Invisalign is a very popular treatment option for straightening your teeth. It works by using a series of clear aligners that gently move your teeth one by one. At the start of treatment, you will receive a batch of clear aligners which are all labelled with numbers that can range from 7-35+. You will start with number 1 and each aligner will be worn for 1 week. As the weeks go by, your teeth will gradually start to move into the desired positions.
The length of Invisalign treatment depends upon how crooked or overlapped your teeth are to begin with, and how much space there is to align them. With minor crowding, the treatment can be as quick as 7 aligners, which pretty much means 7 weeks in total. The longest case we have treated here at Sensational Smiles has taken around two and half years to finish, but don’t worry this is extremely rare. The average case takes around a year.
What can Invisalign do?
Invisalign can be used to treat a variety of issues, some of which are listed below:
This is where there are too many teeth and not enough space. This is the classic reason people decide to straighten their teeth. It usually involves creating space by expanding the arch to give you a broader smile, IPR and very rarely the removal of teeth. Crowding is sometimes also referred to as overlapping, crooked, or malaligned.
This is where the upper front teeth bite further forwards compared to the lowers. A small overjet less than 4mm is acceptable and does not detract from the overall cosmetic result, however large overjet of say 5-10mm leads to a poor cosmetic outcome. Invisalign can help treat this by bringing the upper teeth back and sometimes by combining this with forward movement of the lowers.
This is where the upper front teeth bite over the lowers. An overlap of a third is considered normal and anything more is considered abnormal. Invisalign can certainly help with this issue.
This is another common issue a patient can have and as the name suggests, it’s where there are gaps between the teeth. Invisalign can close gaps with front teeth, however moving molars is unpredictable and can take long periods of time.
The difference between fixed braces and Invisalign
Fixed braces wins hand-down for speed. Invisalign can sometimes take twice as long.
In terms of comfort Invisalign is significantly more comfortable compared to fixed braces. With fixed braces you have brackets bonded onto your teeth and these often rub onto your lips/cheeks. Nowadays, we try and use cosmetic braces which are made from clear ceramic. As the ceramic is not as strong as metal, we need to make them bulker which adds to the rubbing issue.
The main advantage of Invisalign over any other braces system is the fact that it looks great, almost invisible. In fact, you can only really tell someone is wearing it if you come very close and stare at their teeth. Although braces can now come in clear ceramic, you can still tell someone has braces on.
Fixed braces are actually better with moving teeth in a predictable way and that is because you can more accurately apply specific forces on individual teeth. So, if you have severe issues with malalignment, the best results are achievable using fixed braces.
Having said all of the above, Invisalign is actually the more popular option for straightening teeth and that is because it looks great, it’s removable and it’s so comfortable. We find that nowadays patients feel these advantages suit their lifestyle better.
If you are interested in getting Invisalign to straighten your teeth call us now on 0208 643 5365 and we would be happy you see you for a free consultation.