10 Things You Should Know Before Getting Started on Invisalign.
If you’re about to start Invisalign treatment, understanding how this innovative teeth straightening system works can help you get the best outcome as your smile is redesigned.
For instance, knowing the advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces can keep you motivated to persevere with wearing your aligner trays for the recommended number of hours each day.
And an understanding of the few potential drawbacks with Invisalign can avoid disappointment later.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you should know before getting started on Invisalign.
1. Invisalign Straightens Your Teeth Using Plastic ‘Trays’
Invisalign custom-fitted aligner trays are made of clear, medical-grade plastic, and are practically invisible in your mouth – as the name implies.
The removable aligners are designed for comfort, with smooth edges and, unlike conventional braces, no brackets or wires.
Invisalign provides far more control than braces in how your teeth are repositioned. The aligners exert gentle pressure in a series of precisely timed and regulated movements. Each aligner tray in the sequence is worn 20 to 22 hours a day for one or two weeks.
While treatment with regular braces can take two years or longer, Invisalign can usually do the job in 12 to 18 months, and signs of improvement are often apparent after a few weeks.
The Invisalign system features highly advanced technology, including 3D computer imaging that avoids traditional impressions that can be stressful if you have a strong gag reaction.
Your aligners also come with a proprietary SmartTrack system for more controlled, predictable movement of teeth, with results that are easy to see at every stage of the process.
2. Key Advantages of Invisalign Over Braces
Invisalign aligners hold several important advantages over regular braces. They’re a healthier, more aesthetic option and afford greater convenience.
Because conventional fixed braces stay in your mouth constantly, the brackets and wires make it hard to clean your teeth properly, and food particles can become trapped in them.
This can lead to buildup of plaque and tartar – a leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
The removability of Invisalign appliances allows you to brush and floss as normal, and you also get the convenience of being able to eat foods you would need to avoid to prevent damage to braces.
Although standard braces are more discreet nowadays, the wires and brackets are still far more noticeable than Invisalign aligners.
3. Invisalign May Not Be The Best Option For Complex Cases
Invisalign doesn’t have the same capabilities of fixed braces in exerting pressure, so it’s unlikely to rectify more complex orthodontic problems requiring significant movement of teeth.
Situations where Invisalign may not work as effectively as braces include:
- You have short, round teeth or teeth with pronounced tips, which may not allow the aligner to get a good grip.
- When a high level of tooth rotation is necessary to correct overcrowding.
- Large gaps between teeth – Invisalign can only reliably close up to 6mm of space per arch (top teeth and lower teeth).
- You’ve had previous dental work such as a bridge, or porcelain crowns or veneers that preclude the use of Invisalign attachments.
Although Invisalign has its limitations, the powerful technology behind the system is constantly advancing to widen its scope of treatments, and experienced Invisalign dentists can typically treat a broader spectrum of orthodontic problems.
4. You May Experience Some Initial Discomfort
All orthodontic treatments can make your mouth feel tender at first. Invisalign generally causes a little soreness during the first few days of wearing a new aligner.
Patients typically describe the sensation as more like pressure than pain and say the advantages of Invisalign considerably outweigh any discomfort treatment may cause.
Studies have shown that over a third of Invisalign patients experience no pain whatsoever. Those who did get some discomfort said it went away a couple of days after starting with a new aligner.
Invisalign is the most popular clear-aligner orthodontic system but others are available in Singapore, including:
- Aurora Clear Aligners – suitable for mild to moderate cases, but treatment can take twice as long as Invisalign.
- Zenyum Clear Aligners – can align front teeth for aesthetic purposes but can’t correct bite problems.
- ClearCorrect Clear Aligners – Probably considered to be the closest competitor to Invisalign, can do most of the things Invisalign can but a slightly cheaper cost.
We have a dedicated article that discusses the differences between Invisalign and other clear aligner brands that are available in Singapore.
6. The Cost of Invisalign Treatment in Singapore
Invisalign treatment at NoFrills Dental in Singapore costs from $1,888 to $6,500+ (before GST), depending on the complexity of your case, and payment by monthly instalments is available. We have a dedicated article that dives deep into the cost of Invisalign in Singapore.
