Invisalign is a revolutionary product that allows you to straighten your teeth in a discreet and pain-free way, whilst still enjoying all your favourite food and drink. Invisalign braces utilises clear plastic and removable aligners in order to straighten your teeth.
The aligner itself is a series of custom moulded, very comfortable and nearly invisible plastic (It’s a BP free type of plastic which is 100% safe) that fit perfectly over your teeth like a mouth guard. The aligners are removable and each one is worn for a period of 2-weeks at a time before moving to the next set of aligners which gradually move your teeth to your final desired position.
The fact that Invisalign is clear and removable means that it can transform your smile easily without disturbing your daily routine. Even for those of us who always thought that a straight white healthy smile was only achievable by other people, Invisalign clear removable braces allows everyone the opportunity to achieve their ideal smile.
When needed, small tooth-coloured bonded attachments are used by your dentist or orthodontist to help the relevant teeth rotate to the desired position. Your plastic aligners simply fit over the top and whilst these attachments might bother you in the early days, you will quickly realise that no one notices them and that Invisalign is truly ‘invisible’ to most people.
To date, over 4 million people Worldwide have already benefited from this technology which is not only limited to those celebrities or the rich and famous but developed for everyday people like you and I in mind.
You can start planning your Invisalign treatment by searching online for your preferred certified dentist based on their level of expertise and location to you. Before a treatment plan can be created for you, your dentist will need to take Invisalign impressions - i.e. an impression or mould of your teeth. Making an accurate and detailed impression is the first and most important step in creating your custom aligners and should not be neglected.
This process is usually achieved by using a plastic tray and by mixing two different types of soft Putty, a clay like structure, which your dentist can mould onto the plastic tray and insert in your mouth to take the impressions of your teeth. This process needs to be repeated for upper and lower teeth and each tray will usually remain in the patient’s mouth for approximately 3-5 minutes, which is the time taken for the Putty to harden and set.
Another method used by dentists today is a special scanner called the iTero scanner, which scans your mouth to create 3D images of your teeth on the spot.
Whatever the solution, your dentist will then send your 3D or physical impressions to the Invisalign laboratory, to check your teeth can indeed be straightened using the appliance and to create a detailed treatment plan using ClinCheck®, Invisalign’s virtual 3D treatment plan simulation. ClinCheck is a 3D computer generated animation showing a series of movements your teeth are projected to go through over the course of the treatment. The Clincheck simulation is reviewed and approved by you and your practitioner prior to starting treament.
By choosing this method, you know exactly what to expect before you start treatment. Its’ important to note that not all teeth straightening methods are able to offer this type of 3D simulation in order for you to view your before and after prior to going ahead with treatment.
Next, your dentist will discuss your Invisalign treatment plan with you. By planning your treatment like this, you’ll know how frequently you will need dental appointments, what to expect during the treatment, and how long the treatment will take.
Malocclusion of the teeth is the technical term used by dentists to describe a misalignment problem that can lead to serious oral health complications. Patients often refer to those misalignment problems as crooked teeth, wonky teeth, crowded teeth, overbite, open bite, cross bite or large spaces and gaps between the teeth.
These deviations from ideal ‘occlusion’ can range from mild to severe cases. With any of the above malocclusions, the teeth are not able to perform vital functions, which can have serious consequences on both your oral and digestive health, not to mention they can also impact your confidence at work, in social settings or in your relationship.
Previously these issues could only be addressed by fixed braces, surgery or simply accepted as is. This is no longer the case with the technology and new material developments revolutionising the World of cosmetic dentistry.
Invisalign clear braces is a part of the new technology that has revolutionised cosmetic dentistry and due to its invisible nature, has allowed millions of people of any age or background to fix their teeth and get the smile they’ve always wanted.
You will need to discuss your options with your dentist to find out if Invisalign is suitable for you. Having said this, there are nearly no conditions which would exclude someone from being able to have Invisalign braces fitted. The Invisalign system is designed to suit everyone.
