Invisalign – the premier Clear Aligner System
For some people, wearing a metal or ceramic brace with wires is out of the question. Most people would prefer to be able to leave their brace at home for the evening and forget their treatment while they enjoy an evening or weekend out without a brace in place. For some adults, their vocation is very social and they may perceive a professional conflict in wearing a brace.
It is sometimes possible to create a good result with a clear aligner brace system such as Invisalign. Invisalign consists of a number of very thin, clear slips which sit over the teeth and move them by a fraction before moving to the next clear aligner.
For successful Invisalign treatment your orthodontic practitioner will assess your teeth to make sure that your bite is not overly complicated. The Invisalign system is not an ideal treatment to use with severe crowding or where extractions are needed for bite correction.
After taking impressions and sending these to Invisalign, a digital evaluation of your teeth is created on a treatment simulator known as a “Clincheck”. The orthodontic practitioner will plan your treatment and liaise with Invisalign via the “Clincheck” treatment simulator. You can view the treatment simulator with your dentist to ensure that the tooth movements planned fully meet with your approval and the end result generated fully matches your expectations.. It is entirely possible to make adjustments to the Clincheck with your input to make sure that the outcome is excellent and as you would prefer.
Another useful application of Invisalign is in individuals who want to straighten their teeth which have been susceptible to decay and ‘demineralisation’ – the first stage to enamel breakdown. In these individuals the Invisalign aligner system can be used as a brace and also the aligner can also be used as a reservoir for fluoride or calcium phosphate gels while they are worn for tooth straightening.
An excellent way to nourish teeth, and strengthen the enamel while undertaking orthodontic treatment is to fill your aligners with ‘Recaldent’ products containing amorphous calcium phosphate/tricalcium phospate. A variety of ‘Recaldent’ product is MI paste which also has fluoride. Fluoride and calcium phosphate is the best combination of products to nourish and strengthen enamel.
To help you with your enquiries about Invisalign, we have put together some FAQs that we come across.
Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions
Invisalign Smile Simulator
All you need to do is fill out the form on this page and we will try and get hold of you to book your free whole man scan and simulation. One of our Invisalign consultants will then meet you, or share a screen with you online and talk to you about your scan and treatment options. We will show you a smile simulation to help you appreciate the benefits of Invisalign treatment and will talk you though how we can assist you with your smile transformation.
Request your free scan today!
The Invisalign system is composed of a number of thin clear slips that fit over your teeth. The number of slips depends on the severity of alignment and bite correction that you need. Each ‘slip’ or ‘aligner’ is fitted over your teeth and a small amount of pressure is placed on the teeth to allow them to move. Each aligner is designed to accomplish only a fraction of tooth movement, and it is worn for as much as possible over a 2 week period to achieve those tooth alignments before moving to the next aligner.
Each person has different orthodontic needs – simple crowding and malposition of teeth can be corrected within a matter of a few months whereas severely crowded teeth can take many months to fully correct. The duration of tooth movement can also be affected by age and condition of teeth. Teeth usually move more swiftly in teenagers.
It is therefore difficult to be prescriptive of treatment duration. Simpler treatments that are designed to effect cosmetic alignment of front teeth only can be completed within 6-9 months. As a general rule, your practitioner will provide a plan that should take up to 18 months to complete.
Treatments that take longer than this are generally more complicated and will be discussed with you in detail before you embark on treatment.
There are a few novel ways in which treatment speed can supposedly be increased:
- Use of a laser to shine low-energy light on your roots. This supposedly increases the turnover of ligament cells but does require weekly attendance to apply the laser light
- Use of a home device called the Acceledent. This device imparts low frequency oscillations on teeth, and this is supposed to increase the rate at which bone remodels
Invisalign is the ideal brace system to align your teeth for a special occasion as treatment can be designed to quickly achieve cosmetic tooth alignment for your special occasion and then treatment can be resumed for a more advanced finish after your special occasion.
After one of our clinicians has assessed your bite, you will be informed of the likely treatment duration to achieve your aesthetic goals.
There are many benefits:
- Nearly invisible. The aligners are so subtle that you have to be really close to see them in position. Most people will not be able to see your clear aligners from about 30 cm away which is one of the smallest distances considered to provide ‘personal space’
- Easier Oral Hygiene. Traditional fixed braces do make it difficult to clean effectively and special tools are required to clean between the braces. With Invisalign treatments you simply remove the brace and use traditional power brushes, and interdental cleaning aids to ensure your mouth stays meticulously clean. This may be particularly improtant if you have previously suffered from gum disease
- Enamel protection from decay. If you have previously had a history of decay, the use of a fixed brace presents risk of enamel demineralisation. Invisalign aligners can be used as a ‘calcium-fluoride tray’. This is where in decay susceptible individuals a medicated solution/mousse is applied to the teeth and held in place over night by the aligner. For individuals who may be decay prone, Invisalign can be used with a ‘recaldent’ product which contains calcium phosphate and fluoride. When applied within a retainer and worn over night the enamel will become firmer and more resistant to decay
- No need to eliminate your favourite foods. When using traditional fixed braces our advice is to avoid sticky food and food with a firm texture. Whereas we would ask you to avoid toffee popcorn and such like with a fixed brace, no such precuations are required with Invisalign as you simply remove the brace to have your favourite foods. This may be particularly important for adult ‘foodie’s’ who enjoy their food and cannot possibly sacrifice their chosen foods over a lengthy period of time of teeth straightening.
