Invisalign clear braces for straighter teeth

The idea of wearing the old metal braces makes most people hesitate, even if it means having perfectly-straight teeth. These traditional braces are quite unflattering and could even be the source of dental hygiene issues. With children and teens, these metal braces are acceptable - a part of their growing up. But with adults, braces can be embarrassing.

The good news is there is a new orthodontic treatment called Invisalign. Based on an invisible braces treatment system, this method has been very popular since its introduction in the market because of its discreteness. Invisalign involves the use of transparent aligners that are very effective in correcting crooked teeth as well. In the UK, Clearstep introduced a similar clear aligner system and simply referred to it as "Invisible Braces". In the same way that the Invisalign process works, these aligners gradually re-position teeth into the desired position.

Why Invisible Braces?

Compared to the traditional metal-wire-rubber band system, these invisible braces offer the following features:

  • Discretely Flattering
    Made especially to fit the patient's teeth perfectly, these clear-colored aligners will provide them with a discrete way to straighten their crooked teeth. And because they are unnoticeable, adult patients will never have to feel embarrassed or self-conscious.

  • Surprisingly Comfortable
    Wearing the traditional braces come with some level of discomfort because the metal-wire and rubber brand contraption is known to cause sores and gum problems. On the other hand, Invisalign braces do not react with tissues in the gum or cause abrasion. Patients will generally have a comfortable time wearing these brace system.

  • Greatly Convenient
    In most cases, traditional metal braces can lead to dental hygiene problems like gum disease or bad breath, arising from not being able to clean teeth properly. This happens when the build up in the teeth are not removed by proper cleaning, leading to plaques and tooth decay. Choosing Invisalign braces allow patients to properly clean their teeth because the aligners are removable. They can easily floss and brush teeth like ordinary people; thus, keeping a healthy dental hygiene program.

Comparing the old metal braces with Invisalign, patients will only have to go through each aligner set that is manufactured according to the treatment plan and will be worn for two weeks each time. The plan involves moving teeth gradually into a position that will result to straight teeth. The Invisalign treatment usually takes about 6 months to complete, although there are severe cases where the treatment could last up to 15 months. Patients will generally lead normal lives since these invisible braces do not cause any uncomfortable teeth or gum irritations or even simple disruption in day to day activities. They will have straight teeth without the hassles and pain.

Teeth Conditions Treated by Invisalign

Since its introduction in the market, Invisalign braces have been proven to treat many teeth conditions related to the alignment including the following:

  • Overly-crowded teeth - if teeth teeth are set too closely to each other, resulting to misaligned and crooked teeth, you have a condition that is known as over-crowding. With Invisalign, this can easily be corrected by opening up spaces between the patient's teeth and re-positioning the teeth so they line up perfectly.
  • Widely-spaced Teeth - another condition that is easily remedied with invisible braces is teeth that are set too wide apart. The usual treatment method for this condition is via veneers but with the creation of Invisalign aligners, this condition can be treated properly. The aligners will slowly yet effectively push the teeth together, removing all gaps without the removal of any tissues.
  • Overbites - some people possess upper teeth that are protruding and results to the condition called overbites. The use of the Invisalign treatment will easily push back teeth into the ideal position.
  • Underbites - on the other hand, when the lower teeth is the one protruding, the person has a condition called underbite and can also be corrected with the custom-made aligners from Invisalign.
  • Crossbites - smiles that appear twisted because of crossbites can easily be corrected with these aligners.

Does Invisalign remedy all orthodontic conditions?

Although the Invisalign treatment has been proven to be effective in correcting crooked teeth, there are still cases where the traditional braces work better. There are also teeth conditions where lingual braces, fixed at the teeth's back surface, are used to correct complicated cases.

What is the Invisalign procedure?

  1. Not all dentists/orthodontists are qualified to perform the Invisalign procedure. Only the Invisalign-certified orthodontists can assess teeth conditions, take dental impressions and also photographs.
  2. In order to create an accurate 3D model of the teeth, a CT or Computerized Tomography Scan of the models will be performed.
  3. With the 3D model as basis, a simulation of the teeth will be created using patented Invisalign software. The simulation will depict the movement of the teeth from its original to the desired position.
  4. After completing the simulation, an Invisalign orthodontist will assess the results and come up with the design for the aligners.
  5. These aligners will be manufactured using advanced SLA or stereolithography technology. The design was, of course, based on information obtained from the computer simulation. The final products are custom-moulded transparent aligner sets, each designed to be worn for two weeks. Depending on the complexity or severity of the teeth condition, aligner sets vary in number.
  6. Once all the aligner sets are completed, they will be sent to the orthodontist who requested them.
  7. The patient will be informed of the aligner's arrival. The orthodontist, upon giving the aligners, will provide clear and strict instructions on how to wear them. The standard number of hours that these aligners should be worn is 20 and patients are only allowed to remove them when eating and cleaning teeth. Progress checks will be done regularly to ensure that the treatment plan is being followed.

The Cost of the Invisalign Treatment

Prices of the Invisalign treatment vary and greatly depend on the complexity of the teeth condition. Another factor to consider is the expertise and experience of the orthodontist who will design and oversee the treatment. Patients can expect the "platinum Invisalign orthodontist" to charge a higher professional fee. Cost of treatment ranges from a minimum of £3000 to as much as £6000+. If patients find it too expensive, they can always discuss finance options and payment plans with the dentist. Many practices now offer 0% finance on Invisalign treatments.

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