Most people will agree that, given the choice, they wouldn’t like to have the traditional metal braces that have been used to straighten teeth for decades. Thankfully, there is an alternative available, one that is becoming increasingly popular. Have you ever thought you would love to have a straighter smile, but worry about feeling silly as an adult with braces in? If so, Invisalign could be the answer.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a set of clear braces that sit over the natural teeth and slowly mould them into a more desirable position. They are generally considered more comfortable than traditional braces and are barely detectable when worn. Invisalign braces are removable too, which makes eating much easier and cleaning them a simpler process.
What does Invisalign treatment involve?
Firstly, the patient has a dental impression taken, which will be used to shape the clear shell that will fit over the teeth, then x-rays and photographs are taken to make sure all information is accurate and recorded. Using the latest in 3D technology, dental technicians will then create a model which will simulate how the teeth need to move to become straight. After all this has been reviewed and your treatment has been approved, a plastic shell will be formed to fit over the teeth. You will even be allowed to see what the results will look like, thanks to modern computer programming.
In cases where patients have teeth that need to be rotated or moved a lot, attachments may be included with the braces, in order to deal with individual problem teeth separately. Elastic bands are also frequently used to realign the jaw and alter its movement.
How long will Invisalign take?
Patients with Invisalign braces can expect to use them for about a year, of course this depends on how much treatment was required in the first place, people with more complicated problems might need to wear them for a while longer. On average Invisalign treatment takes between 9-15 months to complete. It’s important to wear your braces for twenty-two hours of the day during treatment, without consistent use they won’t perform as well or as quickly.
After the initial period treatment period is over, most dentists will advise you to wear a similarly constructed plastic retainer at all times to begin with, then at night for some time afterwards.
Is Invisalign better than fixed appliances?
In most cases Invisalign braces are just as effective as traditional braces. Invisalign is less likely to cause root resorption than fixed braces as it is a removable appliance. Fixed brace are more difficult to clean than a removeable appliance such as Invisalign and so with fixed braces there is greater risk of tooth decay and gum problems if the oral hygiene is not perfect.
In addition, Invisalign is thought to be much more comfortable than other orthodontic braces. After the initial discomfort of the teeth shifting they are very easy to deal with, and barely noticeable in everyday life – something that makes them very popular. There are also considered much more accurate, due to the way they are formed with computers. Invisalign provides a constructed image of the outcome, and patients can actually see what their new smiles might look like using the Invisalign Clincheck before and after videos.
Most dentists offering this treatment – like the ones at the Pearl Dental Clinic in London – are confident that using Invisalign is a much more cosmetically acceptable way to straighten teeth for adults. There have also been claims that the clear cases result in straighter teeth in the short-term, but there is still a chance that teeth will relapse to their original state if retainers aren’t worn under instruction.
Are there any alternatives to Invisalign?