What is Invisalign?

Invisalign are an incredibly effective alternative to braces that appear almost invisible when worn. This makes it perfect for people who don't want to hide their smile behind clunky metal braces or suffer the discomfort that comes with other brace options. The use of a plastic retainer style tray means that they can be removed easily when it's time to eat or drink. It's important that you remove them at mealtimes because they can trap food and residue from drinks, much like traditional braces.

The tray will come in a small container where it can be stored whilst not being worn. The Invisalign tray and the container must be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria build-up which can damage your oral health once worn. While Invisalign can be painful at times, due to the mould adjusting the alignment of your teeth, it's far more comfortable than metal, ceramic, or lingual braces. The lack of metal and wires with this method make adjusting to the treatment a much smoother process than if you had to wear the other types of braces.

Lingual braces, which are worn on the back of the teeth as opposed to the front, are considered a good option for those who need braces but don't want to have their teeth covered. However, lingual braces consist of the same bracket and wire setup of metal braces, only they face inward instead of outwards. For some, this can be even more uncomfortable than standard metal braces, due to the position of the braces coming into contact with the tongue more regularly. Traditional metal and porcelain braces can cause discomfort when they come into contact with your gums. However, it could be argued that it is more painful when your tongue rubs against lingual braces. The pain won’t persist, though, and with effective painkiller use, the discomfort should subside.

The result of this is a rise in the popularity of Invisalign braces, as they are both more comfortable and still super-effective. At Dental Excellence, we offer a modern advancement on the traditional Invisalign treatment in the form of Clear X Aligners. This treatment consists of a similar transparent tray but instead of swapping between multiple trays, you only have one, which is reshaped as your treatment progresses. Using 4D technology, Clear X Aligners are able to accurately remould the retainer to manage the speed of your treatment. An accompanying app allows you to track your progress and keep on top of your treatments as it will give you reminders when your tray is due to be reshaped.

How effective are Invisalign?

Invisalign are an incredibly effective method for straightening and properly aligning teeth. In some cases, they can even deliver better results than braces, achieving stunning looks in a much shorter time. This, coupled with the fact that they are almost invisible, has made them a much more viable option for adults looking for discreet dental treatment. The effectiveness of Invisalign cannot just be measured on how well they can correct misaligned teeth. They also have a fantastic ability to remain subtle and more comfortable than traditional braces when being worn.

Due to the way Invisalign works, which is by inserting a retainer-style tray into the patient's mouth, it can only be used in certain situations. For example, if a patient has severely crooked teeth they may not be able to benefit from the Invisalign treatment. In some cases, metal braces may be required as they possess the ability to control which teeth are moved specifically. You can also add in additional components, such as rubber bands, to help with alignment. These rubber bands can help with jaw alignment as well as straightening teeth - something which can't be used with Invisalign. 

Invisalign works perfectly on misalignments that aren't too severe and do an excellent job at correcting crooked teeth to achieve the perfect smile. Whilst Invisalign is highly effective, our Clear X Aligners treatment is even more beneficial because it uses 4D technology to speed up treatment time. Your progress using Clear X Aligners can also be tracked using a companion app, meaning you're able to predict when you’ll achieve your desired results. With Invisalign, you don't have as much control and have to switch between multiple trays throughout your treatment as opposed to the single tray you wear with Clear X Aligners.

How long will Invisalign take to straighten my teeth?

Typically, Invisalign takes around 12-18 months to work, depending on the severity of the misalignment. However, patients can usually begin to see results in a matter of weeks. It can take months to complete the achievement and achieve the end results but the high effectiveness of Invisalign means that improvements will begin to show early. This will differ between patients as some cases may be more extreme and results may take longer to show. The same can be said for age as it's typically better to have treatment at a young age due to the mouth being more susceptible to change and easier to adapt to any adjustments. In contrast, as you get older, it can be more difficult to adjust the teeth.

Due to the nature of the Invisalign treatment, the success of the product depends on the amount of time it is worn by the wearer. As Invisalign can be removed, the wearer must ensure they are in as much as possible otherwise they are ineffective. This means they must be worn at night and as much as possible during the day (except whilst eating and drinking) so that they can work to their maximum potential. If they're not worn at night, or for a sufficient amount of time during the day, they will be considerably less effective and could increase the treatment time by months.

