Canterbury dentist Dr Panagiotis Georgiadis looks at why Invisalign is such a popular orthodontic system
It is not so long ago that, if you had crooked teeth, you were left with two basic choices; either put up with the way that they looked, or have some rather unsightly and uncomfortable wiring placed into your mouth.
Whilst these older type of braces usually ‘did the job’ quite well they were also extremely visible, sometimes causing the wearer to avoid social events as much as possible.
Times change though, and advances in cosmetic dentistry means that people wishing to have their teeth straightened can do so in more comfort and often, using almost invisible dental braces. One of the most popular systems in use today is the Invisalign orthodontic system which we have available at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign offers an entirely different method of straightening teeth compared to the more traditional method of wires and brackets. Whilst both systems work by exerting a gentle pressure upon the teeth, Invisalign do so in a more discreet and possibly more comfortable manner.
Instead of using wires and brackets, Invisalign uses a series of transparent ‘trays’ made from a medical grade plastic. These are produced from scans and impressions that are made of your natural teeth, ensuring a comfortable fit. The plastic is completely transparent, and the fine materials that are used means that hardly anyone will notice that you are wearing them. Their lack of visibility is one of the main reasons that many people prefer them to other types. The discretion factor though, is not the only good reason to consider this particular system.
With a wires and brackets system, the wearer will probably have to make a decision about what foods they can, and can’t, comfortably eat. Sticky foods especially can be a challenge and harder foods may, potentially, cause damage to the wires and/or brackets. Add to this, issues such as food getting trapped in the wiring and it isn’t hard to see how some of the enjoyment of eating can be taken away from you when you are wearing this older style of brace.
So, how is Invisalign different? Well, unlike other braces, Invisalign are actually designed to be removed by the patient when they eat. You just detach them from your teeth and put them in their case for safekeeping whilst you enjoy your food. Afterwards, you simply replace them. Where you do this at home, do make sure to rinse your mouth and trays out before you return them to your teeth. You don’t want to trap food in them if at all possible. You will also need to remove the trays for brushing (and hopefully flossing) your teeth, both morning and last thing at night. You should never go to bed at night until this has been done.
Please also remember that, whilst it is possible to remove the trays, you should not be tempted to do this for convenience alone. If you have an important interview and you feel more comfortable without them, they may be removed for that short period of time only. Removing them too often for ‘lesser’ events, such as going out for a drink in the evening, will mean that the treatment period may be much longer than you anticipated.
A major problem with traditional braces is that sugar and bacteria have a myriad of places that they can become trapped. Cleaning the teeth when wearing traditional braces is also more difficult and tooth decay is not uncommon.
The fact that no wires or brackets are used in the Invisalign system, and that they are designed to be removed for cleaning the teeth, means that this risk is greatly reduced. We will provide full information on how to keep your teeth healthy when wearing the trays, during the consultation period.
It isn’t just when you are wearing your trays that better oral health can be achieved but afterwards too. In addition to the fact that your teeth will look more attractive once they have been straightened, you will be able to keep them clean more easily too. Crooked teeth offer many opportunities for bacteria to become trapped in the tiniest of spaces; spaces that neither toothbrush or floss can access effectively. Maintaining nice even teeth means that cleaning them becomes easier and, providing that you do follow a good quality cleaning regimen at home along with regular visits to the dentist, you should hopefully need very little dental treatment for cavities etc.
If you live in the Canterbury area and are unhappy with your crooked teeth and would like to discover more about Invisalign braces, why not arrange to see one of the cosmetic dental team at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic? We are very happy to discuss this with you and answer any questions that you may have about the treatment. You can make an appointment to see us by calling us on 01227 463529.