BRACES – probably the most hated word in the dictionary! Older generations associate dentists with those dreaded metal fixtures. At one time, braces were the only option for straightening your teeth and improving your smile. However we now live in an age where Invisalign® is fast becoming standard practice for restructuring teeth. Leading dentists around the world are enthusiastic about Invisalign® technology and at Yiannikos Centre for Holistic Dentistry, I, Dr. Anna Maria Yiannikos have mastered this technology by applying Invisalign® to hundreds of patients in Cyprus. Here is an inside look at the treatment that has transformed the dental world forever.
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is the brand name for probably the most innovative orthodontic product of all time. It’s the name given to removable aligners designed to straighten the teeth. This unique alternative to the traditional metal brace is invisible to the eye and non-invasive. The revolutionary product belongs to Align Technology – a California based research centre – and was created in 1997 by the inventors Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth. It represents a giant shift in dentistry because it eliminates the need for braces. By 2000, 75% of all orthodontists in the USA were trained in Invisalign® technology and then the concept was adopted by general dentists. Why is it so special? Because you can get the symmetrical smile you always wanted with minimum intervention!
How does Invisalign® work exactly?
When a patient goes ahead with Invisalign®, the dentist provides a series of transparent aligners. Your treatment consists of a series of trays that are prepared by your dentist. These are fitted by the patient and then swapped around every two weeks and gradually, they work their magic. The teeth slowly begin to re-align and the end result is a set of ‘pearly whites’ that both the dentist and patient can be proud of.
Your journey with Invisalign® begins with an initial consultation at your orthodontist. There is an examination of the mouth and a discussion with the expert about your cosmetic preferences. There are cases where Invisalign® is not appropriate for the patient so we do present other options that might be available. However candidates for Invisalign® are guided through the treatment procedure and more importantly, the treatment duration.
The next step is the moulding process which could take place with the first appointment or a subsequent one. Digital scan, photographs and X-rays map out an accurate model of your mouth and teeth. This data is then transferred to the laboratory so that your custom-made aligner trays are perfected.
Then it’s time for fitting the tray. The dentist may include small attachments to the teeth to hold the trays in place. These attachments are small clear buttons that are not noticeable and more importantly, are pain-free. Your dentist will then ensure that the trays are fitted OK and guide you through the aftercare routine.
A few weeks after the first tray, there is another meeting to receive the remaining trays in the series. These trays allow you to switch to a new aligner in the comfort of your own home. In extreme cases, there may be a return to the surgery to create a new set of aligners if the treatment is not progressing as desired.
Why Invisalign® and not conventional braces?
Let’s be honest – traditional metal braces are cosmetically not attractive. They disrupt your overall look but they also require a lot of maintenance. The time, effort and discomfort surrounding braces often comes with a psychological and emotional cost too. And braces can be painful too! With Invisalign®, these considerations are alleviated. These are clear, removable trays that straighten teeth without the sharp edges of metal braces harming your mouth.
Why Opt for Invisalign®?
Invisalign® has a huge market because it caters to every one regardless of age. Many adults are choose to fix their teeth at a later age and thanks to Invisalign®, it’s never too late to correct crooked or misaligned teeth. In the past, adult orthodontic treatment came with many restrictions and limitations that made it difficult to realise the desired result. But thanks to Invisalign®, dentists are now welcoming a greater number of patients because it is an effective solution for adults with guaranteed results.
Invisalign® is also incredibly flexible because you can regulate its usage according to your needs. The aligners can be removed for up to four hours each day, which gives the patient the luxury of eating their favourite food or enjoying a special day without the hassle and anxiety of an interrupted smile. It also allows you to brush your teeth without obstruction as you can remove the trays beforehand. You just pop the trays out and brush as normal! You then clean your trays with a little cold water and then re-apply them. Simple!
Invisalign® is painless! Yes they may be some initial discomfort when first wearing the tray however that uneasy feeling goes away usually after the first day. The attachments also will not harm you and do not require an injection either.
Invisalign® is personalised according to your physical dimensions. Each tray is moulded by the dentist in line with your individual mouth shape. This allows the Invisalign® trays to be super comfortable so that the patient can wear them throughout the day, every single day.
Invisalign® is also user-friendly because it tends to your teeth with maximum ease. You may return periodically to your dentist for a check-up however on the whole, you can fit each new tray without needing a dental appointment. The creators of this technology have taken into consideration the busy routine and preferences of the post-modern man. It’s this element of convenience that explains its popularity on a global scale.
And finally, no matter what, Invisalign® comes with a guarantee that your teeth will end up ten times straighter!
I have tried to cover the main points about Invisalign® but it’s natural to have additional questions if you’re considering it. Feel free to reach me at the clinic and we can go through whatever queries are bugging you! We are constantly realigning our life, your smile also deserves a step in the right direction. Invisalign® has already corrected 12 million smiles - why not get your teeth right too?