For many people the idea of getting braces can be an overwhelming feeling. For years words like “metal mouth” and “tin teeth” have been used to describe those with braces. In the past teenagers and adults alike trembled at the thought of having to get braces but today getting braces is a pretty simple and low pain process. With great new technology many people are choosing to complete orthodontic treatment to get a great smile. In recent years clear braces have emerged as a top choice for those wanting to keep their smile looking good.

The idea of invisible or clear braces began to grow in the 1970’s. It was during this time that several experts began to focus their study on different treatment methods. Two decades later two Stanford students discovered that not wearing a clear retainer caused teeth to shift back to their positions before braces. Using 3D technology they came up with a system that used to create plastic retainers. These were based on scans from patients’ teeth. Monitoring the slow movement of of tooth alignment would eventually lead to a process called Invisalign.

Ceradyne, Inc. is a space company that is responsible for creating ceramics for defense, aerospace and industrial uses. Ceradyne, Inc. works with several other major groups which include the NASA Industrial Application Center and the University of Southern California. Ceradyne was searching for a unique material that could be used in infrared radomes. What they eventually discovered was known as translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA).

In the mid 1980’s Ceradyne was contacted by a company called Unitek Corporation. Unitek Corporation was searching for a strong see-through material that could be used in orthodontic treatment. After some back and forth, the two companies began working together on clinical trials. Just a year later Transcend Brackets were invented. The success of this product took off. Production would eventually reach more than 300,000 pieces a month. It is known as the most successful orthodontic product kickoff in history.

A lot has changed in the last three decades. Companies around the world have worked to develop technologies that are faster, stronger and produce much less discomfort. The ceramic invisible braces are still available today. These brackets are very strong and do not result in any stains. These amazing brackets blend in with the patients teeth and the the tiny rubber bands that hold the brackets together. These rubber bands are known as ligatures. The brackets themselves do not ever need to be changed. In most cases clear braces cost more than traditional metal braces. There are some cases when a person’s situation may be too severe and orthodontists have less control over what options a patient has.

The use of clear braces has grown tremendously over the past thirty years. Experts have found a way to make the materials stronger and less painful for patients. Although they are a little more expensive, they provide a great alternative for those who want to keep their smile looking really good.

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