Invisalign® Clear Aligners
Invisalign® is an incredible treatment we offer here at St. Pauls Dental Care of Southport. It is a series of clear aligners that are used to gently move teeth into a more desirable position. As a privately run family practice, we are able to spend more time with you and create a unique treatment plan to match your needs.
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is the process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. No brackets or wires, and none of the restrictions that come with metal braces.
What are Invisalign® clear aligners made of and what do they look like?
Invisalign® clear aligners are made of flexible plastic — specifically, a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack created exclusively for Invisalign® treatment.
How will Invisalign® treatment straighten my teeth?
Your Invisalign® Dentist will create a unique, digital treatment plan that maps out the exact movements of your teeth. Your Invisalign® clear aligners are then designed to apply the right amount of force to the right place at the right time based on your plan. Your Invisalign® Dentist will be with you every step of the way to monitor your progress and ensure your aligners fit correctly.
What are the benefits of Invisalign®?
Invisalign® clear aligners are virtually invisible — people may not even notice you’re wearing them. You can remove them to eat and drink or to brush and floss. There are no metal brackets or wires that could irritate your mouth or break.
Unlike other brands, Invisalign® clear aligners are made from patented SmartTrack material, which is more comfortable and provides a better fit. Invisalign® aligners are also trimmed based on your gum line for comfort and appearance. As the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, it has successfully improved over 10 million smiles.
Am I guaranteed to have straight teeth with Invisalign®?
Every smile is unique, which is why your Invisalign® treatment starts with a consultation. During your consultation, your Invisalign® Dentist will help you determine what Invisalign® can do for your smile.
What are “attachments” and why would I need them for my Invisalign® treatment?
Your Invisalign® treatment may require SmartForce attachments, small tooth-coloured shapes that are attached to your teeth.
These shapes serve as handles, giving the aligners something to gently push on in order to move your teeth with the right amount of force, and are what make complex tooth movements possible without braces. Invisalign® clear aligners fit smoothly and tightly around them, so they’re barely noticeable.
While not everyone who uses Invisalign® clear aligners will need SmartForce attachments, if you need them, your Invisalign® Dentist will attach them to your teeth at the start of or during your treatment and remove them when they are no longer needed.
Is IPR needed for Invisalign®?
IPR stands for Interproximal Reduction. IPR is a commonly used part of Invisalign® treatment to repair crowded teeth. IPR requires rubbing away little portions of the outermost enamel from multiple teeth in spots that are crowded or that surround crowded teeth. Flexible strips similar to sandpaper, are employed to rub away little portions of outermost enamel. A typical tooth loses no more than 0.2 or 0.3mm of the outermost enamel during the entire Invisalign® treatment experience. Tooth enamel can be 2.5mm thick, so IPR removes only a small quantity and is only performed on specially selected teeth – never your whole mouth.
Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign® fix this?
Yes, Invisalign® clear aligners can treat nearly all common teeth-straightening issues, from simple to complex. Many people who formerly had braces choose Invisalign® treatment as the discreet solution to improve their smile when they find that their teeth have shifted back.
I have veneers or crowns. Will Invisalign® clear aligners work with them?
It depends. Talk with your Invisalign® Dentist about the dental work you’ve had done, including veneers and crowns, and he or she will evaluate your individual needs.
I have bridgework on several teeth. Will Invisalign® clear aligners still work?
Invisalign® clear aligners are designed to move each tooth individually. Because bridgework connects two or more teeth, clear aligners may not be effective.
Can anyone tell that I’m wearing the aligners?
Invisalign® aligners are virtually invisible. Others may not even notice you’re wearing them, making Invisalign® a seamless fit with your lifestyle.
Can I take my aligners off whenever I need to?
Yes, you can remove your Invisalign® aligners for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. You can take them off for special occasions, like a wedding, job interview, or for playing your favourite sport or instrument. Just remember to wear them 20 to 22 hours a day to get the best results.
Are there any restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?
None! Invisalign® clear aligners are removable, so there are no food restrictions at all (hello popcorn!). With traditional wires and brackets, there’s a long list of foods you unfortunately can’t enjoy, as they can damage or get stuck in your braces.
Is Invisalign® treatment painful?
Invisalign® clear aligners move your teeth by applying gentle, constant force, but some people do feel temporary discomfort for the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners. Typically, people describe it as feeling “pressure” and it’s normal — it’s a sign your Invisalign® clear aligners are working and transforming your smile.
Please see your Invisalign® Dentist if you have any concerns or experience continued discomfort.
Sometimes when I remove my aligners, my teeth feel loose. Is that common?
Yes. As your Invisalign® aligners gradually shift your teeth into their proper position, your gums are re-forming around each tooth as it moves. Be sure to talk to your Invisalign® Dentist about any concerns.
Will Invisalign® treatment still work if I only wear my aligners while I sleep?
You need to wear your Invisalign® aligners 20 to 22 hours a day to get the results you want.
Will wearing Invisalign® clear aligners affect my speech?
It may take a couple of days for your tongue to get used to having your Invisalign® aligners in your mouth, and you may have a slight lisp. But this should disappear quickly.
Will smoking stain my aligners?
We discourage smoking while wearing Invisalign® aligners because it can stain them.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
No, gum will stick to your Invisalign® aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, including chewing gum.
Can the aligners slip off while I’m asleep?
It is very unlikely that your aligners would ever fall out, no matter what you are doing: sleeping, talking, laughing, etc. Invisalign® clear aligners are designed to fit snugly around your teeth, so this should not be a cause for concern.
Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
Most Invisalign® Dentists recommend that anyone who has completed orthodontic treatment, whether with braces or Invisalign® treatment, use a retainer to prevent teeth from gradually shifting back toward their initial position.
What is included in the cost of the treatment?
1) Initial consultation and full clinical photographs and x-rays before treatment
2) Upper and lower Invisalign silicone impressions or digital scan
3) 3D digital representation of your teeth to customise your final teeth positions
4) All aligners
5) All tooth coloured attachments
6) Teeth Whitening
7) Removable retainers
What is not included in the cost of treatment?
- If you are not already a patient of our practice, we will need to ensure that you have no dental problems. After your free consultation, should you be eligible for Invisalign® treatment and you wish to go ahead, we will need to carry out a full dental examination prior to commencing treatment. Should you require any fillings/hygienist work before commencing Invisalign®, then there would also be a charge for this.
- Replacement of lost aligners
- Altering the shape of your teeth – sometimes teeth wear when they are not in perfect alignment. On straightening your teeth, this wear may become more apparent. Should you wish to restore the original shape of your teeth, then tooth coloured filling materials can be added to teeth to improve appearance.
- Relapse – If you do not wear your retainers your teeth may relapse into their original crowded position. Should this happen as a result of not wearing your retainers and you want to recorrect the alignment, you will have to pay for the Invisalign® treatment again.
- Future Retainers – everything has a lifespan and dental retainers are no different. Ultimately you may wear though or break your retainer and need it replacing at some point in the future.