Invisalign aligners are the ideal solution for:
The speed of your Invisalign treatment depends on how far the teeth need to move in order to create your perfect smile and the type Invisalign braces recommended by your dentists.
For minor tooth movements and less complex cases, your dentist is likely to recommend a quicker solution such as Invisalign Lite or even Invisalign i7. Invisalign Lite is a lower priced solutions for less complex orthodontic cases, where malocclusion is limited to issues such as minor crowding or spacing. In some instances, Invisalign Lite is also used as a pre-cursor to restorative or cosmetic treatments to ensure teeth are in the desired position prior to placing things like veneers, crowns or implants.
The Invisalign Lite course of treatment is usually between 6-9 months and uses up to 14 sets of aligners with practitioners obtaining amazing results in a very short space of time.
Invisalign i7 is the cheapest solution available and prescribed primarily for non-complex and rapid cases which are usually limited to very minor crowding or spacing. The appliance is also often used to treat patients who previously had braces and have suffered minor relapse / movement and need slight corrective treatments to bring their teeth back to the desired position.
The treatment course uses 7 or fewer aligners, limiting the treatment course to 3-6 months.
The Invisalign full treatment will normally be used for more complex cases and will usually take between 12-18 months, although some extreme cases might take slightly longer.
In any of the treatment courses a refinement stage may be required. This extra stage allows you to complete any small movements that were not achieved initially by the first sets of aligners, either due to lack of compliance by patient, difficult or stubborn tooth movement or other unpredictable factors. A whole new set of records are obtained and sent off to Invisalign and a new round of aligners ordered that will be able to perfect the final movements required to achieve your desired position. There may be an additional cost attributed to this extra stage but it is usually nominal and discussed with your dentist prior to going ahead.
Single arch treatments are also available on the Invisalign system. This allows patients the flexibility and reduced cost in order to achieve their desired results should only the upper or the lower teeth require alignment. As the mouth is made up of 2 components working together the upper and lower jaws simultaneously provide functional chewing, swallowing speech etc and should always be evaluated as a whole but there are certain situations in which your dentist can definitely prescribe a single arch treatment in order to achieve your perfect smile. Ideally, both arches should be treated even if ever so slightly on the opposing arch in order to have a corresponding biting pattern at the end but there are options for some alignment on a single arch and can be discussed with your Invisalign dentist especially if cost is a limiting factor for you.
Unlike fixed metal or porcelain braces which are very visible and can be embarrassing for certain patients, Invisalign braces are clear and designed to be almost invisible. They are a perfect alternative for image conscious patients interested in straightening their teeth and will often go unnoticed by friends, relatives or work colleagues even after months of treatment.
Invisalign is therefore a far more suitable option for professionals, celebrities and anyone else interested in straightening their teeth in a way that is virtually unnoticeable to other people.
However, there are several reasons why people may be able to see your aligners. These are outlined below:
We have written a number of additional guide to help you assess whether or not Invisalign is right for you:
As part of your Invisalign treatment plan, your dentist will need to see you at specific time intervals in order to assess progress against your treatment plan. These check-ups are usually scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks, although in very specific circumstances, it is possible to have an 8-week period between visits (if you are going on holiday for example).
Invisalign review appointments will be an opportunity for you to discuss progress of your Invisalign treatment with your dentist and ask any question that may have arisen during the time which you wore your aligners and moved up in the series.
Your dentist will dispense your new sets of aligners for the following 6 -8 weeks which you will be able to take home with you after your review.
During your invisalign review visit, your dentist will usually:
These check-ups shouldn’t really take more that 15 to 20 minutes each time, unless a large number of attachments and buttons needs to be added.
Fixed metal and ceramic braces are very visible in that the brackets are glued to the face of a patient’s teeth. Invisalign, due to the clear nature of the brace therefore sounds like a more discreet option. However, one of the very important things to note is that most Invisalign patients will require attachments and sometimes buttons and elastics.