The cost includes:
- Initial consultation – oral health check and Invisalign suitability assessment using 3D scans.
- Follow-up consultation to discuss your treatment plan.
- Fabrication of your custom-made aligners.
- Fitting attachments – small tooth-coloured studs that are glued onto your teeth to guide movement.
- Issue of a series of aligners with guidelines on how to put them in and remove them.
- Follow-up appointments to monitor progress.
When your Invisalign treatment is completed, you’ll need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting back out of position.
Different types of retainers are available:
- Fixed retainers, costing from $300 to $600 per arch.
- Hawley removable retainers – $200 to $400 per retainer.
- Clear, removable retainers – from $350 for a set of two arches.
7. Maintaining Your Smile After Finishing Invisalign Treatment
You need to keep your aligners clean to avoid staining and accumulation of bacteria.
Brush your aligner trays gently at least twice a day. Use clear anti-bacterial soap and rinse them in tepid water – never hot water, which could warp the plastic.
It’s also advisable to rinse your aligners every time you take them out. Brush and floss your teeth before re-inserting your aligners.
You can also use the Invisalign Cleaning System – packs of crystals you dissolve in a cup of water to break down plaque and kill bacteria on your aligners.
With the exception of water, avoid drinking or eating anything while wearing your aligners as they may become stained and attract odours.
8. You’ll Need to Wear Your Aligners For 20 – 22 Hours A Day
Although you need to wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, you can – and should – remove them for:
- Meals and snacks.
- Drinking anything except plain water.
- Brushing and flossing.
You can also take out your aligner trays if it would make you more comfortable for special occasions – although it’s doubtful anyone will notice them – and for activities such as sports or playing a wind instrument.
However, it should be noted that the Invisalign system is highly reliant on patient compliance when it comes to aligner wear. Patients must wear their Invisalign clear aligner for the correct number of hours every single day as recommended by their dentist for optimal results. Invisalign only works when patients are wearing their clear aligners.
9. Invisalign Treatment May Affect Your Speech Slightly
As with any orthodontic appliance, Invisalign aligners may briefly affect your speech, causing a slight lisp temporarily. As your mouth gets used to your aligners, any minor speech impediment should disappear within a week.
It should be noted that when compared to other forms of orthodontic treatment such as braces, this minor speech impediment is significantly more mild.
10. The Orthodontic Issues That Invisalign Can Address
Invisalign can rectify many orthodontic issues, including:
- Crooked teeth.
- Gapped teeth (with limitations).
- Crowded teeth (depending on the severity of the problem).
Invisalign can also resolve bite problems – when upper and lower teeth don’t come together correctly. Common bite irregularities include:
- Underbite – lower teeth projecting beyond the upper teeth.
- Overbite – upper front teeth protruding over the lower teeth.
- Open bite – upper teeth failing to make proper contact with lower teeth.
- Crossbite – upper teeth biting on the inside of lower teeth.
Am I A Suitable Candidate For Invisalign Treatment?
The ideal candidate for Invisalign treatment should be in good physical health, have a reasonably healthy set of teeth and gums and must have the discipline to wear the Invisalign clear aligners as instructed by the dentist for the correct number of hours every single day.
Invisalign treatment is suitable for most patients who want to straighten their teeth. However, complex cases of malocclusion may find better results through the use of conventional braces as Invisalign may not be the most effective form of orthodontic treatment when if comes to treating complex cases.
If you’ve got more questions about Invisalign Treatment in Singapore. You can read up more on our dedicated page on Invisalign Treatment in Singapore, or you could contact us directly to speak to one of our Invisalign accredited providers.
We would suggest for you to speak to one of our dentists. Our Invisalign accredited providers are experienced, ready to answer all your queries, and will discuss all the possible treatment options available for you.
At the end of the day, we believe that the right dentist for you is the one who will lay out all your treatment options on the table, allowing you to make informed decisions, while ensuring that your entire treatment process is as enjoyable, comfortable and hassle-free as possible.
Good communication between you and your dentist is the best way to ensure a smooth and successful treatment.
In addition, please only proceed with the treatment if you are fully comfortable with the treatment plan proposed by your Invisalign provider.
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