The Invisalign patient journey
Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth. We get so many patients enquiring about it, so we thought we would write this blog to summarise the key points and give you a good starting point.
The three main ways of straightening your teeth
This is generally the best way to move teeth as you can pretty much treat every case, even the most complex ones. It’s also the most predictable one.
The disadvantages are that fixed braces don’t look nice (think of Ugly Betty), and they can be uncomfortable, so you can expect to get ulcers every now and again. Cleaning them can also be an issue – imagine the thought of having spinach stuck in your braces after lunch.
These are devices that you put in the mouth to move teeth. You can only produce certain movements with them. The disadvantages are that they are big and clunky, which means they are uncomfortable and affect your speech. You can only do a limited amount with them and so are not routinely used.
This is what Invisalign is and the aligners are made from thin, clear plastic. You will get a batch of them when you start treatment. Each week you put a new one in, which will move your teeth a little. As you progress through the aligners the teeth will gradually move.
There are a few alternatives to Invisalign, however they are much newer, and recent companies don’t have the science and data behind them. They are cheaper, but are nowhere near as good as Invisalign, and that’s why we only use this option. The company behind Invisalign is the one that invented the method and it is still miles ahead of the competition.
The advantage of using Invisalign over other methods such as fixed braces is that it looks really good (almost invisible), is very comfortable to wear (you don’t get ulcers), and is removable. As there are so many advantages, most of our patients are choosing this method.
In terms of the disadvantages, Invisalign takes a little longer than fixed braces and it can’t tackle the most complex malocclusions.
You can switch from braces to Invisalign if you want, and vice versa.
How do we get started with Invisalign?
- Examination – The first thing to do is have your teeth checked by us. The last thing you want to do is straighten your teeth if you have underlying dental diseases such as decay or periodontitis. If your teeth are in a bad state the first thing we will do is restore them back to health before we make them look good.
Besides, let’s say something flares up during the treatment and you need (for example) a filling. We may need to do the filling, stop the Invisalign treatment, take another scan and then start again. This delays and disrupts things, so although you can do fillings or crowns half way through treatment, it’s not ideal.
- Digital scan – This is like an impression but it is much quicker, easier and more comfortable. Patients generally dislike impressions so when we take scans, it’s a lot more comfortable.
- Clincheck – This will usually come back within a week and it will show you what your smile will look like at the end of treatment. Anything we don’t like we can change, and we don’t start until you are 100% happy. Once you’re happy we approve it and it takes about 10 days for the aligners to come back.
- Fit aligners – Once the Invisalign is back we fit the aligners. This is normally a long appointment, around 45 minutes, as we need to add the attachments onto your teeth. The attachments are made up of white filling material and help speed up the movement of your teeth with Invisalign.
What happens at the end of Invisalign treatment?
- Remove attachments (if needed).
- Final digital scan – We take another scan and make retainers. The retainers look pretty much like Invisalign, and you have to wear them every night for the rest or your life. If you lose them, we can make another set pretty quickly as the digital file is secured safely on the cloud.
- Fit retainer and carry out tooth whitening – We will give you some high-quality dental bleach which you can use to whiten your teeth. Read more about teeth whitening.
Who is an ideal Invisalign candidate?
Research has shown that most people would benefit from having Invisalign treatment, particularly those who are self-conscious about their smile. The main thing to note is we need to ensure your teeth are healthy and disease free. Even if you have crowns, fillings and veneers you can still have Invisalign. Both children and adults can get Invisalign and there is no upper age limit. We have treated plenty of people into the 70s and have achieved good results.
We have some of the most competitive prices in the Croydon and Bromley area – call us to get an individual quote. Our packages include everything from start to finish, including tooth whitening and retainers. We have some of the most experienced Invisalign dentists in our area and offer a top notch service, with intra oral scanners, 0% finance and lots of other added bonuses.
As long as your teeth and gums are healthy there are no contraindication.
Does Invisalign hurt?
Invisalign is generally the most comfortable way to straighten your teeth. The first week is a bit uncomfortable as you are getting used to the aligners, but after this you will be happy. Teeth sometimes ache a little but it’s minor and not something that will bother you.
How long does Invisalign take compared to braces?
This all depends on how crooked your teeth are. Generally braces are quicker, however Invisalign treatment can be as short as three months. On average, cases take about a year from start to finish.
Can Invisalign fix receding gums?
No, you need to see a specialist periodontist to fix this issue. Please see Dr Mish!
How do I pay?
There are three ways to pay:
- Finance – we can break treatment costs down into manageable monthly repayments
- Pay as you go – you can pay a little every time you see us
- Upfront – if you pay us by BACS you can get a 3% discount