The reason for this is that clear braces alone are not enough to achieve more difficult tooth movements. This is the reason your dentist may recommend the use of Invisalign attachments. You’ll find out if you need to use attachments at the beginning of your treatment when your dentist shares your treatment plan and ClinCheck simulation with you.
In a nutshell, attachments are small tooth-coloured dots of dental bonding (usually matching the colour and shade of your teeth), in the shape of a small square, tear shaped or round button, applied to very specific locations on a patient’s teeth.
The purpose for these attachments is to provide an anchor point for the Invisalign brace, one that helps to direct the forces of the aligner more effectively to the tooth and retain the aligner itself.
The number of attachments required will depend upon your personal treatment plan and severity of your case (in other words how much movement or rotation is required), but unlike other treatments, Invisalign uses attachments usually on only a few of your teeth.
Buttons are similar to attachments in the sense that they are made of tooth coloured composite bonding material and adhered to specific teeth. The elastics which are strung from hooked cut outs on the opposite aligner grip to the buttons in order to to apply force from one arch to the other and modify the bite by guiding the jaw. By either bringing the lower jaw forward as in overjet correction or lower jaw backwards as in underbite correction, the elastics are clear and the buttons hardly visible. These buttons serve as the anchor points for the clear elastic rubber bands and the patient will be given sufficient elastics to change periodically throughout the day or as advised by the dentist.
Your practitioner will usually try to position any buttons close to the tooth’s gum line which usually keeps the visibility of those buttons to a minimum. Some patients can be self conscious about the elastics that run from the buttons to the hook cut out in the aligners or even from button to button when trying to rotate a stubborn tooth but in most cases they are able to cope well with buttons and elastics when advised appropriately by their dentist.
Remember that you might only need buttons and elastics for a few weeks until one tooth has reached the desired position or the bite has modified sufficiently. Brackets and wires plus elastics on fixed conventional braces on the other hand will be visible throughout the duration of your treatment and can be much harder to cope with.
Invisalign aligners are extremely effective in creating gradual tooth movements. They will gradually close any gaps in the teeth whilst straightening them. More difficult tooth movements can be achieved with the use of attachments, buttons and elastics. The sequence of aligners will move your teeth into a different position. Invisalign aligners have proven to be suitable for effectively correcting crooked or wonky teeth in teenagers and mature adults alike.
Be it an i7 treatment, Invisalign lite , Invisalign full or a single arch, the revolutionary system that is Invisalign has come to bring the public the chance to have a healthy, straight smile whilst not compromising results. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a beautiful smile and your invisalign treatment can be tailored in order to achieve just that!
Fixed metal or lingual braces make it a lot more difficult for patients to brush or floss their teeth. The position of the brackets along with the wires make it incredibly complicated for patients to reach certain places and brush their teeth properly. This added complexity means that a large number of patients often reduce the number of times they brush or floss, which means they place themselves at greater risk for complications such as gum disease or tooth decay. Those patients already prone to gum disease or cavities could find that wearing fixed appliances aggravates their condition. In any case, patients who are undergoing any type of orthodontic treatment should always maintain proper oral hygiene and visit the hygienist on a regular basis.
Invisalign clear braces are fully removable, which means that patients can easily brush their teeth and floss normally, as if they weren’t wearing any braces. The aligners themselves can also be cleaned in a few minutes by being brushed and clenaed under running water and simple hand soap or plunged into water containing either the Invisalign crystals or more generic anti-bacterial denture cleaning tablets.
Your Invisalign aligners will need to be kept clean. Not cleaning your aligners will allow bacteria to build up, and staining to the clear plastic trays will occur. You will need to clean your aligners twice each day to be on the safe side.
The Invisalign Cleaning System offers the ideal solution for cleaning your aligners. There are also a number of commercial products and homemade soaks you can use effectively for cleaning. It’s important to take your aligners out when you eat and drink anything other than water. This prevents unwanted damage to the plastic aligner trays.
