The secrets behind discreet teeth straightening
If watch TV, it won’t have escaped your notice how many people have beautifully straight white teeth these days, and it’s not just the professionals. Yet, if you look at people rushing about their daily business, not so many seem to be sporting braces on their teeth. What is happening? How is everyone getting straighter teeth and yet not wearing braces? Are they having it done magically? Almost. It’s Invisalign, one of the first commercial products to come out of 3D printing.
In Berkshire, Invisalign is available from us at Old Windsor Dental Practice.
The name says it all
The brand name Invisalign sums up what this treatment is all about — invisible alignment. Rather than the traditional fixed bracket and wire braces that pull teeth into alignment, Invisalign’s inventor decided to use mouth guard-like aligners that deliberately don’t quite fit right to push the teeth into their correct positions.
Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation to see if this system can correct your alignment issues. If it can, we use a hand-held digital scanner to take detailed measurements of your teeth and jaws. These go into a programme that then makes a little animation to show how your teeth need to move to be brought into alignment.
You can actually see how your smile will look at the end of treatment, which is a great incentive. If you decide to go ahead with treatment, we send all the information off to the Invisalign laboratory in the US, where your series of aligners are 3D printed. Each one is a step along an incremental journey to alignment, and you need to wear it for about 7–10 days before moving onto the next one.
At 0.3 millimetres thick, these clear plastic straighteners are so thin that, once they are snapped on over the teeth, they are almost impossible to spot. Plus, as they can be removed for eating and teeth cleaning, you get to carry on with life as normal throughout treatment.
You do need to be disciplined about wearing your aligners for at least 20 hours a day if they are to do their job effectively.