If you are thinking about invisible braces then the chances are you've come across a company called Invisalign. In the UK Invisalign is one of the most popular types of invisible braces or clear braces, and has gained great deal of interest over recent months.
In principle almost no one would have a problem with the idea of wearing Invisible Aligner which were virtually invisible, but what a lot of people wanted to know is what the reality is for someone who chooses Invisalign clear braces rather than traditional braces. After all, traditional metal or wire braces have been around for many years, and have a proven track record of achieving excellent results.
Is there any degree of risk associated with wearing clear braces, and how do invisible braces compare to traditional braces in terms of comfort, and end result? One of the best ways of understanding the real difference between clear braces and traditional braces is to understand how they each work.
As far as teeth alignment is concerned the only real way of reordering or rearranging teeth within the mouth is by applying a certain amount of pressure on each tooth, gently pushing it towards the desired location and into the desired orientation. Although it can seem as though teeth are fairly well fixed in the jaw, in fact teeth are perfectly able to move around within the jaw, and it only takes a fairly small amount of pressure applied consistently over a period of time to move teeth quite significantly.
80% of us are unhappy with the way our teeth look, and over half of us feel that a smile is the most important facial feature, and the one which is noticed first. It is unsurprising then that wearing braces for a period of time to improve the overall look of a smile has remained one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments available for many years.
The way in which traditional metal wire braces work is by being fixed across all of the relevant teeth, with small screws tightened to apply pressure on each tooth, pushing it gently towards where it ought to be. This is where a dentist's intuition, skill and experience come into play, because there's no real guarantee of how the teeth will eventually look. It will be a case of trusting your dentist to make the right decisions early on.
Invisible braces still apply pressure to the teeth in much the same way, but instead of using metal wires and screws the teeth are actually enclosed in a plastic tray. This plastic tray is moulded in such a way that pressure is applied to the teeth in the right way, but as the tray is made of a clear material it is virtually invisible.
But there is a difference, because the clear plastic trays which Invisalign braces are made of cannot apply the same degree of pressure on teeth as traditional wire braces. Normal braces can't usually be removed, or at least not very easily, but Invisalign braces can be removed at any time, not that it's recommended to do so for very long at a time.
But the point is that when your dentist examines your teeth in preparation for invisible braces a highly detailed scan is taken, and fed into a computer so that the dentist can actually move your teeth around in virtual reality. The computer then calculates a series of clear braces which you will wear throughout the entire process. Every two weeks you'll be provided with the next set of Invisalign to wear, and over the course of several months your teeth will be moved into their new location and orientation according to a computer generated series of incremental stages with the end result known precisely.
This is one of the main reasons why people are choosing Invisalign invisible braces, because as well as providing a cosmetic a more discreet form of brace throughout the treatment, the end result is much more accurately determined.