One of the major complaints from patients wearing fixed metal or lingual braces is the fact that they tend to irritate their soft tissues. This comes from the way the brackets and wires scrape against their lips, cheeks and tongue, creating cuts which take days or weeks to heal due to the environment in which they are (the healing of the mouth takes longer due to the moisture and saliva) with many experiencing painful ulcers.
On the contrary, Invisalign braces are made of custom moulded plastic and have smooth contours, which prevent for the most part these issues. They are as a result more comfortable to wear. Some of your aligners might end up having slightly sharper edges than other. In those instances, your practitioner can easily smooth them over with a bur or filing disc or can advise you how you can tend to this yourself at home if need be.
When compared to conventional braces and other orthodontics appliances Invisalign is regarded as one of the most comfortable to wear amongst current straightening options.
In a number of cases, there are a few minor aches at first as the teeth move to fit each new aligner; a sign that the treatment is working. Usually, after you wear your aligners for a while, the aching becomes less noticeable. Some people find that the aligners irritate the soft tissues of the mouth when they first start wearing them, but this usually passes in a few days as the mouth adjusts to the new appliance as your feet would to a pair of new shoes.
It is worth noting that in specific cases where the malocclusion is more severe, your Invisalign practitioner might recommend the use of both “attachments” and “buttons” which can cause a higher degree of discomfort initially or at some point but most patients find they quickly adapt and cope and of course the visible progress with the aligners keeps patients motivated throughout treatment!
The cost of Invisalign clear braces is very similar to that of fixed and more conventional braces, making it a great alternative due to their invisible and removable nature. This in turn means a better quality of life and oral hygiene all around, without the increased price tag often linked to getting access to the latest technologies.
Your dentist will be able to tell you how much your Invisalign treatment is going to cost based on the complexity of your case and the country in which you live as prices may vary from country to country or even city to city. Many practices will offer interest free or low interest payments in order to pay for your treatment. There is usually an array of payments options available and you should consult with your dentist in regards to this as it makes getting treatment even easier than ever.
The average Invisalign treatment cost in the UK is between £2,500-£4,500, but specific treatments that require minor tooth movement will start from as low as £1,495.
As with any teeth straightening treatment, you will need to wear a retainer when your braces are removed or your aligner treatment comes to an end. Retainers will allow your teeth to stabilise in their new position after completing treatment. This is as important as the treatment itself as teeth continue to move throughout your life which could lead to a relapse after a few years.
There are multiple types of retainers that you can wear after your treatment, from fixed metal retainers that are permanently bonded onto the back surfaces of your teeth, to Vivera retainers, a removable retainer produced by Invisalign which you can wear at night and come in sets of 3.
Be sure to discuss this with your dentist prior to starting your Invisalign journey as this could have an impact on the final cost of your treatment. Although, you can usually wait until the end to choose which retainer type is right for you or even a combination of retainers as an option in your case.
Invisalign since coming to market worldwide is the preferred option for an increasingly large amount of patients looking to straighten their teeth as it not only achieves results similar to fixed metal or ceramic braces, but allows patients to carry on with their day-to-day activities without being self-conscious due to the clear and therefore almost invisible nature of the brace. Invisalign braces are made to move with you whatever it is you do on a daily basis.
The hygiene factor is also not negligible with Invisalign allowing patients to keep better dental hygiene throughout their treatment compared to fixed braces.
Finally, with the advancement of technologies, the price of Invisalign clear braces is now comparable to that of fixed braces or even less, making it the perfect solution for adults and teenagers looking to straighten their teeth without anyone else knowing. The current payment options available at most practices facilitate getting treatment for patients who have always hoped to straighten their teeth but never thought they could afford it.
If you are looking for an Invisalign dentist in your local area, look no further. Smileo has over 2,000 private dentists in the UK, all performing a range of different facial aesthetic treatments including Invisalign clear braces, 6 Month Smiles, Inman Aligners, Damon Braces, as well as traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and lingual braces. To find a practitioner near you, simply enter your preferred location in the search bar below and refine your search results to find the dentist that best suits your needs.
With Smileo, it has never been easier to meet the face behind your smile.