It can be difficult to stay persistent when wearing Invisalign as the mould will apply gentle but consistent pressure to your teeth to move them which can cause discomfort. But, when this is compared with metal braces, the discomfort is considerably less intense and can begin to show results after just 6-8 weeks. The journey to a perfect smile may be longer for some but as long as you're wearing your retainer as much as possible, you are likely to achieve results in the quickest time possible.

How does Invisalign work?

The Invisalign treatment consists of a transparent retainer, which needs to be replaced every few weeks with another one that is a slightly different shape. Essentially, this retainer replaces traditional braces and instead of using metal wires and brackets to move your teeth, this treatment uses a mould that forces your teeth into a new position. Usually, with standard braces, in order to get your teeth to move, you would have to take a visit to the orthodontist and have them tightened to continue to influence your teeth. With Invisalign, instead of a tightening, you will be given a new tray that is worn in place of your old one.

This method of treatment is extremely effective for achieving straighter teeth and brings with it the added benefit of appearing invisible. When worn, the retainer is barely noticeable, meaning you can wear your Invisalign retainer whilst going about your daily routine without worrying about anyone noticing. As the retainer is worn week by week, your teeth are slowly moving to fit the shape of your retainer. Once the teeth have neared the shape of the retainer, you will be given a new one that is moulded to a different shape to ensure the teeth keep adjusting.

The treatment that we offer, Clear X Aligners, are extremely similar to Invisalign in how they are used. The Clear X Aligner treatment also consists of a transparent tray that is worn to adjust the teeth. However, instead of there being multiple trays that are swapped over time, there is just one single tray. This cuts down on the number of times you will need to visit the dentist or orthodontist and the impact on the environment from the wasted plastic. The speed with which you can achieve your perfect smile has also increased drastically. With Clear X Aligners, you can manage your treatment and track your progress along the way. This is done using the companion app that controls the booster case which incorporates 4D technology into its design. This means that you can control the shape of the retainer throughout your treatment and excel through your treatment plan.

How do I clean my Invisalign?

Cleaning your Invisalign is just as important as cleaning your teeth. Bacteria can build up in the retainer just as it can on your teeth and if left uncleaned, could damage your health. This is why when you brush your teeth daily, you must also clean your retainer in between wearing it. There are few ways to do this but ultimately the process is straightforward and easy enough for anyone to do without too much trouble.

Firstly, you must rinse your retainers to remove any excess saliva or potential bits of food that are caught in it. Next, you should brush your retainers, paying extra attention to the inside of the tray which is in contact with your teeth. It's important that you use a soft-bristled brush - different to the one you brush your teeth with - so as to not damage the tray. This effectively removes bacteria build-up leaving the retainer clean and safe to wear again. Once you have rinsed the retainer, you must clean the carry case as there is also the chance that bacteria has built up inside. 

There are also cleaning products you can buy to help clean your Invisalign retainer or Clear X Aligner retainer, if you've opted for that treatment instead. When cleaning your Clear X retainer it's extremely important that you're extra careful with it as you only get one, unlike Invisalign which consists of a series of retainers. If you were to damage your Invisalign, it may affect your treatment time, but you would be able to receive another one. However, with Clear X Aligners, you only have one that is reshaped. It's also crucial that you do this regularly as harmful bacteria can build up extremely quickly.

Do I need Invisalign?

Depending on your requirements, if you have misaligned or crooked teeth, Invisalign is a great option. There is a chance that if you have severely crooked teeth that Invisalign won't work and you may require something more intensive. It can be common that certain patients require metal braces as they can reshape the alignment of teeth in more dynamic ways. If you don't have any severe crookedness, Invisalign would be a great choice and is one of the most popular options for discreet dental treatment.

Invisalign is the perfect choice for receiving a smile-enhancing treatment without it changing your appearance. For example, if you work as a model or in customer service where appearance is a huge part of your job, Invisalign would be the ideal treatment option. Having metal brackets on your teeth can cause you discomfort, and harm your confidence. This can make meeting people, or going to social events, daunting. Invisalign provides the perfect solution if you're looking for a long-term dental treatment that doesn't hinder your appearance in any way.

