Invisible braces such as Invisalign are becoming more popular, especially among adults in Ottawa. These are a good option for those who want straight teeth while avoiding the “metal mouth” smile. But how much do they cost? Do they really work?
What Are They?
Invisible braces are a way of straightening teeth that uses a series of clear plastic aligners, or trays, to gradually move teeth into alignment. They may also be called removable braces, although the correct term is clear aligners.
They may not be completely invisible, but they do use advanced technology that makes them barely detectable. Most people can’t tell that somebody is wearing them until they are told.
The best-known type of invisible braces is the Invisalign system, but there are other similar brands available.
Teeth aligners can be used to treat a wide range of mild and moderate tooth alignment problems including:
They can also be a good choice for those whose teeth have started to move back to their original position following previous orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign braces can be used to treat around 90% of orthodontic cases. Only the more severe ones will require dental braces.
Even though they are relatively new to the market, the invisible braces have become popular very quickly as they offer an inconspicuous way to achieve a better smile. Many adults decide not to wear braces because they don’t like how it looks. But did you know that having teeth that are misaligned can lead to dental problems later in life because it’s harder to keep them clean? Because of this, braces can be considered not only an investment in your smile but your oral health as well.
Clear braces are a popular choice for professionals who worry more that braces that are visible will cause them to be taken less seriously or even teased at work. After all, we most commonly think of school children wearing braces, right?
This stigma may be lessening, but it’s understandable for people to feel self-conscious about wearing braces as an adult.
Another reason why people prefer this treatment is if they have a big day coming up, like a wedding. Many brides would think that their picture will be ruined by a smile full of metal, so rather, they choose transparent braces. Some people will also choose these braces if they play an instrument or play a sport.
How Do Aligner Systems Work?
A mold of your teeth will be taken, which will then be used to create a digital scan, or your orthodontist will scan the teeth directly with the latest technology. This scan is used to plan your treatment with the help of a computer program. Your aligners are created from this.
The 3D plan will allow you to see before and after views of your teeth before the treatment begins. This will allow your dentist or orthodontist to visualize the predicted outcome of your treatment. They will then discuss different treatment options you may want to consider. It may be necessary for your teeth to be filed along some sides as part of the treatment. This is a painless process that creates small gaps in your teeth to give them the space to move. This can also even out cosmetic imperfections.
Each aligner is customized to fit your teeth and shaped to give you the pressure needed in all the right places to slowly shift them into alignment.
You will need to switch it every two weeks, depending on the recommendations from your dentist. Your dentist or orthodontist will only need to check the progress of your treatment every four to six weeks or so before giving you new sets of teeth aligners.
Treatment can take anywhere from nine to eighteen months or more, but will typically last just over a year. Since longer treatments require more trays to be made, the price will increase considerably for longer treatment durations.
With Invisalign treatment, it may be necessary to add attachments to certain teeth to help the aligners work better, especially if gentle force is needed for rotating teeth or a more complex movement is necessary.
After you are done with your treatment, you will be asked to wear a retainer at night to keep your teeth in place. Your orthodontist may tell you to wear it during the day at first as well.
Invisalign retainers are designed to be almost unnoticeable. Other types of retainers use metal wires to keep your teeth in place but are still removed.
If it possible that you may need to wear a retainer for the rest of your life to stop your teeth from moving back to their original position, known as relapse.
This brand is the most synonymous with this kind of treatment.
Align Technology, the company that created Invisalign, was founded in 1997. The product hit the American market in 2000, backed by a very convincing marketing campaign.
Up to that point, there was very little innovation in the orthodontics market, except for lighter and whiter materials that were being developed over the years. All braces had basically used the same system of wires and brackets attached to the teeth. So when the invisible brace concept was first created, it gave patients a whole new way to straighten teeth subtly.
The originally invisible brace has made a huge name for itself. It started as one product, called Invisalign Full, but there are now multiple kinds.
The Different Invisalign Braces
Full: This is the most common treatment used to create more complicated issues with tooth alignment. Full treatment is typically 12-18 months but will continue until the desired results are achieved.
Lite & i7 (UK): These are for moderate to mild cases that don’t need the full treatment. There are two shorter treatment options. The i7 is used to minor dental corrections, more for aesthetic reasons. In just 7 sets of aligners, treatment can be completed in as little as three months. The Lite treatment takes around seven months.
Express (US): This is the US version of the invisible braces. It’s a faster and cheaper option that gives you mild corrections. There are two lengths of time for these which is three months and six months.
Teen: Since the teeth and jaws are still in development during the teenage years, it is a great time to fix any problems with alignment. However, some brands of invisible braces are not designed to accommodate the growing jaw of a teenager. With removable braces, there’s also the chance that the patient will want to remove them for longer than the recommended time each day.
Invisalign teen is specially designed to straighten their teeth while the jaws and dentition are still evolving. The system comes with special features that include:
Up to six free aligners to replace lost or damaged ones
Tabs for tooth eruption to allow space for growing teeth
Compliance indicators that show parents and dentists whether not the child is keeping their aligners in for the 22 hours per day requirement.
Special aligners to encourage the advancement of the lower jaw and enable treatment without elastics.
What’s The Cost?
In many cases, the cost of invisible braces is slightly more than traditional metal braces. However, it’s a price that most are willing to pay to have their teeth discretely straightened. Roughly, the Invisalign system can cost around £1,500-£5,500 in the UK and $2,000-$8,000 in the US.
Thinking about having braces and Invisalign for a better smile? Consult with these Local Ottawa Dentists and Orthodontists.
Invisible Braces in Ottawa
Address: 175 Holland, Ottawa
Ontario K1Y 0Y2
Phone: (613) 722-0640