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How Does Invisalign Differ From Other Braces

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Metal Braces or Invisalign: What’s The Difference?

9 million patients have experienced the benefits of Invisalign. The Gentle Dental has been almost awarded the highest accreditation that Invisalign certifies (Platinum Providers).

This makes us part of a rare, select few orthodontists who have treated the most Invisalign cases in Europe.

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Invisalign: The facts

If you already don’t know what Invisalign is, as the name suggests, it is invisible aligners that are shaped like mouthguards.

Made from a flexible and clear acrylic material that makes the straightening process discreet and almost unnoticeable, Invisalign offers patients faster treatment times at no huge extra cost.

They can correct the most minor to the most complex orthodontic issues for those who feel self-conscious about the look of their smile.

How does Invisalign treatment work?

  • SmartTrack material aligners that apply the right amount of pressure on the tooth
  • Comfortable and removable (gradually but powerfully moves teeth in 12 months)

Your oral specialist will provide you with your own set of aligners to be worn in their numbered stages as your teeth gradually realign and shift.

The stages and shape of your aligner will be custom-made to match your current mouth shape and move the teeth into their correct, more appealing positions.

You will wear each set of aligners for around 22 hours a day, for two weeks, before moving on to the next stage.

There are many types of Invisalign treatment targeted to individuals of different ages. These include Invisalign First (for children aged 6-10), Invisalign Teen (for ages 11-17), and Invisalign Full or Go for those 18+.

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Traditional braces: What are they and how do they work?

  • Can take up to 24 months
  • Requires a retainer to be worn after treatment
  • Available on the NHS, but costs are similar to Invisalign privately

Traditional metal braces are fixed metal straightening appliances that are attached to the teeth to realign their position.

Brackets are fixed onto each tooth, and a wire passes through these brackets and is attached using rubber ties.

The wire applies force to the teeth and forces them to move, and then it is tightened incrementally over some time as the teeth become straighter.

Once the teeth are in their final desired position, the braces are removed, and your orthodontist will provide you with retainers to be worn at night to ensure the teeth remain in their new position for the long term.

Patients who qualify

An Invisalign aligner can help correct the following:

Crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, overcrowding and gappy smiles.

See more treatable cases.

If your teeth are significantly misaligned, then it might be true that traditional braces with brackets, wires, and bands might be a more effective option for long-lasting straighter teeth.

However, this will be all explained and advised to you during your consultation and assessment.

Invisalign has advanced massively since its launch in 1998 and is able to correct a wide variety of oral health concerns and class II classifications.

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Should I choose traditional braces or Invisalign?

Whether you choose fixed braces or Invisalign will depend on several factors; however, the main thing to consider is how severe your alignment problems are.

While Invisalign is perfect for minor and complex alignment issues, if you have major overcrowding or a significant malocclusion, metal braces may be a more practical option to ensure long-lasting results, or perhaps even surgery.

Here at Gentle Dental, Dr Rifai and Dr Marshall will guide you through your orthodontic treatment and will be able to advise you on the best option for your teeth and mouth.

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How much does Invisalign cost?

Get an interest-free loan in under 5 minutes

It only takes 2 minutes to apply and you’ll get an answer immediately – applying for a loan has never been easier.

0% finance is available for many treatments up to £30,000. Credit decisions will be subject to individual circumstances. You must be over 18 and earn an income to apply.

Advantages & limitations of Invisalign 

  • Almost invisible for discreet and comfortable wearing 
  • They can be removed to eat, drink and brush (no forbidden foods)
  • They are removable which makes oral hygiene easier
  • Removing them also allows you to clean the retainers effectively
  • They are suitable for sport

Limitations:

  • Invisalign cannot move upwards or downwards
  • Cannot close gaps larger than 6mm
  • Losing the aligners or forgetting to put them on
invisalign-invisible-aligners
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Maintenance, oral health and aftercare

When it comes to metal braces, maintaining your oral hygiene is not always straightforward, as small food particles and plaque can build up around the brackets and wires.

