Dr Nathan Welch
Invisalign- What do I need to know?
Invisalign is a method of tooth straightening using custom made plastic aligners which are virtually invisible.
The aligners are changed approximately weekly, applying small pressures to the teeth to make the teeth move. How long the process takes depends on how much movement your teeth require.
Your Invisalign Journey
Your Journey begins with a consultation. Our dentists will first carry out a full dental examination as we would not do any cosmetic work unless you are dentally healthy. Within this we take x-rays of all your teeth to ensure no disease or problems are identified.
Next we take a 3D scan of your teeth and a set of pictures which allow us to analyse your tooth positions in relation to each other and also in relation to your face. We can also use these to analyse your smile- this is your teeth in relation to your lips.
The scans can be used to give you a simulation of what could be achieved if you choose to go ahead with the Invisalign treatment.
We send all your records off to Invisalign who analyse and create a "clincheck". This is a plan of how the teeth will move with every aligner. This is then discussed with you as a final check that you are happy with the planned results before committing to go ahead.
Once the clincheck is approved the aligners are ordered. They are usually delivered in 2-4 weeks.
Often teeth are too tightly placed causing their misalignment. A common way to gain space between teeth is to remove a very small amount of each side of the tooth. This is usually less than 0.3mm and only stays within the enamel so does not cause any long term damage or problems.
This is mostly done by using very small files that gently remove what is required.
Another way that teeth are moved is using anchors on teeth called attachments. These are small 'blobs' on teeth made of white filling material. Although your tongue will be able to feel them they are not very visible as would be colour matched to your teeth.
After these stages are completed we check your first aligners fit and give you care instructions and send you on your way with your first months worth of aligners!
Aligners need to be worn 22 hours of the day, only removing to eat, drink and brush your teeth.
Approximately once a month we will review your teeth to check that all teeth are moving as they should be and all attachments are still in place. We can also use these appointments to discuss any concerns you may have.
Occasionally your teeth may not have moved fully or we may decide they need a little more tweaking. We would carry out a new scan and photos and get another set of aligners made just to make sure we get perfection!
What remains to gain the perfect smile will depend on you and your vision!
We include whitening in all our Invisalign treatments. We usually ask you to use your last few aligners to whiten your teeth over night until you are happy with the shade.
Sometimes teeth need their shapes altering at the end of treatment, we also include 'composite bonding' within our Invisalign packages.
Finally we will provide you with retainers to maintain your new smile! We encourage life long night-time retainer usage or your teeth may start to move back again. We include the first set, these may need replacing every few years.
Benefits and risks of treatment
All dental treatment comes with risks and the dental health risks are the same as all forms of orthodontic tooth movement, these are actually lower than with conventional train-track braces.
The most likely risks are gum recession and shortening of the roots of the teeth. We risk assess every patient during their initial consultation and would discuss your risk level before beginning treatment.
There are also some short term issues during treatment:
Tenderness when aligners are first changed as most of the movement will be occurring.
Soft tissues, like gums/cheeks/lips can be scratched/ feel uncomfortable when first wearing the aligners.
Aligners may temporarily affect speech, you should adjust to this quickly. They can make you salivate more to begin with, again you should adjust to this.
There are also many benefits to treatment. Obviously cosmetic, a straighter whiter smile and hopefully increased the confidence that goes with it.
It is also well established that straight teeth are healthier as they are easier to clean and floss and also less likely to get food packing leading to decay.
What does it cost??
Invisalign at our practice costs £3250. We like to include everything required to get you your dream smile without any hidden add extras.
Our Invisalign package includes:
your dental examination and full mouth x-ray
All aligners required
Composite bonding if required
Fixed retainers if required
We offer 0% finance for 12 months which means you could have all this for £270.83 per month.
I know that is probably a lot to take in!
If it’s something you are interested in please get in touch and we can book you for your FREE initial consultation!