Invisalign – a straight-talking approach to straight teeth

ID-100362461-stockimagesWe’ve all been there – looked at a wedding or holiday snap and wanted to change something about ourselves. Did you spot a twisted tooth or are your lips tightly sealed for fear of revealing terrible

teeth? If this sounds familiar, this month’s article is a must-read. It’s not just about transforming your smile, it really can transform your confidence and lifestyle.

Talking of transformation, it’s good to know that dental braces have moved on significantly in recent years. If you’re haunted by the prospect of intrusive metal braces from your school days, don’t be.

Invisalign’s revolutionary approach to straightening teeth makes them the world’s most unobtrusive orthodontic braces. What’s more, Invisalign uses a unique system whereby it digitally designs your smile beforehand using the most up-to- date computer technology. This makes it possible to straighten teeth in approximately 6-12 months.

We promise it’s not too good to be true. Here are the facts to prove it.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign alignersIt works by putting gentle pressure on a tooth, over a period of time, to gently guide it into a new position. You may have 10 – 30 sets of Invisalign braces during the course of your dental treatment.

Each brace will move the tooth a fraction – normally over a two-week period. As your tooth moves into its new position it will also positively impact the teeth around it, pushing them into the correct

place. The front part of the brace on the outside of your teeth will be pulling the tooth inwards and the inside part will be pushing the tooth outwards, gently rotating it into the correct position.

What does it look like?

That’s the beauty of the Invisalign aligner: the part which wraps around the front of your teeth is clear and unobtrusive. It nearly is invisible as the name suggests.

How do I know if I’m suitable for an Invisalign brace?

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. Your dentist will invite you to an initial consultation to

explore your suitability. Invisalign is typically suitable for people with:

  • crowded upper teeth
  • crowded lower teeth
  • protruding front teeth
  • gaps between the teeth
  • uneven teeth
  • misaligned teeth

Can it improve my bite?

It is less suitable for people with biting problems as it cannot be used to move back teeth.

the invisalign stepsHow will my aligner be fitted?

The actual dental process is very simple and pain-free.

  • Step 1 – Your dentist will assess your teeth for suitability and have a discussion with you about the pros and cons of using Invisalign.
  • Step 2 – Dental impressions will be taken and sent off to the specialist laboratory. They will then be digitised and your new smile created on-screen.
  • Step 3 – A few weeks later, the braces will be sent back to the dentist ready for your next appointment.
  • Step 4 – You have your first aligner fitted and your dentist will give you instructions on how to look after it and wear it. You will also be provided with further aligners, which you will need to change every two weeks. Expect regular check ups throughout the course of your treatment to ensure everything is on track.

 

How often will I need to wear my Invisalign braces?

The recommended daily amount to wear your Invisalign aligner for is 20 hours per day, only taking it out whilst you eat and brush your teeth. Be prepared to commit to wearing your aligners for this

period of time to get the best possible results.

What if I don’t wear my braces for the recommended length?

If you only wear your aligner for 11 hours per day you could end up doubling the amount of treatment time overall.

Will I be able to eat with Invisalign?

Simply remove the aligner whilst eating and for cleaning.

ID-100116413 by imagerymajestic

What results can be expected with Invisalign?

Once again, your dentist will discuss what can be achieved and manage your expectations. It’s not always possible to achieve a perfect result using this type of clear orthodontics, it depends on how severe your dental condition is. From a cosmetic perspective, you can typically expect your front (anterior) six teeth to move into a more aesthetically appealing position.

How much does Invisalign cost?

Invisalign typically costs between £2,000 and £3,000.

What if I have a chipped tooth?

You may have a chipped tooth but have found that dental veneers aren’t possible due to the angle/position of the tooth. 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?

The aligners should not cause you any pain. You may find that your teeth feel a little tender for the first week or so. As the pressure from the brace reduces, you should quickly become more

accustomed to this sensation.

How do I choose an orthodontist near me?

Choosing where to go for your Invisalign braces can be a bit of a mine field, so how do you choose an orthodontist? Here are our four tops tips for finding someone reputable along with questions to ask before making that all-important decision. It’s all about giving you complete peace of mind.

Finding an orthodontist

Tip 1 – Ask for recommendations.