Because the brackets are stuck to the teeth, cleaning these away can be tricky, and if not maintained properly during brace treatment, your teeth are at risk of developing cavities and even gum disease.

On the other hand, Invisalign retainers are removable, so can be taken out while you clean and floss your teeth, and you can clean them daily too to avoid bacteria build-up.

Comfort, ease, and predictability

Patients with metal braces often experience dull pain or discomfort, especially when wires are tightened.

This can make the process tedious and painful.

They might also experience soreness and irritation on the insides of their cheeks and gums as the wires rub against them.

Invisalign aligners cause very minimal discomfort at all, if any, as they are smooth and essentially feel like your normal teeth when worn.

On top of this, Invisalign aligners are specifically designed for your mouth using advanced 3D imaging technology. 

And, it is this technology that allows patients to see what the end result will look like, providing better predictability and taking the guesswork out of your orthodontic treatment.

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Maintenance, oral health and aftercare

When it comes to metal braces, maintaining your oral hygiene is not always straightforward, as small food particles and plaque can build up around the brackets and wires.

Because the brackets are stuck to the teeth, cleaning these away can be tricky, and if not maintained properly during brace treatment, your teeth are at risk of developing cavities and even gum disease.

On the other hand, Invisalign retainers are removable, so can be taken out while you clean and floss your teeth, and you can clean them daily too to avoid bacteria build-up.

Start your Invis journey today

Duration of treatment:

Most mild cases of misalignment can be treated from three months, with more complex cases taking up to 12 months. When it comes to traditional braces, the more severe cases can take up to two years from start to finish.

Invisalign treatment is shorter, lasting typically between 6 and 18 months.

If you would like to learn more about Invisalign and see if this teeth-straightening method is right for you, we offer free consultation appointments with dentists at our Surrey based practice in East Molesey KT8 0SP.

Here, we can answer all of your questions and concerns. As well as identifying which orthodontic treatment and a payment plan are most fitting for you.

To find out how we can help you feel better about your teeth and smile today, contact us on 020 8224 7562.

What are the alternative options available?

Although at The Gentle Dental we are highly invested in the success rate and effectiveness of the Invisalign system, there are (like every teeth straightening system) some downsides to consider.

Some issues people have reported with the Invisalign system are the hassle of having to clean the aligners after drinking things like coffee, but again, this just promotes better oral hygiene for the sake of a few minutes.

Some slight discomfort can also be experienced when changing to new aligners (which happens around every 2 weeks).

Although these are minor inconveniences for the results of a new and improved, straight smile, if Invisalign doesn’t appeal to you then there are some alternative options available:

Ceramic bracesCeramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces. What makes them a more popular option is that they have tooth-coloured or clear brackets that make them less visible against teeth.

Incognito bracesLingual braces involve attaching the orthodontic brackets on the inner sides of the teeth.

Inman alignerThe aligner provides a solution for patients with minor alignment and crowding issues, allowing them to realign their smiles in as little as 6 to 16 weeks.

Six month smiles: Works for all teeth and is a system of white wires and brackets, so again it is more discreet than traditional stainless steel and suitable for patients who desire a less obvious brace

Edward CrameEdward Crame
13:43 04 Dec 21
Very happy with all aspects of the work they have done. Very clean, professional and well run business.
Lynn HuddartLynn Huddart
12:43 24 Nov 21
Dr Ali Rifai was professional and I am very pleased with the outcome of my Invisalign's. I have been with this practice for many years and would highly recommend. The staff are very friendly and nothing is an issue.
Jonathan PlumbJonathan Plumb
11:52 24 Nov 21
Can't thank this practice enough for all their help. I don't post reviews very often, so when I do, it's because an impression has been left! Dr Ali saw me at short notice to help fix a broken tooth. The nurse (I think her name was Danni) was so helpful and kind, as were the rest of the team. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need (the same day i asked for an appointment!)
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"Choosing the Gentle Dental practice was the best decision I’ve made! Ali and his team are second to none. I can not praise the team enough. I’ve had my Invisalign treatment and a crown done with them and couldn’t be happier."
Jamie L.
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