Who Makes the Treatment Plan, the Dentist or the Invisalign Company?

It seems there is some confusion on who ultimately sets the treatment plan for patients using Invisalign. Does the dentist set the treatment plan, and the company basically fills the prescription, or does the Invisalign company advise the dentist on the best treatment plan?

Doctor Answers 9

The dentist/orthodontist determines the goals of the treatment plan

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This is a great question and the answer can determine the quality of the result.  There are several important steps in assuring the result is a good as can be.  Step #1.  Proper training and experience of the Invisalign doctor.  Experience in both orthodontics and Invisalign treatment can make the difference between a great result and a disappointing one.  Select your Invisalign orthodontist/dentist with this in mind.  Step #2  Submission of the plan by the dentist to Align Technology.  Although an Align Technician can help with a plan, the responsibility for this should properly be with the orthodontist/dentist and will help to determine the quality of the result.  Step #3 A Clincheck is provided by Align Technology to the treating doctor.  He then reviews it and decides if the plan will get the best result.  If not, he or she can alter the plan (as many times as he/she wants) to get the best result.  Step #4 Approval of the plan starts the process of making the aligners.  Step#5 Shipping to treating doctor.  Step #6 Checking and seating of aligners and the beginning of treatment.  I hope the listing of this sequence is helpful.  It really is a very sophisticated process.  With great patient cooperation and a well experienced Invisalign provider, an excellent result can be yours.

Invisalign best treatment is in the hands of the treating doctor.

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Invisalign aligners are a medical device as are traditional braces. The use of the device and the intended outcome is in the hands of the prescribing doctor. The company that produces the aligners helps in creating the product but it is the treating doctor that decides on the specific movements of teeth that will enable the creation of the desired results.

Dan Hagi, DDS
Toronto Dentist

The treating doctors MUST set the treatment plan for Invisalign...

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Invisalign will send back to the treating doctor an initial "clincheck" or working model of how the predict the teeth lining up and the bite coming together. It is up to the orthodontist/dentist, based on their orthodontic education and experience, to then recommend changes to the technician to modify the clincheck so that the clinical result is predictable, and more importantly, excellent.

Mazyar Moshiri, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

The dentist/orthodontist should determine the treatment plan

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Invisalign is a medical device and it is up to the orthodontist/dentist to write the prescription, ie set the treatment plan, based upon the patients occlusion, as well as the desires and needs of the patient. This is what sets different invisalign providers apart, and is one of the reasons why some invisalign cases get better results than others. Choosing an invisalign provider who is experienced and has achieved at least premier provider status is recommended. 

In some comples cases, I have consulted the advice of the orthodontist on staff at Invisalign, but I do not rely on the invisalign technicians.

Gabriela Hricko, DDS
New York Orthodontist

Invisalign Treatment Plan - Buyer Beware

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The treating dentist can be as involved as they wish in the planning of the case. Personally I request specific movements, timing of those movements and sequence of the movements. At the other extreme a dentist can send a case in with limited instructions such as "straighten teeth" and answer a few multiple choice questions about the case. In this senario the dentist and patient are at the mercy of how good the Invisalign technician is.

This planning is what you are are really paying for when you see an orthodontist who has spent a lot of time training with Invisalign to produce the best results.

Samie A. Thabet, DMD, MSD
Germantown Orthodontist

The orthodontist makes the Invisalign Treatment Plan

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This is a great question, and ultimately the answer is that the dentist is the one who makes the treatment plan.  When your impressions are sent to Invisalign, they are sent with a set of instructions that the dentist has prepared.  Sometimes these are default instructions that the dentist originally set up, but they should be modified and expanded for each and every separate patient.  I do know that there is a tool available from Invisalign to dentists who are not orthodontists (specialists in moving teeth) that allows them more guidance from the technicians or dentists at the Invisalign company, but as an orthodontist, I am not very familiar with this tool.

Andrew Orchin, DDS
Washington DC Dentist

Who sets the treatment for invisalign

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When a patient comes in for an invisalign consultation and decides to proceed with treatment, we ask our patients what their chief complaint is.  When we fill out the prescription we tel invisalign what we want them to do.  They incorporate that into a computer simulation showing the before, during and after.  The dentist can make changes as many times as necessary until they are happy with the results.  We are a Premier Preferred Provider and have lots of experience utilizing invisalign

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Who Makes the Treatment Plan, the Dentist or the Invisalign Company?

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Who Makes the Treatment Plan, the Dentist or the Invisalign Company?
There is only one company manufacturing invisalign. Does it matter which provider I go to?

Invisalign is just like dental implants meaning it’s a medical device so experience and dedication of your doctor has a lot to do with how the results may turn out.  We can use Clincheck software to modify the treatment based on x-rays, photos, 3D model, PAN, CEPH, and patient’s desire.  Some can diagnose, treatment plan and treat complex cases after years of experience and some are new and are not familiar with this new technology.  The ranges of outcomes vary greatly depending on which invisalign provider you go to! The more I have learned about clincheck software, invisalign treatment planning and Cephalometric analysis, etc, the more time I now spend sometimes even hours to treatment plan most difficult cases… Just because you see certain movements on the 3D software, this does not mean they are realistic and modifications have to be made for proper realistic outcome.

Generally speaking you get what you pay for is true in this case. Of course, patient compliance also matters greatly in the types of results. We have had many extremely difficult cases with unbelievable results and then few easy cases with less than ideal results if the patient was not fully compliant to wear aligners as instructed or not keeping good hygiene, etc.

Invisalign and Clincheck Software are tools just like carpenter’s tools but each carpenter will produce varying quality of work based on their experience, dedication and innovation.  

Daniel Noor, DMD, PC
New York Dentist

Don't Trust a Computer Geek in Costa Rica with Your Smile!

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The results you obtain with Invisalign aligners is determined by two things. First, the diagnosis and treatment plan, and second how well you wear your aligners. It is a huge misconception that all Invisalign treatment will turn out exactly the same. Invisalign is just a system that can deliver forces to your teeth to move them. If the forces are prescribed correctly, and if you apply those forces (wear the aligners), you will get a good result. Any dentist can order a set of aligners just as any one can buy a set of golf clubs. It is the skill of the doctor that will determine how your smile will turn out just as it is the skill of the golfer that will determine where that silly white ball will go. When your doctor sends Invisalign a set of impressions, he is presented with a preliminary treatment plan entered into a computer by a "technician" in Costa Rica that has no orthodontic training. The Costa Rican merely follows a generic set of guidelines and then turns the case back over to the submitting doctor. It is the doctor's responsibility to prescribe the movements, study the staging, prescribe the appropriate attachments, and determine if the velocities of movement are feasible. While it is possible that a general dentist can develop the diagnosis and treatment planning skills necessary to achieve a good result, orthodontists have advanced training in diagnosis, tooth movement, biomechanics, etc. If you get your aligners from someone without experience and training, you will not acheive the same results even though your aligners will arrive in the same box. Don't be satisfied with a smile created by a computer geek in Costa Rica. Find an orthodontist who really understands diagnosis and treatment planning and uses Invisalign as just one of many orthodontic tools.

Greg Jorgensen, DMD, MS
Albuquerque Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.