Let’s keep it simple, Invisalign is a brand of clear plastic gumshields (called an aligner) that dentists and orthodontists provide patients for straightening teeth. They move the teeth over time and each week or second week the aligner is replaced. This process is repeated until the teeth move into the desired position.
OK, that was super simple and for most people, you can stop reading this article as that is all the information you need… But for those of you who want to understand what is really going on, read on. Don’t worry, it’s not a long read!
Invisalign is a brand just like BMW, Nissan, Nike, or Adidas. Just like each of those brands, you have a range of options. Depending on your dentist or aligner provider, it may not be Invisalign. The important thing to understand is that aligner technology is the same everywhere.
This type of teeth straightening treatment is called orthodontics, and aligners make up a small arm of that specality. There are a lot of providers out there from 3M, quick straight teeth, Invisalign, and 6 months smiles. Which one you decide to go for isn’t massively important, what matters most is that you know what aligners can and cannot do.
Aligners are great for really simple cases where a few teeth at the front have been pushed in, or rotated, or drifted away. They are also great if you had braces when you were a teenager and like many people, you may have forgotten to wear your retainer (how naughty!). If your teeth have started to move back to their old position. Aligners may be the perfect solution. They are removable, super snug, and comfortable.
Warning, if your teeth have significant crowding, or rotation aligners may not be best for you. Please do not be angry with your dentist if they have advised you that you require fixed braces. Most dentists are lovely people, so don’t be too mean! The reality is that, sadly, aligners cannot do everything. If the case is too complex, we may have to go back to the drawing board.
Last bit!! So aligners are great. They range from around £1,300 (for very easy cases) and can go up to around £4,500 (for more complicated cases). The higher cost will be for more difficult cases or if you live in the centre of London for instance (location can be a contributing factor to the price!).
-Dr Abraham McCarthy