Invisalign is very versatile, and can tackle most types of alignment and bite. You can undertake simple cosmetic alignment only (with ‘limited treatment objectives’ which is relatively fast, and comprehensive bite correction which will take longer.
Clear aligners do not provide the same control as a fixed appliance in the following scenarios:
- alignment of small teeth
- correction of severe crowding, especially when teeth are severely malpositioned
- alignment and space closure when extractions are needed
- correction of a canted smile due to a skeletal assymetry
- correction of excessive vertical skeletal mass which results in a “gummy smile”
A very thorough assessment is required to determine the benefits and limitations of Invisalign treatment.
Fill out your details below, and one of our Treatment Coordinators can offer you a free consultation to help you understand the benefits of the Invisalign system before you have a consultation with one of our clinicians.
The cost of your Invisalign treatment depends on:
- whether you are seeking simple anterior cosmetic tooth alignment only OR
- if your treatment will focus on one jaw or both jaws
- if you are seeking correction of significant crowding OR
- if you are seeking comprehensive treatment which may involve extractions to achieve cosmetic tooth alignment and bite correction OR
- if your treatment needs to occur in combination with a short term fixed brace to optimise the treatment due to difficult rotations OR
Generally, simple alignment treatment within 7 aligners can start from as little as £2750.00. More complex Invisalign treatments with significant number of aligners will need to be costed. Sometimes we can offer free professional whitening worth approximately £500.00. When this is offered, the whitening treatments must occur at the same time as the Invisalign treatment itself.
Your appointment intervals will typically be between 4-12 weeks apart. If you are receiving rapid treatment, possibly in combination with a device such as a laser or an Acceledent device with view to speed up orthodontic treatment, your clinician may chose to see you more frequently such as every 4 weeks. You also may need to be seen more quickly if you need a slenderisation procedure undertaken or if you need to have composite buttons placed mid treatment.
If however you have completed any needed slenderisation procedure and you have received the bonding of all composite buttons needed for your procedure then your clinician needs to supervise treatment and he/she may provide you with sufficient aligners and review you at 12 week intervals.
To achieve a good treatment effect you must wear your aligners every single day for atleast 18-20 hours per day. There is really no need to remove the aligners apart from during eating and swimming activity. The aligners can otherwise be worn during sports activities. As the aligners are to be used for only 7-10 days each, it is also possible to eat with the aligners in place. This is actually beneficial for alignment as chewing causes the teeth to flex into the predetermined tooth positions determined by the aligners.
All forms of orthodontic treatment results in minimal discomfort to teeth. This may manifest as hypersensitivity or pressure tenderness. This discomfort exists for the first 2 days on each aligner changeover and reflects the added pressure imposed on the teeth by the new aligners. All discomfort can readily be managed by routine painkillers such as Ibuprofen.
There are absolutely no dietary restrictions in the use of Invisalign. You are allowed to eat and drink everything that you please. You shoudk however ensure that you always clean your teeth with a quality power tooth brush and use interdental cleaning aids such as floss and interdental tooth brushes.
It is not uncommon for teeth to move slightly after orthodontic treatment as teeth. The mechanisms of tooth positions relapse are not fully understood, therefore we tend to recommend long term retention to preserve your beautiful smile.
After your orthodontic treatment is complete, your orthodontic practitioner will provide you with a standard clear retainer that needs to be worn at night, every night. The retainer will last for approximately one year, and will need to be replaced. Replacement retainers are chargeable.
A superior alternative to a traditional retainer is a set of Invisalign Vivera retainers. 4 sets of retainers are provided, and these ae charged to you at cost, which is approximately £500.00. ‘Vivera’ retainers are made out of USP Class VI medical grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resin, which is a vastly superior plastic for the mouth to standard clear retainers.
During Invisalign treatment there will usually be a need to bond some composite attachments on the teeth. Composites are white tooth coloured resins that are typically used for white fillings, and these need to be placed on rotated teeth to act as small handles for orthodontic tooth movement with Invisalign. They are usually placed at the beginning but can be progressively placed during Invisalign treatment.
Some patients worry when they are told that Invisalign treatment may involve a tooth stripping procedure which takes away some tooth enamel, and this procedure is variably called ‘air rotor stripping’ or ‘interproximal reduction’ or IPR for short, or tooth slenderisation.
Tooth slenderisation is only needed for crowded cases to enable fitting the teeth together with view to avoid gum recession. Without tooth slenderisation teeth are forced into unnatural positions which is outside of the natural bony envelope of the jaw and this causes the gum to recede.
Much research has been undertaken on tooth slenderisation. When carefully undertaken, and in combination with the use of fluoride, there is no damage that compromises the life expectancy of the teeth. In fact the use of fluoride immediately post-slenderisation results in the development of more acid and decay resistant enamel.
Invisalign Smile Simulator
Click image to access the free smile simulator.