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In the past, there were limited options for people with orthodontic problems. Due to recent innovations in dentistry, patients now have a wide variety of orthodontic options. One of the concerns for people thinking about correcting their orthodontic problems, was the aesthetic impact of wearing a brace. Conventional braces made use of highly visible metal arches and brackets. Fortunately, a new generation of 'invisible' or highly discreet braces have addressed this problem.

Whilst the wire, elastic and metal used in conventional braces to put the necessary pressure on your teeth was highly effective, the brace was very obvious and ugly to look at. Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment which gives effective results but attempts to address the problem of the aesthetics of your brace. The Invisalign brace gently moves your teeth using a set of transparent plastic aligners. The brace is so slim that it is hard to spot unless up close and many patients also report that it is more comfortable to wear than conventional braces.

Invisalign has the added benefit of being completely removable. This is a double edged sword however, meaning the patient has a lot more responsibility for their treatment than if they were wearing a fixed brace. The drawback to this method is that, if the aligner is not worn enough, treatment times and the cost involved could be drawn out. For this reason, Invisalign is not always recommended to teenage patients.

Invisalign can fix a range of orthodontic issues including gaps, crowding or crooked teeth. Unfortunately, Invisalign can't be used on the more severe orthodontic problems. For these you will need a brace which puts more pressure on your teeth. Invisalign is great for patients who are allergic to the metal used in traditional braces.

Fitting Invisalign Braces

Prior to fitting, you will meet with your dentist for an oral examination and have a mold of your teeth taken in dental putty. You will also have a number of photographs taken of your mouth. Using your mold, your Invisalign brace is designed and created at a specialist laboratory. This is then sent back to your dentist who will fit the brace and talk you through how to care for your aligner and how to get the most out of treatment.

Because Invisalign is completely removable, you are able to eat or drink whatever you like during treatment. You can also brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. As there is no metal wires or brackets involved, you will find Invisalign to be exceptionally comfortable compared to conventional braces. This has the added benefit of reducing the number of visits required for monitoring and adjustments.

The aligners in Invisalign work in much the same way as a conventional brace; putting small but constant pressure on your teeth. With Invisalign however, the timing of the adjustments can be carefully controlled, meaning only certain teeth will be allowed to move at each stage. You will be advised not to smoke while wearing your aligner as this could cause staining. Similarly, you will need to remove your aligner while eating and drinking. Although the amount of follow up visits is massively reduced with Invisalign, you will still need to visit your dentists so he can monitor your progress.

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Guide to Orthodontics