More and more adults are choosing to fix their uneven smiles through orthodontic treatment, and it’s largely down to the development of invisible braces.
They may sound too good to be true, or even like something out of a sci-fi story. You no doubt want to know exactly how well these modern alternatives to fixed metal braces live up to their name.
We’ve done some research into invisible braces for you. Read on to find out if you truly will be the only person who knows your braces are there, or if it’s more like the emperor’s new clothes in the dentist’s surgery.
How invisible actually are invisible braces?
Of course, invisible braces – or aligners, to give them their technical name – aren’t literally invisible. Technology hasn’t advanced quite that far yet – besides, you would end up losing them the first time you took them out of your mouth! But, in comparison to the garish grey metal of traditional fixed braces that can’t help but be seen, aligners may as well be invisible.
So, what are invisible braces made of then?
Aligners are crafted from robust medical grade plastic, custom-made for each patient to fit their mouth. As the plastic each set of aligners is made from is transparent, your teeth will be easily visible and the braces virtually undetectable. With aligners, it’s very likely that only one person will know that you are wearing braces – you!
How do invisible braces work?
Unlike traditional fixed braces, aligners work not only by moving teeth a set amount, but also controlling the time at which individual teeth move. Your treatment is divided up into stages, with a different set of aligners produced for each stage. This means that certain teeth will be moved by your first aligner, and then held in place by the next aligner that is also moving teeth in a different area of your mouth. This makes for a controlled and efficient orthodontic treatment programme.
Does that mean my invisible braces are not fixed to my teeth?
Invisible braces are removable to allow different sets of aligners to be easily fitted throughout the treatment, which also has a range of other benefits. Mealtimes are easy as you simply take your aligners out when eating or drinking. You also remove your braces to clean your teeth, meaning you don’t have to change the way you brush. And if there are occasional times you don’t want to worry about whether your aligners can be seen (as unlikely as that is), you can simply take them out for a short period.
Are invisible braces as effective as traditional fixed braces?
Comparing the two is tricky. Fixed braces and aligners work in different ways, and one patient’s treatment will take a different amount of time to the next. The general time frame for most treatments is generally no longer than it would be with fixed braces. In fact, some more advanced models of aligners can actually result in a shorter treatment. The most sophisticated available can allow treatment to be completed in as little as six months.
Are there circumstances where I wouldn’t be able to have invisible braces?
Just as with any form of orthodontic treatment, there are some dental conditions which may mean you are unsuitable for invisible braces. However, if you are enjoying generally good oral and dental health, it’s likely that you will be able to have aligners fitted. It’s a decision made on a patient by patient basis, so the only way to know for certain is to have a consultation with an orthodontist who offers invisible braces.
To book your consultation call 0141 332 1101.