Learn about the materials that are used to make Invisalign orthodontic trays and how they are made for a custom fit for each dental patient.
How Custom Invisalign Trays Are Made to Fit Your Teeth
While the braces used on generations of teenagers and adults were made from stainless steel wires and aluminum brackets, there are newer options such as Invisalign that do away with the painful metal. Some patients experienced cuts and skin irritation because of prolonged exposure to the metal. The sharp wires sometimes got lose and could cause abrasions or cuts on the sensitive parts of the mouth. Patients interested in Invisalign in Las Vegas visit an orthodontist and have three-dimensional pictures taken of their mouth with digital cameras and x-rays. From there, the custom trays are made.
Once the three-dimensional images are taken, they are sent to the dental lab. The dental lab makes a series of molds that use the shape of your actual teeth but make adjustments for the proper alignment. Each tray is worn for about two weeks, and a typical patient may have 20 to 40 trays over the course of their treatment.
An injection-molding machine is used to create the Invisalign trays. Because the trays are medical devices used in the oral cavity, they are made of medical grade plastics. The materials used to make the Invisalign trays include polyurethane from methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and 1.6-hexanediol. These plastics have no taste or odor and are transparent. Nobody will notice that you are wearing an Invisalign tray.
Once the plastics are extruded into a mold, a laser is used to create highly precise shapes so that the trays fit around your teeth. Each of the trays is carved with a permanent number so that you know which tray in the series you are using. If you ever get confused about which tray is next in your proper sequence, you can check on the numbers carved into the trays. You will need to wear each tray for 20 to 22 hours per day or longer. After about two weeks, you will use the next tray.