Anyone who watches TV will have noticed how many people have beautifully straight white teeth these days. Yet, if one looks at people going about their daily business, not so many seem to be sporting braces on their pearly whites. What is going on? How are people getting their teeth straightened and yet not wearing braces? Is it magic? Not quite. It’s Invisalign, a product of the digital age.
In St John’s Wood, Invisalign is available from a number of good dental practices, including Aura Dental.
The clue is in the name
Invisalign, the brand name, sums up what this treatment is all about — invisible alignment. Instead of the usual fixed bracket and wire teeth straightening systems that pull teeth into alignment, Invisalign’s inventor decided to push them, using mouth guard-like aligners that deliberately don’t quite fit right.
The treatment journey
In St John’s Wood, Invisalign treatment starts off with a free consultation to see if this system can correct the patient’s issues. If it can, the dentist uses 3D scans to take detailed measurements of the teeth and jaws. These are fed into a programme that then shows how the teeth need to move to be brought into alignment.
With this technology from Invisalign in St John’s Wood, the patient can see how their smile will look at the end of treatment, which is a great incentive.
All the information goes off to the Invisalign laboratory in the USA, where between 12–48 aligners are 3D printed. Each one is a step along an incremental journey to alignment, and needs to be worn for about 2 weeks, before moving onto the next one.
At 0.3millimetres thick, these clear plastic straighteners are so thin that, once they are snapped on over the teeth, they are almost impossible to see. Plus, they can be removed for eating and teeth cleaning, so the patient can carry on with life as normal throughout treatment.
Patients must be disciplined about wearing their aligners as they need to be on the teeth for at least 20 hours a day if they are to do their job effectively.