A perfect smile can do wonders for your self-confidence and overall appearance. One popular method of achieving that is through Invisalign. This modern dental treatment offers a unique and personalised approach to straightening teeth.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable teeth aligners as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces. The aligners are custom-made for each patient, using advanced 3D computer imaging technology, ensuring a perfect fit and effective treatment.
How long does Invisalign take?
The duration of Invisalign treatment depends on the complexity of the case, but it generally takes between 12–18 months. Patients wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, before moving on to the next set. However, unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, and cleaning.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that are custom-made for each individual’s mouth. Here is a general overview of how the Invisalign treatment process works:
- Consultation. The first step is a consultation with an Invisalign-trained dentist or orthodontist. They will evaluate, discuss, and decide if Invisalign is right for you.
- Custom treatment plan. The doctor will take x-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3D image. From these images, the clinician will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth and tell you the approximate length of treatment.
- Aligners creation. Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners are created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do.
- Wearing your aligners. You wear each set of aligners for about 1-2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Your teeth will gradually shift into place as you replace each aligner with the next in the series.
- Progress assessment. Approximately every 6 weeks, you’ll visit your doctor to monitor your progress. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment.
- Maintaining results. After the active period of treatment is complete, you may be given a retainer to wear for a period of time to help maintain the results.
Invisalign can be used to treat a variety of orthodontic issues, including crooked teeth, crowded teeth, gaps in teeth, as well as certain bite issues such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
Who is qualified to offer Invisalign treatments?
Only qualified dentists or orthodontists, who have completed specialised training in Invisalign treatment, are authorised to offer this service. It’s important to choose a practitioner who has considerable experience with Invisalign, as their expertise greatly impacts the success of the treatment.
What are the key advantages of Invisalign?
Invisalign offers several advantages over traditional braces. First and foremost, they’re nearly invisible, allowing patients to straighten their teeth without the obvious appearance of metal braces.
Secondly, they are removable, providing a high level of convenience for oral hygiene and eating. This also means there are no dietary restrictions, unlike with traditional braces.
Thirdly, Invisalign treatments are generally more comfortable, as the aligners are smooth and do not irritate the inside of the mouth.
Finally, Invisalign allows for predictable treatment, as digital planning tools allow you to visualise the outcome even before starting the treatment.
“We see many adult patients who are keen to fix issues with their teeth but do not want to wear metal braces or for their treatment to be visible in anyway. This is particularly the case with patients who carry out a lot of face-to-face work in their professional life” says Dr Katy Pirayesh, principal dentist at Preston Circus Dental Practice. “We often recommend Invisalign to patients with these sorts of concerns, if they are suited to the treatment,” said Katy.
What are the disadvantages of Invisalign?
Despite the many advantages, Invisalign isn’t perfect. Since the aligners are removable, it requires commitment and discipline to wear them for the recommended 20–22 hours per day.
Additionally, Invisalign may not be suitable for severe orthodontic cases that require complex movements or significant bite correction.
Finally, they may cause minor discomfort, especially when a new set of aligners is worn for the first time.
Is Invisalign expensive?
The cost of Invisalign varies depending on the complexity of the case and the geographical location. It’s generally comparable to the cost of traditional braces, with London clinics charging between £1,500– £5,500 depending upon the specific requirements of the patient.
Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign just as they would other orthodontic treatments.
How should I choose an Invisalign dentist?
When choosing a dentist or orthodontist for your Invisalign treatment, consider their level of experience and expertise in the field. Look for a certified Invisalign provider and, if possible, seek out reviews from previous patients.
During your initial consultation, ask how many cases they’ve treated and what results they have achieved. Also, make sure you understand all the costs involved and how they’re covered by your insurance.
Invisalign offers a modern, customisable, and discreet approach to teeth straightening. With careful consideration and consultation with a certified provider, it could be the ideal choice for your orthodontic treatment.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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