More than 6 million patients have chosen to straighten their teeth with Invisalign clear braces. Invisible orthodontics has revolutionised the field of cosmetic dentistry and patients can now achieve a beautiful straight smile in a way that does not interrupt their lifestyle or make them feel self conscious. Clear braces are socially acceptable, unlike fixed metal braces which are highly visible and mean restrictions for the patient such as more limited food and drink choices.
Yes patients want to have straight teeth, but for many the appearance of metalwork on their smile for the duration of treatment is a problem. Many adults missed out on braces for whatever reason when they were younger, and would feel self conscious wearing braces later on as an adult. For teens it’s the norm to wear braces, but for adults it simply isn’t. For this reason invisible orthodontics has given adults a whole new choice to align their teeth and age is no barrier. The length of treatment is 18 months on average, so wearing fixed braces for this long could be seen as a negative, compared to the lifestyle advantages provided by clear aligners.
Some dentists consider Invisalign as the leading orthodontic treatment, both because of the benefits during treatment in terms of aesthetics, and also because of the performance and results achieved. Satisfaction ratings are very high among patients both during and after treatment. Many patients wonder if the treatment is suitable for them – and for the majority of patients Invisalign is suitable and can treat the full range of orthodontic concerns which can be treated using traditional metal braces, but the aligners are removable and practically invisible.
Different systems are available to meet patient needs:
Invisalign Full – the original Invisalign system and most commonly used treatment as it can treat a wide range of concerns. Treatment lasts an average of 12 – 18 months with an average number of trays of 20-30.
Invisalign i7 – for minor adjustments, consisting of just 7 sets of aligners. Treatment can be as short as 3 months.
Invisalign Teen – developed for teenagers and similar to Full. Includes wear indicators to ensure sufficient wear time in addition to a design which allows for adult teeth to come through.
Invisalign Lite – This system fits between i7 and Full and is designed for moderate cases. Treatment lasts an average of 7 months.
The range of problems frequently treated with Invisalign include:
Crowded Teeth: where there is insufficient space on the upper or lower or both jaws, teeth will be pushed together and be positioned at different angles. Crowded teeth can cause a range of problems including uneven wear, staining and gum disease. This is due to the difficulty of cleaning the surfaces of all teeth.
Gaps: gaps can appear if teeth are missing or with large upper or lower or both jaws, which may have continued to grow.
Cross bites: Many orthodontic patients have cross bites, and is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This can cause uneven wear and gum disease.
Over bites: If the upper teeth reach further than or past the lower teeth, and this can cause jaw pain and other conditions.
Under bites: The opposite of an over bite, where the lower teeth reach past the upper teeth. Again this can lead to jaw pain and other conditions.
Treatment can be for upper and lower jaws together or upper or lower jaws only depending on requirements.
What benefits does Invisalign provide?
In addition to achieving a stunning smile, clear braces offer many advantages. The aligners are made of clear plastic and are fully removable. As there is no metal the trays are smooth and comfortable to wear, meaning there is no discomfort or soreness. Further as orthodontic forces applied are gentle and gradual there is no sudden adjustment to cause pain as there is with traditional metal braces.
Patients can smile right through their treatment and look forward to a great smile. Your confidence will be boosted all the way through as there are no visible metal wires and brackets to make you feel self conscious or advertise the fact that you are wearing braces. In fact patients can choose if they want to tell people they are having orthodontic treatment or not. Many patients report that no one actually noticed their aligners as they are virtually invisible.
Preview Your Smile
Your first step is to contact us for your smile assessment, using a digital simulation you’ll be able to preview your new smile. We will discuss your personal requirements and answer all of your questions.
Imaging will be taken using our i-Tero scanning element which will be used to create your treatment plan. The imaging will provide 3-dimentional digital images of your upper and lower jaws.
The imaging will allow us to move teeth that require re-alignment digitally, and view your smile and jaws from different angles.
After your smile assessment, if you decide to go ahead with treatment, your custom trays will be ordered and produced. The treatment and number of aligners needed will depend on your individual requirements, and 20 – 30 aligners are required per arch on average.
Wearing your aligners
When first wearing aligners, patients are often delighted when realising just how invisible the trays actually are.
Initially it will take a few weeks to get used to wearing your aligners, but this is a seamless process thanks to all the lifestyle advantages provided. You will need to wear your aligners constantly, only removing them when eating and drinking. The trays will need to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day. You can keep your aligners on when drinking cold water, but otherwise they need to be removed. This is because aligners are fine and are not designed to be worn when biting, chewing, eating or drinking, and food can also become trapped in the trays.
You will change up to the next aligners in the sequence around every 2 weeks, as outlined in your treatment plan. You will be able to see your progress week by week and the app provided by Align Tech allows you to upload photos so you can see the improvement in your smile. It should be noted that patients cannot reduce their daily wear time and extend the treatment duration, as this will lead to sub-optimal results. Your treatment plan should be followed for the best results.
How much does Invisalign cost?
Small adjustments can be as little as £1,500 with the i7 system, moderate adjustments around £2,000 with the Lite system. More complex adjustments are from around £4,000 with Full and Teen. Monthly payment options are available and health and dental insurance cover can also be used towards the cost of your treatment. Contact us for your free smile assessment and custom pricing.