces.

Contact Your Orthodontist In West Palm Beach Today!

If you’re looking for the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, you’ll find it at your West Palm Beach orthodontist - Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics. We pride ourselves on keeping up to date with the latest technologies in Invisalign treatment and other orthodontic treatments our patients may need. Visiting our friendly staff will put you at ease as you begin your journey toward that beautiful smile you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation at 561-964-5200. We look forward to telling you more about how Invisalign can help you!

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