Whether you specifically need Invisalign or not will depend on your dental requirements, and what results you're looking to achieve. The Clear X Aligners treatment which we offer here at Dental excellence consists of a similar transparent tray that is worn to correct your teeth whilst appearing invisible. Clear X Aligners have also been proven to deliver exceptional results in a shorter time, making them popular for those who are interested in a treatment similar to Invisalign but want to achieve their perfect smile faster. It is important to note that this isn't guaranteed and can change from patient to patient. However, the method that Clear X Aligners use, and the 4D technology that has been incorporated, making treatment time much faster, especially when compared to Invisalign.

Which is better, Invisalign or braces?

Pitching braces and Invisalign against each other is a difficult task as they both have their pros and cons. Typically, metal braces are cheaper but they can cause a lot of discomfort and can alter a person’s appearance due to their smile being barely visible. Invisalign are essentially the opposite as they're more expensive but they leave the wearer's ability to smile unhindered. This invisible appearance is what puts Invisalign above the rest because most patients don't want to lose their smile to dental treatment for a series of months.

Braces, besides being cheaper, also offer the ability to correct other aspects of the wearer’s oral health on top of correcting aligned teeth. For example, with metal braces, there is the capacity to introduce other components such as elastic bands which connect to the top and bottom rows of brackets. By applying these, they are able to adjust the jawline and positioning of the jaw to further improve alignment. As Invisalign consists of a top and bottom retainer, there isn't the capacity to introduce elastic bands. If jawline alterations are needed, a different treatment should be considered.

Invisalign on the other hand offers more benefits in the way of appearance and comfort. Whilst the plastic retainer isn't completely comfortable, because it is still something that is strange sitting in your mouth, it's far more comfortable than metal brackets and wires crowding your mouth. In some cases, Invisalign can even work faster than braces delivering desired results in a much shorter time. When you put all that alongside the fact that they are invisible, it's easy to see why they've become so popular amongst patients of all ages.

There are different types of braces, such as lingual braces, which offer an alternative to Invisalign as a seemingly invisible treatment. However, the main drawback is that they're perhaps the most uncomfortable of all the options. From the outside, it may appear as though you don't have braces at all but inside your mouth, it can feel pretty cramped. This is because the braces occupy the same area as your tongue, creating a lot of discomforts. Consequently, lingual braces have been decreasing in popularity. As a result, Invisalign, and Clear X Aligners, provide the same benefits without discomfort. 

Upkeep and maintenance are a big factor when wearing braces. It's important you clean them properly to stop bacteria from building up, or food getting caught in between the brackets. As the brackets are fixed to the teeth, there's no way to clean them other than brush around them. If you don't clean your braces properly, once the brackets are removed it can leave a coloured ring around where the brackets used to be. Invisalign, however, can be removed during times of eating and drinking which helps keep them clean. They can also be taken out and cleaned making it much easier than trying to navigate a set of braces with a toothbrush and floss.

What does Invisalign look like?

Invisalign looks similar to the retainers you would receive after having braces. They are a transparent tray that is moulded to the shape of the patient's teeth. The transparent retainer is then inserted into the mouth and it will fit in place as it connects with the teeth. Once it's been placed in the mouth, they are almost invisible and look as though you are not wearing anything. The key element that makes Invisalign so popular is its discreet appearance that won’t be picked up on by others.

Invisalign and Clear X Aligners are similar in their design. The key difference is that the Clear X retainer is reshaped using the booster case which means the containers that they come in looks very different. The Invisalign container is a slim carry case that allows them to be easily transported around without a fuss. The Clear X Aligners case, however, is designed to stay in one place and alter your tray once placed inside. This means that you don't need to carry the main booster case around as it only needs to be used every few weeks. 

The case for Invisalign is used solely to house the retainers when they are not being worn, whereas the Clear X booster case contains 4D technology which makes it much larger. The overall appearance of the retainer itself will largely remain the same and only change a small amount once it has been reshaped. The aim of the reshaping is to prepare it for the next stage of the process instead of having a brand new tray to replace your old one. The changes upon reshaping are unnoticeable and once placed in your mouth, will stay completely transparent and discreet.

