In the past, people who want to get their teeth straightened are limited to having metal braces as the only treatment option. Though metal braces are not as painful as they used to be, it still comes with some level of discomfort and inconvenience. Also, the main concern with metal braces is that the presence of wires and metal in the mouth does not look very nice. Although other alternative appliances were developed to make orthodontic treatment less obvious, like ceramic braces and lingual braces, they still have their own set of problems and are still generally not so comfortable to wear.
As modern technology improves our lives over the years, it also continues to advance the science of orthodontics. In 1997, the field of orthodontics had yet another breakthrough as Zia Chishti, partnering with Kelsey Wirth, founded Align Technology which invented Invisalign. Invisalign is a series of removable plastic aligners that could move and straighten teeth. Chishti developed the idea of Invisalign when he was undergoing braces treatment. When he received his clear retainer to complete his treatment, he realised that a series of such devices could be just as effective in moving teeth like traditional braces.
Invisalign was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998, and sales began in the United States in 1999. It was introduced to Asia Pacific in 2007 and like any other new inventions, it struggled to gain wide acceptance and popularity because orthodontists, as well as patients in Asia took time adjusting to the new dental technology presented by Invisalign. Finally, Invisalign’s direct presence in the Asia Pacific region was felt in 2013, with China becoming the largest country market in no time, doubling it’s growth every year. At present, they have 3000 active providers with 500,000,000 starts every year. Since then, the Invisalign movement in the Asia Pacific saw a steady growth.
As a modern first-world country, Singapore is keeping up with technological advancements, including the field of orthodontics. The headquarters of Align Technology in Pan Asia and Asia Pacific is found in Valley Point, Singapore. As of the moment, there are 400 accredited Invisalign providers in Singapore. Invisalign has certain labels for providers who have successfully treated a certain number of cases per year. The categories are as follows:
– Bronze Provider: 1 to 10 cases per year
– Silver Provider: 11 to 20 cases per year
– Gold 1 Provider: 21 to 35 cases per year
– Gold 2 Provider: 36 to 50 cases per year
– Platinum Provider: 51 to 80 cases per year
– Platinum Elite Provider: 81 to 150 cases per year
– Diamond Provider: 151 to 400 cases per year
– Black Diamond Provider: 401 cases and above per year
In Singapore, there are numerous doctors who achieved the status of Platinum, Platinum Elite, Diamond and Black Diamond Status. This proves that there is an increasing number of patients in the country that choose and trust Invisalign for their orthodontic treatment. In fact during the year 2015, there were 583,235 Invisalign cases that were shipped globally and the annual growth rate for Invisalign case shipments in Singapore was about 17%.
Invisalign made it possible for those people who would not consider metal braces treatment to achieve the straighter teeth that they desire to have. Over the years, Singapore has seen a growing number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment. Invisalign is one of the main reasons why more adults in the country are now more encouraged to have their teeth straightened because it is barely noticeable and removable, so adult patients can still look professional and has a minimal impact on their busy lifestyle. Invisalign is also becoming increasingly popular among teenage patients as there are fewer dietary restrictions and is less inconvenient so they can still keep up with their active way of life.
We have surely come a long way from the conventional metal braces treatment. With Invisalign’s revolutionary treatment approach in the field of orthodontics, it has solved many of the most common concerns that come along with traditional braces.