How many advantages do clear aligners have over traditional braces? Overall, the producers of Invisalign are the oldest, most established providers of clear aligners, operating solely out of local dental clinics which it calls its partners.
Clear aligners being made of transparent plastic allow you to fully see any progress that is being made with the orthodontic treatment. This has the advantage of you knowing that they’re working and helps to motivate you to complete the full course of treatment. This is important because unlike traditional braces which can only be removed in the clinic, you could take out and stop your aligner treatment at any time. Indeed, it is recommended that you remove your aligners whilst eating or drinking, but return them immediately, as results can only be achieved by consistently wearing the aligners.
How can someone get Invisalign aligners?
You would have to seek out one of the Invisalign aligner partners; they are not uncommon and can be found all over, for example Invisalign Maidstone. Once you’ve registered and booked an appointment your dentist will make an assessment to see if this treatment would be useful specifically for you. Invisible aligners are only considered appropriate for mild to moderate orthodontic issues involving the front teeth, as multi rooted teeth require greater force to realign.
At the same time, you’ll probably receive X-rays and a full check-up. This is important because structurally weak teeth could be damaged by an aligner and any cavities will have to be filled and treated before you start orthodontic work.
If all that is OK, you’ll be fitted for aligners; it is a little bit like being fitted for a suit. It involves taking very detailed measurements of the position and location of your teeth. Traditionally, this used to be done using dental moulds and if you have a slightly old fashioned dentist that’s what they will use. Alternatively, they may have a 3D intraoral scanner, which allows a 3D model to be directly created from a short scan of the inside of your mouth.
The dentist will then email off all that information to the provider of the chosen aligner. It should take about 4 weeks for the completed aligners to be shipped to the clinic where you can collect them. There may be a further delay if you live in the highlands and islands due to shipping issues.
You’ll be expected to use each aligner for 2 weeks, but some timings will vary depending on how your teeth react to being coaxed into their new positions and overall this will dictate how long the treatment cycle takes to complete.
During this time, book regular check-ups with your dentist, these are not like the orthodontic appointments that you would have to have with traditional braces that are focused around tightening and readjusting your brace. These check-ups are simply to chart your progress and assess your teeth to ensure the aligner has not allowed any cavities to form, which is more likely due to the aligner restricting the flow of saliva over your teeth. It’s also the local dentist partner who will eventually sign off whether the treatment has been successful and if not, include additional refinement aligners; these are at no further cost and usually add a further two weeks to the treatment time.