Does Invisalign make your mouth bigger?

When looking into starting your Invisalign process, you may wonder whether Invisalign will affect the structure of your face or change your appearance in any way, both whilst wearing the brace and post-treatment. The answer to this question is that it varies on a case-by-case basis. Whilst wearing the retainer, you may find that your lips appear fuller. This is because your lips will be lying on top of the appliance and could appear larger as a result. This will not be the case once the retainer is removed.

In some cases, the appearance of your lips may change after wearing the retainer if the teeth immediately behind them move position. For example, a patient with an underbite whose upper and lower front teeth are moved into proper alignment by the retainer may find that their top lip appears plumper. Similarly, if a patient has top teeth that protrude and are brought back into alignment by the retainer, then this will allow for their lip to fall back, making it appear smaller, or flatter. With regard to lips, it’s important to remember that a retainer could only change the ‘foundation’ that your lips rest against and would not actually increase, or decrease, their fullness.

Furthermore, Invisalign doesn’t widen your jaw bone at all; however, some may find that their teeth move into a position that makes their smile appear wider. For example, if crooked front teeth are straightened out, them being aligned and facing forward would make the smile appear bigger.

If you think Invisalign could be a viable option for you, be sure to book a consultation. During your consultation process, our team will assess your smile and discuss the best possible treatment plan to get you the results that you want.

Is Invisalign less painful than braces?

Whilst straightening your teeth is not always the most comfortable of experiences, the likelihood is that, yes, most people would find Invisalign considerably less painful than traditional metal braces.

Some people may experience a slight sense of discomfort in the first few days of wearing a new retainer; however, this should subside rather quickly. The best way to get over this initial discomfort is to wear your retainer as much as possible during these first few days so that you are able to become accustomed to the trays. There are a few ways in which you can ease any soreness during this period, such as sticking to softer foods, drinking cool water, and over-the-counter pain medication. If this discomfort doesn’t subside, it is important to raise this with your dentist so that he can investigate and correct any underlying causes.

Despite this initial discomfort that some may experience, Invisalign doesn’t come with the sores so commonly associated with metal braces. The metal in traditional braces can sometimes catch or cut the inside of the mouth, resulting in lesions. Invisalign trays, however, are made from medical-grade plastic, which many would find considerably more comfortable. These Invisalign trays can also be removed whilst eating, making mealtimes an easier, and more pleasurable, experience. 

Your dentist will discuss the options available to you at length in the consultation process and ensure that we proceed with a treatment plan that works for you.

How many hours a day do I need to wear my Invisalign?

In order to get the best results from your treatment, it is important that you wear your Invisalign for the recommended number of hours per day. Your dentist will discuss this with you in more detail during the consultation process; however, this is usually around 22 hours per day.

You cannot brush your teeth, eat or drink anything other than water with your Invisalign aligners in, which means that you cannot wear them every minute of every day. However, ultimately, the more that you wear them, the quicker that you will progress and reach your desired results. This is because wearing the aligner puts pressure onto your teeth, which causes them to slowly move into the correct position. If the aligners are taken out of the mouth for longer than recommended, the pressure will not be put on the teeth, which means that the teeth won’t move; therefore, your progress will be slowed, and you may see results later than originally anticipated.

Invisalign is a personal, as well as financial, commitment. It may certainly be tempting to take your aligners out for a night out with friends, but regularly taking them out for these few hours could potentially lead to setbacks in your progression and delays in your results. If you keep your aligners in for the recommended periods of time and develop the right oral habits, Invisalign can generate life-changing results!

Can you smoke with Invisalign?

Whilst it is technically possible to smoke while undergoing Invisalign treatment since the trays are removable, it is not something that we’d recommend. 

There are a wide variety of reasons for this. Firstly, the tar and nicotine in cigarettes can result in dental staining, which can also stain the plastic aligners, leading to discolouration. Furthermore, if this tar becomes trapped in between the aligners and the teeth, it can cause the teeth and gums to be exposed to the tar for longer periods of time. This can increase the risk of dental health issues such as tooth discolouration, erosion, decay, or gum disease.

In addition to this, your aligners should be worn for 22 hours a day, meaning that your regular smoke breaks could lead to you wearing your retainers for less than the recommended daily hours, hindering your progress and causing your progression to slow.

