If your teeth aren’t quite straight – if they are crooked, overcrowded, protruding or just don’t quite meet properly when you bite – then it can ruin the effect of your smile no matter how much care you take over the condition of each individual tooth. The good news is that a modern orthodontist can straighten even the most crooked of teeth over time, whilst the bad news is that many people simply don’t bother to make the effort.
Lots of adults with crooked teeth tend to feel that wearing braces and straightening your teeth is something which only children and teenagers do, but the truth is that shifting your smile until it’s genuinely even is something which is worth doing at any stage of your life. On top of this, many people might worry what the actual treatment will entail. Mention ‘braces’ and the chances are that most people will have images of cumbersome, heavy metal bars cemented onto the front of the teeth and kept in place for months on end, during which they will feel uncomfortable, look dreadful and even effect your ability to talk clearly. Whilst modern metal braces are much more lightweight and user friendly than the equivalent from years ago, the options for straightening your teeth now extend even further, thanks to the Invisalign range of treatments. Invisalign braces are often known as ‘invisible braces’ and for once this is something more than just a catchy marketing phrase. Invisalign treatment takes the form of ultra-lightweight plastic retainers which slip easily on and off your teeth, having been custom made to fit you. The vital aspect of the retainers is that they are completely transparent, meaning that when you’ve got them on nobody will be able to tell you’re wearing anything, even if they’re stood a few feet away and talking straight to you.
If your orthodontist decides that the treatment would be suitable for straightening your teeth then they will explain exactly what the treatment entails, how long it will take and what results you can expect to see. In most cases you’ll return to your dentist every few weeks to have a new set of retainers fitted, with the entire treatment lasting between twelve and eighteen months. There are, however, different types of invislaign available to patients, and this is a brief description of what’s on offer:
Invisalign – this is the standard treatment as outlined above. Also known as Invislign Full it is the form of the treatment which will be offered to 95% of patients requiring treatment.
Invisalign Teen – if all of a patients teeth have yet to come through the gums, either because they are still a teenager or because, although they are up to 21 years old, their teeth are slow to grow, then your orthodontist may well recommend the use of Invisalign Teen braces. In the case of both Invisalign Teen and Invisalign Full, your orthodontist will apply as many different sets of braces as is required to get the job done, with the length of treatment and number of retainers depending upon the severity of the problem.
Invisalign Lite – if your teeth have only a very slight problem then your orthodontist may recommend Invisalign Lite, which is the quicker version of the treatment. Unlike the full Invisalign treatment, this will be limited to a set number of retainers agreed before the treatment starts.