Invisalign® is a cutting-edge orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth, and minimise gaps between teeth. Its innovative design utilises a series of clear retainers in place of traditional metal braces, which is why the system is popularly referred to as "invisible braces".

What does the process of having Invisalign involve ?

Bite impressions are taken of your mouth, and are used in conjuction with the latest in 3-D computer imaging to create a series of tailor-made, clear retainers (aligners) for your individual requirements. The initial retainer will exactly match the current positioning of your teeth, with each successive retainer slowly moving your teeth, with gentle pressure, into the desired configuration to give you a natural, straight smile. Each Invisalign® retainer is worn for 24 hours a day except during meals, and is worn for 2 weeks until the next aligner is then introduced. This process is repeated unitl the optimum alignment of the teeth is achieved, and therefore the number of retainers worn is dependent on the individual (often averaging between 18-30).The complete treatment is no more time-consuming than the use of traditional orthodontic braces. The system can be used to correct a variety of problems, including overly crowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, crossbite, overbite and underbite.

What are the advantages of the invisalign system ?

The main advantage of the Invisalign® system is aesthetic- many adults would prefer to avoid the metallic appearance of traditional braces, often associated with teenage years, as so the invisible nature of this revolutionary system allows them to discreetly correct the appearance of their teeth with confidence. The clear retainers are removable, are so are arguably more hygienic as patients can brush and floss as usual, thus reducing the chances of decay and staining that can occur with traditional braces. Also, as the retainers are removable, this opens up the food and beverage choices, for example sticky foods need not be avoided. The retainers are promoted as being more practical than traditional braces with quicker in-office adjustments and shorter treatment times. Another key advantage of Invisalign® retainers is that many side effects connected with the use of traditional fixed appliances are negated. Traditional braces can cause the roots of teeth to shorten for many patients, and demineralisation or tooth decay can occur in as many as 50% of patients as they can not be removed and as they can inhibit the accuracy of x-rays, problems eradicated with this system's usage. Additionally, the edges of the retainer are smooth to minimise irritation to the gums and cheeks. A further advantage is that the absence of metal brackets in the retainer's design make it easier to play brass and woodwind instruments and make them more popular for patients actively involved in sport.

What are the disadvantages of the invisalign system ?

However, the system has potential disadvantages also, although these are notably few in number. As the retainers are removed for meals and drinks (except water), they are not continually correcting the teeth, and success is dependent, to a great extent, on a patient's habits and consistency in wearing the retainers. It may take longer than anticipated for teeth to adjust position in patients who fail to wear their retainer at all times. When progressing to a new retainer in the series, patiens with sensitive teeth and gums may feel some discomfort also.

How much does Invisalign cost ?

Invisalign® treament cost varies dependent on the individual case and the extent of treatment that is required, including the amount of retainers needed to be produced. Your dental insurance may cover the cost of the Invisalign® system, with many patients discovering that coverage is the same as for other types of orthodontic treatment. Inquiries should be made directly to your insurance provider. A free consultation with your potential dentist/ orthodontist should give you a clear indication of probable costs for your particular case. Treatment costs on average vary between £2000 to in excess of £4000.

Where can I find an Invisalign® doctor ?

  1. There is a directory of dentists on our website some of whom may offer invisalign treatment.
  2. The Cosmetic Dentistry Guide has a featured list of Cosmetic Dentists, most of which provide invisalign treatment.
  3. Do a Google search for invisalign providers in your area
  4. Take a look at the list of providers on the Invisalign guide.

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