Invisalign

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Invisalign® is a series of custom-made aligners or braces made out of a clear polymer that is capable of gradually moving teeth in a controlled way. Invisalign® works by using the latest advances in 3D computer technology to follow the dentist’s instructions to produce precisely customised aligners.

The fabrication process is extremely complex, involving CAT scanning of impressions and sophisticated 3D computer graphics to project tooth movement and stereo lithography to make the aligners. Each set of aligners is worn full-time, apart from eating, drinking or brushing teeth, for approximately 2 weeks, moving certain teeth by up to 0.25mm.

Invisalign® can treat a wide variety of malocclusions, however, not every case is suitable. The first step is a consultation with your dentist who will determine if Invisalign® is right for you. In order to aid diagnosis, study models, photographs and x-rays will be taken at the start of treatment. We then take extremely accurate impressions of the teeth.

These impressions are then submitted for CAT scanning in California and complex computer graphics are used to show all stages of the proposed tooth movement, advising the dentist how many aligners will be required to produce the movements planned. Once the ClinCheck (the animation of planned tooth movement) has been approved, the aligners will be manufactured and dispatched, so that treatment can commence.

Key features of invisalign®:

  • Invisible, no-one will know that you are in treatment
  • Removable, eating drinking and cleaning don’t present any problems.
  • Comfortable, no brackets or wires.
  • Convenient, shorter and less frequent appointments.
  • Teeth remain intact and natural.

Frequently asked questions

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a clear removable aligner designed and made for you. These aligners gradually straighten your teeth without the need for unsightly wires or metal.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign aligners are a series of custom fit trays which apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth. The aligners are normally worn for a two week period then changed for the next aligners in the series. Each tray is designed to move specific teeth until they are in the final position as decided by your clinician and yourself, before treatment begins

What are the benefits of Invisalign over other orthodontic treatments?

  • Invisalign gives you the freedom of being able to remove the appliances for special events, eating, tooth brushing and flossing.
  • The aligners are comfortable as there are no wires to irritate your mouth so no soreness
  • Invisalign is made of a flexible, clear plastic so you can straighten your teeth and no one need know unless you tell them.
  • You can view your treatment plan before you start. Invisalign planning allows you to view the anticipated results before you proceed with treatment.
  • You will need one set of impressions before you start your treatment.
  • You will spend less time at the dentist, you need fewer visits as the aligners need no adjustment. You normally wear your aligners for a two week period then move on to the next set.
  • One of Invisalign’s best qualities is that it uses no metal bands, brackets, or wires that may trap food and plaque like traditional braces. And since the removable nature of Invisalign allows you to maintain good oral hygiene, you may also reduce chances of plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease.

I compete in a lot of sports, is Invisalign for me?

If you play a lot of sports or play a woodwind or brass instrument then Invisalign would be an ideal solution for you as you can remove the aligners for the time you need to, keeping them safely in the box provided, and replace them as soon as you can. This is not an option for other fixed orthodontic brace wearers.

What do the aligners look like?

The aligners are made from a clear hard plastic material; they look very similar to tooth whitening trays but they are custom made for you to ensure a very secure fit.

How long does treatment take?

Total treatment time averages 12-24 months, but may take longer than this if your case is complex.

Can Invisalign treat all dental irregularities?

Invisalign is only ideal for cases where teeth do not need to be removed due to crowding so milder irregularities are most suitable. If Invisalign is an option for your case, this will be included as part of your treatment plan.

How much will I have to wear the aligners?

You will need to wear the aligners as much as possible otherwise progress will be slower. To achieve the results you want, the aligners should be worn for 22 hours per day and only removed for eating, drinking and brushing.

What if I lose one of the aligners or get them mixed up?

If you lose one of your aligners, contact the practice as soon as you can so we can advise you what to do next. We can order replacements but they are expensive so keep them safely in the box provided every time you take them out of your mouth. We advise you, when you start a new aligner, to keep the previous one safely in the box provided you can then use this one while we order a new aligner for you.

The aligners are marked in numerical order so you can easily check which aligner you are using.

How much will the treatment cost?

A full course of invisalign treatment will be in the region of £3500 – £4500 but an itemised costing and payment plan will be given in your personal written treatment plan as part of the consultation process

So what happens when I decide to go ahead with treatment?

  • We will need to see you for some detailed impressions and photographs. At this stage we will send a comprehensive laboratory prescription to tell the technicians exactly how we would like your treatment to proceed. We then send your impressions to Align Technology who will use advanced imaging technology to transform your models into a 3D digital image.
  • At your next visit you will be able to view the images on the computer and together with your clinician you can check that the planned treatment aims for the result you require.
  • You will be able to see your teeth as they are now and follow their progress to where you want them to be.
  • When you are happy with the treatment plan we will order your aligners to be made from the models we sent . You will then return in about 2 – 3 weeks to collect your aligners, wearing each set for 2 weeks before moving on to the next.
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Thank you so much for helping me achieve the smile I've always wanted. I can now smile with confidence!

Anon, 2018
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Thank you for giving me fantastic straight teeth. I cannot tell you how much my confidence has grown. I wish you all the best success.

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