The best way to find many things in life is to ask your friends and family, personal recommendations are one of the best ways to ensure that your service providers are of the highest quality. So it

literally is word of mouth on this occasion! If you have friends that have worn dental braces, these make them the ideal people to approach. Towards the end of this blog post will also give you a list of questions that you could ask your preferred dentist once you have found them.

“I’ve been with Dr Jones for over seven years now. Seven years with a trouble-free mouth!

Dr Jones expertly resolved a number of long-standing problems that previous dentists had failed to fix. She has a great team too. She has a great team too. I only wish I had found her sooner!”

– (HC – November 2015)

Tip 2 – Search on Google

Modern technology is extremely clever and it is likely that Google will know your geographical location, so searching for something like ‘orthodontist near me’ should return some good results. It is important to remember that just because someone is top of the search results it does not mean that their clinical services will also be first-rate. To point you in the right direction, here are a few things to look out for on a dental practice website which would indicate that they are a trustworthy dentist:

  • Lookout for patient testimonials and reviews, these tell you how good the service was from this practice. Keep your eyes peeled for sites with lots of reviews, ideally recent ones.
  • Does the dental practice offer a low risk way of meeting with them in the first place, either by a free consultation or perhaps a discount off the initial assessment?
  • Is the website regularly updated? Look for a date on the website, this is often at the foot of the page. ‘Last update’ or ‘copyright date’ are a good indicator of how often the site is updated. A frequently updated site indicates a dentist that wants to hand out the most recent and useful information.
  • Does the website display registration numbers for all of the dentists? The General Dental Council require all dentists to list their GDC numbers on the website, this gives traceability and ensures you are visiting a registered dentist.

Tip 3 – Ask your existing dentist

Another way to find a dental practice that can offer orthodontics near you is to ask your existing dentist. General dental practitioners often refer other dentists in the local area, if you ask your general dentist for a referral then they should be able to recommend an orthodontic practice locally to you.

Tip 4 – Tap into other online resources for orthodontics

The following places give some good information on your options.

British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry aims to promote clinical excellence in cosmetic dentistry, that is carried out in an ethical, minimally invasive way. They have a list of various treatment options which explains how the treatment works and what it may end up costing.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments Information Guide

This is a completely independent website which lists your options, sorted by dental problem For example, you could view ‘Straighter teeth’ and see all of your options available.

Wikipedia Cosmetic Dentistry Options

As ever, the Wikipedia community continues to keep this page updated with most of the modern treatments available.

We recommend you take some time to view each of these resources to see which treatment option may be best for you. We would then be privileged to answer any questions personally by way of an initial consultation.

Questions that you could ask before having treatment and/or at your initial assessment

Once you have found a dentist you believe may be right you or your child, it’s time to book an initial appointment. Many dentists offer either a free consultation or perhaps a discount off your initial assessment fee. Ensure that you are given adequate time to ask all of the questions you feel appropriate, sitting in a relaxed environment. If you’re typically nervous in the dentist’s chair, why not have a chat over a cup of coffee to help the conversation flow.

Q1 – Are you certified?

Each of the differing orthodontic systems, including Invisalign, have extensive training courses and certification programs. Dentists offering these systems should have certificates clearly displayed. Specialist orthodontists are the only dental professional entitled to use the word specialist, this means they have postgraduate training enabling them to offer a wider range of treatments.

Q2 – How long have you been offering orthodontics?

This question also helps you identify the experience of your chosen dental professional.

Q3 – How many patients have you treated?

Again, another question to help you identify experience.

Q4 – Can I see examples of your work?

A good dentist should have plenty of examples to show you, before and after photographs are a great way to help you understand your treatment. Your dentist may be able to show you

photographs of patients treated with clinical situations very similar to your own, this will give you a good understanding of what the possible results maybe.

Q5 – How often will you review my progress?

Before you commit to treatment you will want to know how often you may have to visit the dentist.Finding a good quality dentist near you will make things as convenient as possible. With orthodontics, you may find that you need to visit the dentist roughly every 4-8 weeks.

Now that you have all of this information about finding the right dentist for your Invisalign treatment we know you will feel comfortable to request an appointment here at The Dental Centre London. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Author: Dr Kala Jones

Dr Jones qualified from the Royal London Dental Hospital in 1981 and spent time both in hospital service and general practice before being appointed by University College London in 1985 as one of their dentists. Two years later she was appointed by UCL to become the Principal Dentist and has been managing The Dental Centre for the last 24 years

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