The History of Invisalign

The History of Invisalign
Posted on 02/19/2018

two girls smiling

You’ve probably heard of Invisalign, but did you know how it grew to be one of the most popular orthodontic treatments around? At Niagara Peninsula Orthodontics, we want to provide you with the facts about Invisalign, before you visit one of our four office locations for a consultation. 

Learn more about the history of Invisalign below, and contact Dr. Pershad and his team if you have any additional questions!

Who Invented Invisalign?

In the mid-1990s, a Stanford University student named Zia Chishti conceived of the basic design of Invisalign clear removable aligners while undergoing adult orthodontic treatment. During his time wearing a removable retainer, he thought that it was a great idea to leave the whole process of straightening teeth up to a series of clear removable aligners that fit snugly over the teeth.

In 1997, Chishti partnered with Kelsey Wirth to seek developers for Invisalign. As Stanford University students, it made sense to look for partners on their own campus, and they were right because they found the partners they were looking for in Apostolos Lerios and Brian Freyburger. This is when Align Technology, the creators of Invisalign was established. Today Align Technology has more 3,000 employees and an annual revenue of over $550 million.

What Did it Take to Develop Invisalign Aligners?

Once the partners officially launched Align Technology and got the first investors they needed, they began developing Invisalign aligners in a Menlo Park, California garage. After a lot of hard work that included carrying out intensive research in CAD modeling and using 3D printers to get the aligners made, the necessary computer programming was perfected thanks to a campus lab the four early developers had access to. By 1998, the FDA granted approval for Invisalign to Align Technology, to mark the start of the revolutionary new way to straighten teeth.

Did Orthodontists Embrace Invisalign?

Initially, orthodontists were resistant to adopting Invisalign because the founders had no orthodontic credentials or expertise. However, this resistance eased as word spread across North America about the innovative new way to straighten teeth with clear, removable aligners.

When Did the Idea Become a Reality?

Thanks to a massive $31 million TV advertising campaign that was launched in 2000, consumers showed great interest in the idea of being able to discreetly and conveniently straighten their teeth wearing a series of clear, removable aligners. This consumer demand spurred orthodontists in the United States to undergo Invisalign training so they could begin to offer Invisalign as an alternative to traditional braces. By 2001, 75 percent of all orthodontists in North America had undergone official Invisalign training. Today, Invisalign is one of the most popular orthodontic treatment methods ever developed.

Contact Us For St. Catharines Invisalign!

At Niagara Peninsula Orthodontics, we proudly offer Invisalign treatment to adults and teens with certain orthodontic problems/issues. If the idea of improving the appearance and health of your smile using clear removable aligners sounds exciting, then it’s time to visit us for a free Invisalign consultation! We have four convenient office locations in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Fonthill and Beamsville. Simply request an appointment online, and one of our team members will reach out to confirm. We look forward to hearing from you soon!