Are you thinking of getting braces but don’t want them to be visible? Want to know what invisible braces are? Are they really ‘invisible’? And do they work?
Read on to learn all about invisible braces…
For many adults the mere thought of wearing braces is off-putting.
Both the association with pubescence and the decidedly unappealing aesthetic of ‘train-track’ braces mean that many people are put off getting braces, and sadly never get to benefit from them.
Over the last couple of decades, orthodontic appliances have advanced a long way.
Not only is the technology behind traditional braces greatly improved, but there have also been a large number of novel appliances entering the market.
These range from the ‘faster-ortho’ systems to the invisible Lingual and almost-invisible Invisalign.
Biologically speaking, all these systems work the same way on your teeth and jaw to move them into alignment.
But each appliance comes with it’s own pros and cons.
Today we’re looking at the almost-invisible alignment system, Invisalign.
Invisible braces are quite different from the traditional braces you may be familiar with.
They are not made of metal braces, brackets and wires, rather they are made from a special type of plastic.
These custom-made, clear plastic aligners look quite similar to a very thin and transparent mouthguard, or retainer.
Once fitted to the teeth they are barely noticeable.
They can be removed easily for eating and drinking, as well as cleaning. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy brushing and flossing routine while going through treatment.
Invisible braces like Invisalign move the teeth by applying carefully-calculated pressure to your teeth, which encourages them to move.
That is where the similarities end, however.
Where traditional braces use metal brackets and wire to apply this pressure, invisible braces harnesses the special properties of their plastic to apply this pressure.
At the beginning of an invisible braces treatment, the orthodontist takes special scans and impressions of your teeth, which are sent off to the company making the aligners.
They use these to map out and construct the ‘journey’ your teeth will need to take to align with a purpose-built computer program.
Once the computer has finished mapping out this ‘journey’, it creates a series of the special aligners, each one a ‘milestone’ on the journey.
The patient wears the aligners for up to 23 hours a day, only removing for eating and cleaning.
Once in the mouth, the natural heat from the body changes the shape of the plastic slightly, which applies the neccessary pressure to make the teeth move.
Over the next couple of weeks, the teeth move because of the pressure put on them by the aligner’s shape.
As the teeth pass each ‘milestone’ on the journey (around every two weeks or so), the orthodontist will replace the aligners with the next in the series.
After several months, usually between 6-9 depending on the amount of straightening required, the teeth will have moved completely into alignment and the treatment is finished.
At Elmsleigh House Dentist Sarah Francis offers Invisalign braces, a discreet and removable solution for most adults.
Click below to book your appointment and start your own ‘stunning smile’ journey!