Ultimately, in order to get the best results from your Invisalign treatment and for the sake of your oral health, you should avoid smoking whilst undergoing treatment. Whilst the ideal would be to cut out smoking entirely, if you do happen to smoke at some point during the course of your treatment, be sure to brush and floss thoroughly before putting your retainer back in.

Can you eat with Invisalign?

No, eating with your Invisalign retainers in your mouth is not recommended.

This is because the aligners, made from medical-grade plastic, are not designed to withstand the pressures of chewing. Doing so could result in staining your retainers or getting food stuck in between your teeth and the trays, which could lead to oral health implications.

Before eating or drinking anything other than water, be sure to remove your aligners and place them in their tray. The great thing about the aligners being removable is that, unlike with traditional braces, there is no need to cut any particular foods from your diet. Before putting the retainers back in, be sure to thoroughly brush and floss in order to be rid of bacteria. Otherwise, you may increase your chances of developing tooth decay.

It is recommended that you wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, which leaves plenty of time for mealtimes and snacking! Remember that your dentist will be sure to answer any questions you have surrounding your retainers during your consultation process and is there to help put your mind at ease.

Can you get Invisalign with an implant?

Yes! Invisalign is compatible with dental implants. Although the dental implant’s position is permanent, the teeth around it can be moved, which means that the two can work together in order to improve the appearance of your smile.

You can get Invisalign done before, during, or after getting dental implants. However, most dentists would recommend that you get Invisalign beforehand. This is because it makes the process a little easier and allows your dentist to be more flexible when designing your smile before putting in a permanent implant.

However, rest assured that Invisalign can work together with a dental implant in order to restore your smile. Your dentist will discuss the best course of action in detail during your consultation.

Can I get Invisalign with wisdom teeth?

As long as the wisdom teeth are painless, in most cases, they will not affect your Invisalign treatment.

Whilst adults who have had problematic wisdom teeth removed are great Invisalign candidates, the same can be said for those whose wisdom teeth are unproblematic, have not erupted, or have erupted straight.

In some cases, your dentist may recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth prior to Invisalign in order to avoid problems further down the road; however, the best course of action will be discussed in-depth with you during your consultation process. At Dental Excellence, each treatment plan is entirely bespoke to each patient and their individual requirements.

Does Invisalign hurt?

Some may report feeling slightly uncomfortable during the first few days of wearing a new retainer - do not worry, this should subside. The initial feeling of discomfort will likely be due to the retainers putting pressure on the teeth in order to cause them to move. However, you should become accustomed to this pressure within 2-3 days of wear.

The best way to get over this initial soreness is to ensure that you wear your retainer as much as possible during this time in order to allow your teeth to shift sooner. Whilst it may be tempting to take them out, this will only prolong this initial period and delay your progress!

There are a wide variety of ways in which you can ease this initial discomfort, such as eating softer foods and drinking cool water. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary. If your pain does not subside within a few days, it’s important that you raise this with your dentist. They will be able to look into any potential underlying causes of this in greater depth.

Is Invisalign permanent?

If you follow your dentist’s instructions, the changes that you see from Invisalign should be permanent, and your straighter teeth are yours for life!

However, you need to make sure that you are adhering to all advice and guidance in order to make the most out of your procedure. Be sure to take care of your retainers, follow all recommendations in terms of keeping up with your oral hygiene, and attend any check-up or follow-up appointments as required.

We believe that every one of our clients deserves an experience that exceeds their expectations, from the moment they arrive until their treatment is complete, so we will be sure to guide you through every step of the way. From consultation to your procedure, and guiding you on how to proceed once your Invisalign course is complete, your happiness and health are our utmost priority!

Do you think that you could be suitable for Invisalign treatment? Book a consultation today in order to discuss the treatment options available to you in more detail.

Not ready for a face-to-face consultation? We also offer virtual consultations so that you can understand more about what we do without having to come into our clinic.

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Our team of experts are on hand to assist in making the smile of your dreams a reality. From our same-day smile makeovers to dental implants, veneers, and composite bonding, your new smile could be just a day away. Get in touch with the team today or book in for your consultation.