Invisalign® - An Overview

Posted on: 6 August 2015

Crooked, twisted or uneven teeth can ruin your smile and affect your confidence.  Until recently, the recommended treatment for teeth straightening was unsightly braces.  Now, there's Invisalign®.  So, what's the difference?  Read on for an overview of the Invisalign® system.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign® is a discreet tooth straightening system used to correct gaping and crookedness of the teeth. 

Instead of ugly metal braces, virtually invisible 'aligners' are used.  These aligners are custom-made for each patient and, unlike fixed braces, are removable.  Over a pre-determined period, the aligners gradually move your teeth until they reach the desired position.

Although it's much more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, Invisalign is more expensive than a traditional brace.

What to expect at the dentist

Your initial visit will involve a thorough examination of your teeth by the dentist.  X-rays may be taken, and your dentist will discuss options with you before advising you on the best course of treatment.  The dentist will take bite impressions of your teeth which will be sent to Invisalign®, together with a detailed set of instructions giving details of the planned course of straightening treatment you'll undergo.

Technicians at Invisalign® will use advanced 3D imaging technology to create your custom-made aligners.  The number of aligners will vary from patient to patient depending on the treatment plan as set out by the dentist.  If you require a considerable amount of adjustment to your teeth, you may have as many as 48 clear, removable aligners.  People requiring a modest amount of realignment could have as few as a dozen aligners in their series.

On your next visit to the dentist, you will be given your first three sets of aligners.  The dentist will show you how to fit and remove them.  Each set of aligners is worn for two weeks.  You'll remove the aligners at mealtimes, when you brush and floss your teeth, and in order to clean them.  Every six weeks you'll need to return to the dentist so that he can check up on your progress and give you your next six week set of aligners.

Treatment timescales vary depending upon the extent of the correctional work required to give you a perfect smile but the average course is between nine and 15 months.  The treatment programme is complete when you've worn all the aligners. 

You'll need to wear retainers just at night for a further six months to guard against your teeth moving back to their original positions, and subsequently the dentist may recommend that you wear them a few times a week.

In conclusion

If you have crooked or very badly gaped teeth, have a chat with your dentist about the Invisalign® system.  This could be just what you need to give you that perfectly straight smile you've always dreamed of.