One of the most rapidly growing areas of dentistry is that of invisible orthodontics. Invisalign has paved the way in this revolutionary style of orthodontic treatment, providing almost invisible clear aligners to help straighten crooked teeth and avoid the old fashion style metal braces.
This article takes a detailed look at the aligner, from the cost, the problems, the results and the process.
How does Invisalign work?
At the beginning of treatment the clear aligner may only be putting pressure on a single tooth, but as the treatment progresses and that tooth moves into position other teeth will then be touched and affected which means these will also have pressure pushing or tipping them into the correct place.
As you move through treatment you will replace each clear aligner with a new one, the process then begins again moving teeth gently and slowly towards their final place.
This action is limited to smaller amounts, if your teeth are extremely rotated you may find that Invisalign is not suitable for you, in which case another form of orthodontics may be best.
What results can be expected with Invisalign?
The important thing to remember is that we should be limiting our goals and expectations, we are not trying to achieve the perfect result using this type of almost invisible orthodontics. We’re not necessarily trying to fix your bite although the bite can be affected and often improved.
Using Invisalign we are primarily focusing on the front (anterior) six teeth and moving them to a more acceptable cosmetic position.
The process of having an aligner
The actual dental process is very simple.
- Your dentist will assess your teeth for suitability and have a discussion with you about the pros and cons of having Invisalign.
- Dental impressions will be taken and sent off to the laboratory.
- The Invisalign company will then computerise these models and create an image of what you can look like afterwards, this reconstruction is in the form of the video where you will be able to see your teeth moving.
- About two weeks later the clear braces will be sent back to the dentist ready for your appointment.
- You have your first dental aligner fitted and the dentist will give you instructions on how to look after it and wear it.
- You will replace each aligner approximately every two weeks with a new one.
- You will be given a few aligners at a time, returning to your dentist regularly to check on your tooth movement and make any adjustments.
Problems with Invisalign
There are generally very few problems with Invisalign. One problem people experience is not wearing Invisalign for long enough each day. The recommended daily amount is to wear your aligner for 20 hours per day, only taking it out whilst you eat and brush your teeth.
This means it takes some effort on your part to ensure that you do your thing to be part of the process and help things along. If you only wear your aligners for 11 hours per day you could end up doubling the amount of treatment time, which contradicts one of the main reasons for using this type of orthodontics in the first place.
Will I be able to eat with my clear aligners?
You will not be able to eat whilst wearing your orthodontic aligners. You need to remove the aligner whilst eating and for cleaning.
What will the results be like after wearing the aligners?
How much does Invisalign cost?
The Inman Aligner typically costs between £2,000 and £3,000
Would clear aligners work for me?
Invisalign is typically suitable for people with:
- Crowded upper teeth
- Crowded lower teeth
- Protruding front teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Uneven teeth
- Misaligned teeth
It is less suitable for people with biting problems and cannot be used to move back teeth. The aligner can also be used in what is known as pre-restorative alignment.
By using Invisalign to move the body of the tooth into the correct place it allows your dentist to restore them using veneers, bonding or crowns in a more conservative and natural way.
Does Invisalign hurt?
There should not normally be any pain when wearing this type of orthodontic brace. You may find that your teeth feel a little tender for the first week or so but as the pressure from the brace reduces you should become more accustomed to this pressure.
Here’s a great video which shows a patient having an Inman Aligner From Start To Finish…
What does Invisalign look like?
Invisalign is almost imperceptible whilst being worn. You will probably find that no one ever knows that you are wearing orthodontic braces.
Compare these images of a patient wearing metal braces in the background, quite obvious, to the patient wearing Invisalign in the foreground, almost imperceptible.
Dove Dental Care a cosmetic dental practice in Derby offering Invisalign and Six Month Smiles to people wanting straighter teeth with no one else knowing.