Invisalign and Aligners
If you are looking for a discreet way to straighten your teeth and don’t want to get more traditional braces then having an aligner may be an option worth considering.
Invisalign and Aligners
Aligners are clear plastic trays that you wear for around 22 hours per day to straighten your teeth. Each aligner is slightly different from the previous one and moves your teeth towards the desired position.
The process starts with a detailed scan or impression of your teeth and a skilled dental technician then uses software to create a series of steps towards the final result. Invisalign refer to this as a ‘clincheck’ which provides you and your dentist or orthodontist with an opportunity to review and comment on the final intended position of your teeth.
Once approved, each of these steps results in a separate aligner, the total number required corresponding with the complexity of your treatment. Following completion of wearing these aligners, further ‘refinement’ aligners may be made to achieve the final result.
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Invisalign is the best known brand of aligners and has proven to be very popular with now over 5 million patients. Many dental and orthodontic practices across the UK provide Invisalign and it remains a popular option for adults who want their teeth straightened without going down the traditional ‘braces’ route. There are other brands of aligners, all of which straighten your teeth in a similar way by using a sequence of trays. It will take a little time to get used to aligners and your speech may be affected at first. This soon passes and many patients are pleased with their decision to get aligners. Some patients will have attachments which are small tooth coloured ridges to help the aligner grip a tooth and to achieve a certain movement. These will be more noticable particularly if they are on the front teeth. Aligners cannot treat everyone so your orthodontist may recommend other options.
The aligners are almost invisible so no one will know you are wearing them
You can remove your aligners so can continue eating whatever you want, just don’t forget to put them back in afterwards
Aligners are now able to treat a wide range of orthodontic problems
After initially adapting to wearing them, most people describe them as comfortable to wear
Many dental practices and orthodontists offer aligners so they will be easily available
You may have small tooth coloured attachments glued on your teeth to enable the aligner to move certain teeth
It can take a few days to get used to your aligners so don’t give up
Range of options
There are different treatment plans depending on your budget and needs
It will take discipline to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day so some determination is required
I am Dr. Aoibheann Wall, an NHS trainee Orthodontist working at a dental hospital in London. As part of my training, I am doing some research into adults who get braces and would be grateful if you could complete my survey.
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