A Complete Guide to Invisalign Clear Braces

Invisalign versus braces

Invisalign has taken the orthodontics world by storm and made straighter teeth available to more people than ever before. If you want straight teeth but don’t want anyone else knowing that you’re wearing braces then these clear aligners could certainly be an option for you. These aligners are computer-generated in a state-of-the-art facility, you need to change the aligners once every two weeks with each aligner moving your teeth a small amount towards their final position.

Invisalign is perfect if you have a high profile job, are seen by many people each day or if you simply want to have orthodontics almost invisibly!

Traditional braces do however have the advantage of being able to move back teeth in more complex ways. For this reason Invisalign is normally only used to change the aesthetics of how your teeth look, particularly the front 6 teeth on the top and bottom, known as the aesthetic zone. If you need to have back teeth moved for functional reasons, in other words to achieve a better bite relationship between your top and bottom teeth, then traditional metal braces may be more suitable for you.

>> An argument for clear aligners and clear braces

Traditional braces

Traditional braces, often known as train track braces have a history of being highly effective yet they come with some possible disadvantages:

  1. Pain
  2. Discomfort
  3. Mouth sores
  4. Injuries caused by the wires
  5. Tooth decay caused by in adequate cleaning around the wires and brackets
  6. Plaque buildup caused by inadequate cleaning around the brackets and wires
  7. Difficulty eating

Invisalign

Invisalign on the other hand, uses clear aligners which are smooth and flexible making them extremely comfortable to wear. Mouth sores and ulcers on the inside of your lips don’t occur as they might do with traditional braces. Because you remove your Invisalign aligners to clean your teeth your ability to floss in between your teeth, in those hard to reach areas, is not affected.

Invisalign can also be removed for eating and so doesn’t affect your ability to eat all those things you like such as chips, crisps, pizzas, crusty bread, nuts and crunchy fruit… Plus lots more besides!

Invisalign procedure

Invisalign procedureAt your first consultation your Invisalign dentist in London will determine if Invisalign is right for you and whether you will benefit from the clear aligners that it provides. Many people have lots of questions to ask about Invisalign and this is your opportunity to do this.

A customised treatment plan will be created for you where your dentist will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth. This is to ensure that your teeth and gums are in good enough condition to begin Invisalign treatment. From these precise measurements Invisalign will create a digital 3-D image of your teeth now and your teeth how they will be once Invisalign treatment has been completed. This is what is known as a Clincheck ™. This is a virtual representation showing how your teeth will move at each stage of the Invisalign process.

Once you have agreed with your dentist this final to the position we can begin making the clear aligners which make up the Invisalign procedure. it depends on your exact treatment plan as to the number of aligners you have are typically each person we wear each aligner two weeks, for between 20 and 22 hours per day throughout your treatment. Treatment typically takes about one year.

Once treatment is complete it’s time to celebrate your new smile! You will be provided with a set of retainers to keep your teeth in a new position, these retainers should be worn at night to protect your new smile.

 

Invisalign braces pros and cons

The pros and cons of Invisalign are quite wide reaching, we thought the easiest way to summarise these is to put them into a table.

  Invisalign Metal braces
How does it work Invisalign uses a series of clear and removable aligners to straighten your teeth without wires or brackets fixed braces use wires and brackets to remove your teeth into straighter alignment
Nearly invisible yes No. Most fixed braces are noticeable
Removable during treatment yes No. You cannot remove fixed braces into treatment is completed
Treatment doesn’t involve metal that can irritate teeth and gums yes No. The metal wires and brackets used can cause mouth irritation
Allows you to brush and floss normally during treatment yes No. Fixed metal braces hinder the ability to reach the entire tooth/gum area when flossing
Provides a clear defined and virtual treatment plan from the start to completion of treatment (This is known as a Clincheck ™) yes No. Although your dental practitioner has a clearly defined treatment plan you will not be able to see what your teeth may look like during and after treatment.

Invisalign treatment time

Invisalign treatment times vary depending upon your own clinical situation. If you have many teeth which need to be moved or rotated to be in correctional alignment then your treatment may take longer. Here’s a summary of how long treatment times could possibly be with Invisalign.

Complexity of case Invisalign treatment Time
Simple 4 – 6 months
Intermediate 6 – 12 months
Complex 12 – 18 months

How much does Invisalign cost?

 

Treatment costs for Invisalign vary enormously from practice to practice. Typically treatments will cost around £2000. You should always make sure that the treatment cost is carefully laid out few in your initial assessment so that there are no hidden surprises. Some dental practices may try to hide costs from you, here are some ways that they may do this:

  1. Charging for extra appointments throughout the Invisalign process.
  2. Charging extra for retainers at the end of the treatment.
  3. Charging extra for x-rays and consultations before treatment.

Before you begin any treatment or even visit the practice in the first place we recommend that you ask about the total cost of treatment and include the points raised above.

 

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