Invisalign or ‘clear braces’ are an increasingly popular form of orthodontic device used for straightening teeth. They are for many patients, a welcome departure from metal and wire braces and are preferred for their comfort and convenience. These braces are difficult to notice by the casual observer and are easy to use and clean.
Their aesthetic appearance is particularly favoured by young people who opt for the Invisalign teen version of this brace.
What are Invisalign braces?
Invisalign braces are worn over the upper or lower teeth and are made from clear plastic. They are fabricated using the latest dental technologies and are designed to fit snugly and smoothly over your teeth.
What do Invisalign braces treat?
This type of brace is worn to correct the following orthodontic conditions:
- Crooked, misshapen teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
They are suitable for many orthodontic problems but are not recommended for severe cases such as jaw disorders or structural irregularities. Your orthodontist will advise you about the most suitable type of brace for your condition.
Advantages of Invisalign braces
There are several benefits to wearing this type of brace which include:
- Unobtrusive appearance (due to their transparent appearance).
- Easy to clean
But the main benefit is their discrete appearance. People who wear this type of brace like the fact that it is virtually unnoticeable which they prefer to the ‘train track’ type of brace.
How do Invisalign braces work?
They work in the same way as any other brace in that they gradually realign your teeth which improve their functioning and appearance. This also means a better looking smile as well.
This brace is worn for up to 22 hours in a day and is only removed for cleaning. Another advantage of this brace is that it is easier to clean than many other varieties: this is due to the lack of wires or metal brackets which often trap food deposits thereby restricting the ability to carry out a thorough clean.
The Invisalign brace is made from clear plastic – no wires, plates or brackets which makes cleaning much easier to do.
You will exchange this brace for a new one every two weeks. This is also accompanied by regular check ups with your orthodontist.
Treatment with Invisalign braces takes from 6 months to a year although in some cases it can take 18 months.
Fitting an Invisalign brace
The process starts with an initial consultation with the orthodontist. This is then followed by an impression of your teeth using a mould filled with dental putty which is used to help create a 3D model. This model acts as a blueprint for your new brace.
You will be shown this 3D model and the new brace so that you can see how it works.
You will be fitted with your new aligners and given instructions on how to wear them, how long for and how to look after them. Follow these instructions to the letter as this treatment is only successful if you do so.
And don’t forget your usual check ups with your dentist – as well as those with the orthodontist. Good oral health is vital to the success of your treatment.