Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment here at our dental practice in South West London, but we find that patients often have questions about how the clear aligners work or have picked up some half-truths or even complete myths about wearing Invisalign aligners. This month, we’re setting the record straight with seven things we think everyone needs to know about Invisalign.
- Invisalign clear aligners are almost invisible
Invisalign clear aligners do offer an incredibly discreet teeth straightening option. The aligners are made from a clear plastic and fit so closely to your teeth to exert the right pressure that they are almost impossible to see.
- Invisalign can be used in complex cases
Many people think of Invisalign clear aligners as being in the same category as fast-acting aligners and clear braces that focus on moving the most visible teeth (usually the ‘social six’ at the top front). In fact, Invisalign is more comparable to traditional wire braces in terms of the issues we can correct with this system. Complex Invisalign cases do take a certain amount of expertise that not all Invisalign dentists have, but broadly speaking, Invisalign holdS up well against traditional fixed braces or clear braces such as the Damon System for correcting a wide range of issues.
- Invisalign might shorten your treatment length
In most cases, treatment times with Invisalign are several weeks or even months shorter than with fixed metal braces, even in comparable complex cases. One of the many benefits of Invisalign is that you won’t need to come in for long adjustment appointments. We create your aligners at the beginning of your treatment, having plotted how we want your teeth to move using special software. You will need to attend check-ups every few months to see that your teeth are doing what they should, but these appointments are shorter and less frequent than with traditional braces.
- People prefer Invisalign to fixed braces
A recent study looked at patient satisfaction and gum health in Invisalign wearers compared to fixed brace wearers. The results showed that Invisalign patients expressed higher levels of satisfaction and gum health during their treatment than the people wearing fixed appliances.
- Invisalign may affect your speech, but only for a couple of days
A common worry about wearing braces or aligners is that they will affect your speech. With Invisalign, we find it usually takes patients a day or two to adjust their speech to the aligners before they sound like themselves again. From this point onwards, there is usually no difference to someone’s speech, with or without Invisalign.
- Invisalign aligners might be removable but it doesn’t make them optional!
Many people like that they can take their Invisalign aligners out when they want to have a cuppa, eat or brush their teeth. We also tell people that they can take their aligners out for very special occasions such as a public speaking event or a family gathering. However, it’s important to recognise that self-discipline is an important part of Invisalign success. For this treatment to work, you will need to keep your aligners in your mouth for about 22 hours a day. If you treat too many nights out as ‘special occasions’ to go Invisalign free, you may slow down your treatment or even find that your teeth begin to drift back to their starting point.
- Invisalign should be fitted by an approved dentist
For a dentist to be able to offer Invisalign treatment, they should be listed as an approved Invisalign provider and have had the appropriate training. Not all Invisalign dentists are equal though – some have completed more Invisalign treatments than others, had more training or have experience with more complex cases. Ask your dentist what their background is with Invisalign. Here at Crescent Lodge Dental Practice, Dr Dino Birkenstock is an approved Invisalign Silver Provider.
- Invisalign is for teens too
It’s not just adults who can have discreet teeth straightening treatments these days. Invisalign Teen is much the same as normal Invisalign aligners but with a ‘blue dot’ indicator system to show the wearer that they’re wearing their aligners enough and when it’s time to swap to the next set.
To find out more about Invisalign in South West London at Crescent Lodge Dental Practice, give us a call on 020 7622 533 to book a consultation.