Invisalign clear braces are rapidly replacing traditional metal “train track” braces as the method of choice for straightening teeth.

But what are the advantages of Invisalign and why are more and more people choosing them over more traditional orthodontic treatments?

1. What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a teeth straightening treatment that uses a series of almost invisible, clear aligners which fit over the teeth. The aligners look rather like teeth whitening trays and are custom-made for each patient.

Every 1-2 weeks, the patient receives a new set of aligners that gently guide the patient’s teeth into their desired position. Overtime – usually 12-18 months – the teeth are positioned optimally and the treatment is complete.

2. What are the advantages of Invisalign over metal braces?

Invisalign is discreet

Invisalign aligners aren’t quite invisible, but they are incredibly discreet – especially when compared to metal braces. This means Invisalign wearers can smile more confidently than they might if wearing something more obvious. 

The subtlety of the treatment is probably the biggest reason for Invisalign’s popularity and many people don’t even notice the see-through aligners. This is good news for adults and teenagers who want to get their teeth straightened but who wouldn’t be willing to wear the more visible metal brace alternatives for 1-2 years. There’s also a preconception that braces are something typically worn by teenagers which makes many adults are reluctant to wear them.

Invisalign is removable

Another positive point for Invisalign is that as well as being clear, the aligners are also removable. This contrasts with metal braces where, in many cases, the brackets and wires need to be worn continuously for the duration of the treatment.

With Invisalign, the trays can be removed as needed (although they do need to be worn for 22 hours per day to produce optimal results). Typically, Invisalign is removed for cleaning and eating, as well as for other activities such as sports.

Being able to remove their aligners means that Invisalign patients can eat what they like without restriction. Metal braces wearers, on the other hand, may find it difficult to eat chewy, sticky, crunchy or hard foods that may damage their braces or clog them up; making them difficult to clean.

Additionally, metal braces wearers need to be more careful where there is a chance of impact on the face (such as with ball sports) whereas people with Invisalign can simply remove them during the game.

Invisalign is more comfortable

Although there is some initial sensation of pressure against the teeth with each new set of Invisalign aligners, wearers tend to get used to this quickly.

With metal braces, however, there can be some discomfort when wires and brackets chafe against the gums.

3. What are the downsides to Invisalign treatment?

Sometimes Invisalign isn’t the best treatment option

While Invisalign can be used to treat the majority of orthodontic issues – overbites, underbites, gaps and crowded teeth – there are some particular cases where Invisalign isn’t the best choice of treatment.

These tend to be where more force is required to move the teeth, or a greater amount of rotation to straighten the teeth is required. 

Invisalign providers usually offer free consultations and can advise whether or not the treatment would be an effective option in a particular case.

Invisalign is expensive

As is the case with any orthodontic treatment, Invisalign is expensive and rarely available on the NHS for adults. However, people up to the age of 18 with a clear health need are often able to receive free orthodontic care, but this will be for the most affordable treatment: typically, a metal train track braces.

That said, the price of Invisalign has been often compared to metal braces, especially where the teeth don’t need to be moved too far. Additionally, most dentists who offer Invisalign will also provide financing options so the treatment can be paid for in instalments, often interest free.

What to do next

If you’re considering Invisalign treatment, be sure to take a look at some examples of the dentist’s work to give you an idea of the results you can expect, such as these before and after pictures of  this Invisalign dentist in Stoke on Trent. Then you’ll have an idea what to expect.

Next, contact your local orthodontic clinic to book a free consultation where you can see if the treatment would be a good fit, ask any questions you may have and find out about your payment options.

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