What are clear aligners, and why might I choose them?

Clear aligners are a form of orthodontics which straighten and realign the teeth without obvious dental work. Invisalign in Weybridge can be used for patients who do not wish for obvious orthodontics, such as traditional metal braces which entail metal wires and brackets, they may feel as if wearing metal brackets and wires will hinder their self-esteem. Clear aligners are suitable for individuals of all ages, and can be used for patients who have previously undergone orthodontic work. Many individuals may believe the treatment name for clear aligners is in fact ‘Invisalign’ however this is just one brand provider of this particular orthodontic treatment. Individuals who may lean more towards using Invisalign may wish for straighter teeth, with a virtually invisible brace.


How do these aligners work?

Invisalign uses clear plastic trays which are placed within the mouth. The transparent trays are replaced every few weeks in order to encourage the teeth to move in a certain direction. Invisalign are designed with the patient’s lifestyle in mind, they can be removed for special occasions, and worn whenever the patient chooses, although recommendations for wearing will be made by an orthodontist. The clear trays gradually encourage the teeth to move into a desired position, resulting in a straighter smile.


The orthodontic treatment process

Initially, all orthodontic and dental treatments should start with a consultation. During an initial consultation a patient and their orthodontist will determine whether Invisalign is right for them. Individuals with mild or moderate crowding may be approved for this particular form of orthodontic treatment. Once approved for treatment, a scan will be taken of the patient’s mouth in order to create a three dimensional treatment plan. A 3D treatment plan illustrates the exact movements the teeth will take before reaching the desired results this is usually constructed using software referred to as Clincheck. This will give the patients an idea of how long the treatment is expected to take, as well as an insight of how the results may appear once the treatment is complete.


The final steps with the Invisalign treatment process

Once the trays have been designed either through a dental putty moulding process, or using a digital scanner such as iTero, they will be provided by Invisalign to the patient’s local orthodontic clinic. After the financial deposit is settled, the patient may be given an option by many dental practices to pay off their clear aligners using monthly instalments.


The first step

A patient may be considering Invisalign as a treatment option for them, but they may not be aware of the first step to take. If a patient is unsure of how to commence their treatment, it is suggested that they contact their local clinic, and ask to seek dental advice. Many braces are not available on the National Health Service, this may be due to their cosmetic, and therefore more aesthetically pleasing physical appearance. Certain patients may be put off private forms of orthodontics, such as clear aligners, due to the financial aspect, however there are alternative payment options. Many patients may be unaware that they can access private orthodontics through monthly payment plans, which can lead them to avoid an initial lump payment.

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