Invisalign logoInvisalign is an orthodontic treatment that has been around for over 20 years now. It can be used to correct most orthodontic issues (although traditional braces may still be required for more severe cases). The procedure uses of a series of clear plastic orthodontic trays called aligners as opposed to the old brackets and wires used in conventional brace systems. The aligners are custom fitted for your teeth and must be changed every couple of weeks. As you replace each aligner, your teeth will move, little by little, week by week, until they have straightened to the final position prescribed by your dental practitioner.


What does the Invisalign process entail?


InvisalignAt the initial consultation your dentist will discuss your options and determine is Invisalign is a suitable course of action for you. If so they will take an impression of your mouth for sending to the Invisalign lab. A computer planning software is then used to plan out your treatment allowing you to seeing virtual representations of your teeth before during and after the treatment.


When you return to your dentist he will fit your first set of aligners. The aligners will need to be changed every 2 weeks during your treatment which can last from 9 – 18 months. The aligners can be removed for eating and brushing your teeth and should be worn for 22 hours each day. Throughout the process you will need to visit your dentist every 4 – 6 weeks for check-ups. As with all orthodontic treatments you will be required to wear a retainer after the procedure.


What are the advantages of Invisalign?


  • Invisalign braces are more discreet than traditional braces. They are made from a clear plastic material which is virtually undetectable.
  • Invisalign braces can be taken out for eating and brushing your teeth which allows the user more freedom than with conventional braces.
  • As Invisalign sit on your teeth like a mouth guard, there may be a slight discomfort as it shapes your teeth. However, they typically cause less pain than metal braces which can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums and soft tissue.
  • Invisalign can be used to treat more severe cases than Inman Aligners or Six Month Smiles.


source: Crossbank dental care

This patient had Invasilign braces to improve their crooked teeth. The case study courtesy of Crossbank Dental Care

What are the disadvantages of Invisalign?


  • Invisalign can be costly. It is certainly more costly than the cosmetic fix methods, Inman aligner and Six month smiles.
  • Inman Aligners have progressed a lot over the years, however they are still not suitable for more severe cases. Your dentist or a specialised orthodontist should be able to advise you of this.


Who carries out the procedure?


Invisalign is a procedure used to straighten teeth. The procedure is carried out by a person. The person can be a general dentist or a specialised orthodontist. The human element required when planning your treatment can make a difference to your treatment, the results and the cost. Invisalign has the following provider tiers which are determined by the number of patients a dentist treats with Invisalign:


  1. Invisalign Elite (top 1%)
  2. Invisalign Elite Preferred
  3. Invisalign Premier Preferred
  4. Invisalign Provider Preferred
  5. General Providers


It is also worth checking if your dentist is also a specialised orthodontist. You can do this through our site or on the GDC website.


How much does it cost?
The price of Invisalign will vary depending on the extent of the treatment you require. Prices start from around £1,200/£1,500 but this assumes minimal correction is needed. It is best to see an Invisalign provider to get an idea of how much the procedure will cost. Use our cost comparison function to see some starting prices – Invisalign costs.


This page has been reviewed by John Renshaw at Oral Care Consulting.

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