Invisalign is a brand name for a special type of process for straightening teeth. The Invisalign treatment consists of custom-made clear, plastic aligners that you wear over your teeth and they gradually straighten your teeth over time just like braces, but without using wires or brackets.
The plastic is a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack created exclusively for Invisalign treatment. This plastic material is safe and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals such as latex.
Appledore works with Invisalign to treat patients in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area.
What teeth issues can Invisalign treat?
Invisalign is commonly used to treat the following:
gaps in your teeth
overbites (when the upper teeth protrude out over the lower teeth)
underbites (when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth)
open bites (where the teeth are not aligned properly for a proper bite
cross bite (if both the upper and lower jaws are not aligned properly)
overcrowding of teeth
What is the Invisalign treatment process?
The Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation with one of our dentists at our dental practice in Milton Keynes who are specially trained in this type of teeth straightening. Your dentist will talk through with you how you feel about your teeth and then map out a precise, customised digital plan that will demonstrate how Invisalign will transform your smile.
The process of moving the teeth is gradual and so the aligners are changed usually about every two weeks, with new aligners created to continue putting pressure on your teeth. Through every step of the process, you’ll be monitored by your orthodontist, ensuring that each set of new aligners is doing its job properly.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
How long Invisalign treatment takes depends on the complexity of your case. You could complete your treatment in as little as 6 months, but you’ll start seeing results in a matter of weeks. More complex cases may take between eighteen months and two years.
Do I wear the aligners all the time?
You will need to wear each set of your custom-made aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, changing to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks, as directed by your dentist. Each set of aligners will gently and gradually move your teeth into place.
Does Invisalign hurt?
Previous patients have said that the aligners can feel ‘tight’ and that they feel slight pressure on the teeth, but they don’t hurt. There are no wires that can cause pain like traditional metal braces. The most popular phrase is ‘uncomfortable’ for the first day or so when a new set of aligners are worn.
Is Invisalign better than metal braces?
Both Invisalign and traditional braces do a good job at straightening teeth. Invisalign is better if you are conscious about how braces look, as they are virtually invisible (hence the name!). You can take the braces out to eat so you don’t have to be as careful about what you eat as you do when wearing metal braces. It is also easier to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy with Invisalign because the aligners are removable. You are not trying to brush and floss around brackets and wires like you are with metal braces.
However you do have to be disciplined about wearing the aligners, or the process can take longer than originally planned.
Do I have to avoid certain foods whilst wearing Invisalign aligners?
No. Because you can take out your aligners when eating, it means that you are not restricted about anything you eat, as you would be with traditional braces.
Should I clean my teeth after eating?
You will need to brush your teeth after eating before you put the aligners back in. Be alert for any types of food that may be difficult to brush out and use floss / dental sticks to ensure your teeth are clean.
Do I have to clean the aligners?
Yes. It’s a good idea to clean both your teeth and your aligners each morning.
You can either soak the aligners in a special cleaner or clean them with a soft brush and some anti-bacterial soap or toothpaste.
We recommend that you soak your aligners every day in either a denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals. This should take about 15 minutes, depending on the type of cleaner you are using. After they are finished soaking, use an extra toothbrush that you don’t use for your teeth to brush off any remaining plaque or food particles. It’s very important that you then rinse the aligners before placing them back in your mouth.
Each time you take the Invisalign aligners outs (to eat etc.), always rinse them if you can when you remove them to wash away any saliva and plaque. This will also avoid any bacteria building up.
Always brush and floss your teeth before putting the aligners back in. If you put the aligners back in when there are food particles still stuck between your teeth, you will be trapping them inside the aligners which could lead to cavities and other dental issues down the road.
Can children and teenagers use Invisalign?
Invisalign was originally designed for adults because their jaws are finished growing but now Invisalign Teen has been developed so that younger patients can benefit from this type of treatment as well.
Invisalign is a really appealing option for teenagers in the same way as it’s preferred by adults. They are more comfortable to wear than metal braces and because they are practically invisible they suit teenagers who may be embarrassed to wear braces.
They can also be more practical for teenagers – they can be taken out for team sports for example or for special social occasions.
What happens if I don’t wear my Invisalign aligners as much as I should?
Not wearing your aligners will seriously hamper your treatment plan so try to wear them as directed. If you don’t wear them as directed and you notice that your aligners don’t fit correctly anymore, you may need to go back to an earlier set of aligners. In addition, if you are not wearing your aligners the prescribed amount of time, then don’t move up to the next set of aligners either. Keep your dentist informed on what is happening so he or she can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
Invisalign is a prescription product tailored to your mouth. It will only work as expected if it is worn as directed.
Can Invisalign make you ill?
Invisalign aligners are made of a safe plastic and in general do not cause any problems. However, if you have a plastic allergy you could get severely sick from it so make sure you talk to your dentist about all your allergies when looking at the different treatment options.
You must ensure that you keep your aligners clean and don’t allow any bacteria to develop. Keep a good cleaning regime and always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water whenever handling the aligners and putting them in your mouth.
Are Invisalign results permanent?
Yes – if you keep to the treatment plan! You need to ensure that you wear your aligners every day and also follow up with retainers after your Invisalign treatment.
We recommend that you wear a retainer after the completion of your aligners’ work to prevent your teeth from moving back to their original position over a long period of time.
You won’t have to wear them all the time, overnight to begin with and then follow up with them occasionally if you notice that your teeth are starting to shift slightly.
Can Invisalign give you headaches?
If you start to get headaches when you start to wear your Invisalign aligners, talk to us. Your face, jaw and teeth are all connected and sometimes the pressure applied to your teeth as they shift can cause headaches. Other side effects can include jaw pain, neck pain and earaches. If it becomes a serious problem we will alter treatment accordingly.
Is Invisalign more expensive than braces?
Invisalign treatment typically costs about the same as braces.
Day’s Clinics Limited trading as Appledore Dental Clinic with its registered address at 376 Midsummer Boulevard Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA. Appledore Dental Clinic is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register, reference number 926713.