Are you tired of hiding your smile? Do you think you need braces but feel you are just too old for train tracks?
You will be pleased to know you are not the only one. Many patients come to our practice with the same concerns. That’s why our team at Bridge Dental offers the Invisalign system as an alternative to those patients that are highly concerned about their smile aesthetics.
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The Invisalign system has undoubtedly revolutionised the field of Orthodontics. Invisalign was the first company that proposed clear aligners as an invisible method of straightening crooked or misaligned teeth. It’s the clear aligner company with most providers worldwide, and it’s the top choice for those patients looking for discreet orthodontic treatment.
Clear braces or clear aligners?
Both terms refer to the same oral appliance. Clear aligners, or clear braces, are see-through, plastic aligners custom-made for each patient. They are made of a very thin, non-toxic, medical-grade plastic that fits perfectly, making them virtually invisible.
Am I a suitable candidate for Invisalign?
Many patients are eligible for this treatment: the Invisalign system has come a long way. Even moderate crowding and deep overbites can be corrected with clear aligners. However, some complex cases in which the patient’s occlusion is severely compromised still require traditional orthodontic treatment.
Conditions that can be hard to treat with Invisalign or contraindicated altogether include:
- crowding and spacing over 5 mm
- skeletal discrepancies
- severely rotated or tipped teeth
- open bites (anterior and posterior) that need to be closed
- extrusion of teeth
- arches with multiple missing teeth.
Invisalign is the pioneer in this kind of Orthodontic therapy. It is the most innovative company in the field: Invisalign technics have developed cutting-edge technology and materials still protected by intellectual patents. Invisalign has transformed nearly 10 million smiles worldwide, and in 2019, it was ranked as one of the most wanted non-surgical aesthetic procedures, with 91% of satisfied patients.
We advise patients to be extra careful with those companies advertising DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) aligners. These aligners might look similar to the ones given by a dentist or Orthodontist, but the main problem with this kind of service is that, in most cases, treatments have no professional oversight.
There are two ways of getting DTC aligners. In most cases, interested people just book an appointment in one of the commercial branches of a particular brand to get their smile scanned by an employee. But in other instances, they don’t even see a person: the company just sent a DIY impression kit so that people can take their impressions and post them back.
Getting clear aligners without the supervision of a dentist or Orthodontist can be detrimental to oral health for three reasons:
- First and foremost, clear aligners are not suitable for all patients.
- Secondly, moving teeth without clinical and radiographic examination can be risky, as not all teeth are healthy enough to receive the pressure needed to be aligned.
- Finally, most patients need to receive dental attention before starting the treatment (treat cavities or periodontal disease). Failure to solve those issues on time can severely compromise the final results.
Aligners and traditional braces work under the same principle: crooked or misaligned teeth receive a gentle but steady pressure that gradually shifts them into the correct position.
But that’s where the similarity ends. While in traditional orthodontic treatments, metallic brackets and wires apply the pressure needed to move teeth, the Invisalign system uses these transparent plastic trays to achieve the same results in even less time.
What to expect during my Invisalign treatment
The first step is to schedule a consultation with our certified provider. Our team at Bridge Dental has undergone extensive training to provide this service. During this first appointment, we will examine your smile and take x-rays to see if an Invisalign treatment is possible in your particular case. Together we’ll discuss your treatment expectations.
If you are an eligible candidate and you and our dentist agree on this option, treatment begins. We will scan your smile and take some photos, and all this information will be sent to Invisalign. Our dentist will work closely with the Invisalign team to detail the treatment plan to make you smile again.
In the next visit, we will explain the treatment plan in detail and show you a 3D digital model of how your smile will look after the treatment – no surprises; you get to see results even before the treatment starts.
Fitting the aligners…
When our dentist confirms the treatment plan, Invisalign prints the custom-made aligners using state-of-the-art 3D printers, ensuring a perfect fit. On the third visit, the first set is fit, and you are given multiple sets of aligners that should be changed every 10 or 15 days. Each set of aligners is slightly different from the previous one and progressively guides your smile to the desired results.
The aligners should be worn at least 22 hours a day. This is one of the most critical aspects of this treatment: it depends entirely on the patient’s will. Wearing them less often than the suggested time will only complicate or lengthen the treatment.
Every 4-8 weeks, you should return to the practice for clinical checkups with our dentist to evaluate if the treatment is on the right track.
Benefits of clear aligners
- Virtually invisible: nobody will notice them. You will smile with confidence during the entire treatment.
- Hygienic: the aligners are easy to clean. And as they are removable, you can efficiently complete your brushing and flossing routine without inconvenience.
- Comfortable: you can remove them whenever you have an important meeting or a social event. Do you practise sports? You will be able to wear your mouthguard with no problems.
- Gentler on teeth: the constant pressure applied by the aligners is lighter, so the chances of periodontal problems are significantly lower.
Will Invisalign change my routine?
Wearing the aligners is comfortable and straightforward. The only additional care you need to take is to clean the aligners after removing them. It’s advisable to rinse them with warm water and the solution that the Invisalign Patient Kit provides.
It’s crucial to highlight that you cannot eat or drink anything but clear water with the aligners on, as they can get stained. It’s essential not to drink fizzy or sugary drinks while wearing the aligners, as the liquid can seep into the trays and stay in contact with teeth for an extended time. This prolonged exposure can end up in tooth decay.
How long will the treatment last?
The length of treatment depends on the complexity of the case. A simple alignment treatment can be completed in as little as six months, but a more severe orthodontic problem can take more than 24 months to be resolved.
The bright side is that clear aligners are fast. If the aligners are properly worn, most patients notice results a few weeks after starting the treatment.
Does it hurt?
Not really. Patients will only feel slight discomfort when changing aligners, but it only lasts a few days. Most of the time, you won’t notice you are wearing the trays.
How much does it cost?
Treatment prices fall between ￡2500 and ￡5000, and they are set according to the number of aligners needed for each treatment. There are more affordable options in the market, but none have the same success rate as Invisalign. Those companies advertising even more accessible treatments are usually offering DTC aligners.
If you feel you might be a suitable candidate for clear braces, contact our practice and book an appointment with our certified professional. Together we can discuss your treatment alternatives to achieve the smile you dream about.