Once upon a time, the only braces on offer to patients were clunky, unsightly and uncomfortable, putting many people off addressing issues like misaligned teeth, crowding and bite problems. Fast forward to the present day and there are more people having orthodontic treatment than ever. In 2000, advancements in digital dentistry and orthodontics gave way to a new kid on the block, that has since treated over 9 million cases worldwide – Invisalign. Comprised of custom clear aligner trays, Invisalign is a move away from fixed braces. Below, we delve into all things Invisalign, from what it is and the issues it can treat, to its many benefits and what you can expect from treatment.
Why have orthodontic treatment?
The most obvious benefit of orthodontic treatment is the cosmetic results it can yield, helping patients to feel more confident about their smiles. However, structural issues with your teeth can also impact upon your dental and oral health, hindering your ability to brush, floss and break down your food. This increases your risk of gum disease and can result in grinding and clenching, eventually leading to unhealthy gums, worn teeth and in severe cases, tooth loss. In seeking to have orthodontic treatment, not only are you improving the aesthetic of your smile, you’re also likely to be protecting it from damage.
What can Invisalign be used to treat?
Invisalign is a versatile treatment that can address the following issues:
– Crowding: when teeth rotate or become displaced, this can lead to crowding, which is most associated with the front teeth of adult patients.
– Underbite: when teeth situated in the lower jaw overlap.
– Overbite: when upper teeth sit further forwards than their lower counterparts – the opposite of an underbite.
– Open bite: when upper and lower teeth do not meet when the mouth is closed.
– Cross bite: when a single tooth or multiple teeth in either the upper or lower jaw sits closer to the tongue or cheek than the lower or upper region.
– Gaps: when gum spacing is visible between teeth or when a tooth has been lost and neighbouring teeth drift to cause a space.
What exactly is Invisalign and how does it work?
Invisalign has two particularly noteworthy features that create a number of benefits for patients (which we will explore in more detail below). These are:
– They’re removable
– They’re transparent
Both of these aspects of the Invisalign system make the aligners attractive to patients, particularly the adult demographic. Invisalign also takes less time to produce results than traditional braces, with an average treatment time of 12-18 months, though minor issues can be corrected in as little as 6 months.
The Invisalign journey: what to expect
Every Invisalign journey starts with a consultation appointment, during which we will ask you about your expectations of treatment and ensure you are suitable, by establishing a picture of your medical history. The next step is to take a series of photos, digital scans and X-rays, which are used to create a custom ClinCheck 3D treatment plan. Thanks to this amazing software, we’re able to digitally map the road to your new smile, taking a prospective look at the movements your teeth will go through before you even start treatment.
Your aligners are created by a dedicated Invisalign lab and shipped back to the practice. You are then ready to start treatment, wearing the aligners for 22 hours each day and changing them every 1-2 weeks, depending on your unique treatment objectives. The 2-hour period each day during which patients can remove their aligners (this time can be spread over a 24-hour period), is a fantastic feature of Invisalign that brings about many benefits. Read on to find out how.
The benefits of Invisalign
As we mentioned earlier in this blog, Invisalign aligners are both removable and transparent. This is good news for patients who are looking for a choice of treatment that will cause minimal disturbance to their everyday lives. Here’s why:
– Enjoy the foods you love: with more of us following structured diets than ever before (vegan, vegetarian and keto, for example), patients are keen to avoid treatments that involve adapting their eating habits. Whilst fixed braces do not offer this flexibility, Invisalign gives you the freedom to eat as normal without jeopardising the course of your treatment.
– Care for your teeth as normal: the other challenge that presents itself where fixed brace models are concerned is daily brushing and flossing. Food particles can very easily become lodged in the brackets and archwires of a fixed brace and if they’re not removed daily, this can affect your oral hygiene, making you more susceptible to gum disease and decay. Simply remove your Invisalign aligner to brush as you normally would and ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout the treatment period.
– A great option for those in client and customer-facing jobs: Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be discreet. But if you’re anxious about a forthcoming presentation or event, you have the freedom to remove your aligners to speak and smile with added confidence, thanks to the 2-hour window mentioned above.
Other benefits associated with Invisalign include:
They’re designed with comfort in mind: your Invisalign aligners are custom created for your smile, making them a comfortable fit. They’re also free of any wires and brackets, which can sometimes cause discomfort for those wearing fixed braces, scratching the inside of the mouth.
Shorter treatment time: as mentioned above, Invisalign takes less time to produce results than traditional braces.
Progressive treatment: the amazing team behind Invisalign place a huge focus on continuing to innovate the system. Treatment is now faster and more predictable than ever before and the aligner trays are a precise match for your tooth structures, fitting perfectly over the individual curves and grooves of each tooth.
If you are interested in finding out more about Invisalign and Orthodontic treatment? There are several ways in which you can get in touch with our friendly team, who can book you in for a consultation appointment with us here at Shields Dental & Orthodontic Clinic.
We are offering free, no obligation video consultations during which patients can find out all they need to know about the treatment options we offer. Our friendly reception team can answer any questions you may have about this. Just give us a call.