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Cosmetic Dentistry & Invisalign Braces – What are they and are they any good?

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    In our brave new world of cosmetic dentistry where new products and treatments are being brought to the market all the time, I take a look at Invisalign Braces; what they are, whether they are any good, and what problems they may cause.

    By Rebecca Callard

What are Invisalign Braces?

Invisalign Braces are essentially clear braces that are designed to improve the positioning and cosmetic appearance of your teeth.  They are not designed to be fixed braces and so can be removed at different times of the day when you need to clean your teeth and eat or drink for example.  This, together with the fact that the plastic material makes them much less visible and uncomfortable than metal braces, means they are much more attractive to people than the traditional metal braces.

Currently, Invisalign Braces are only available on a private basis and cost anything upwards of £2,000.  I am unsure whether there are any plans to bring them into the NHS in special cases but some of the cost of an Invisalign Brace may be covered by an existing dental insurance policy.  This is something that is definitely worth checking.

Do Invisalign Braces work?

Invisalign Braces have been on the market for some time and are becoming more and more popular.  They need to be changed quite regularly, around every 2 weeks, and therefore there is some commitment to the process that is needed.  Care needs to be taken to avoid moving the teeth too quickly which will cause root shrinkage and teeth to become mobile over time.  It is therefore important not to rush Invisalign treatment.

The reports on Invisalign Braces are generally good and the evidence is that they work well.  However, as with all dental products and treatments there are problems that can occur.

What problems do Invisalign Braces cause?

Invsalign braces must be removed when eating which can be quite embarrassing if eating out publicly with friends or colleagues.  They can be quite difficult to remove yourself, as they need to be quite strong in order to do the job that they are fitted to do.

Invisalign Braces are also quite expensive compared to standard metal braces.  This is as expected with new cosmetic treatments which are designed to be easy and have less of an impact on our lives.  They are more discreet than metal braces and therefore, as with white compared to metal fillings, they are slightly more expensive.

Invisalign Braces can affect your speech slightly when they are first fitted and there have been reports that the braces cause bad breath, but this tends to ease as time goes on and you become more used to the brace.

The main problem that can be caused by Invisalign Braces, is not through the braces themselves but by the person fitting them.  As with anything, the Dentist or Orthodontist providing your treatment needs to know how to fit and use Invisalign Braces properly so they perform to their full potential.

Things you may wish to consider before getting Invisalign Braces:

• Having an Orthodontist fit your Invisalign Brace rather than a General Dentist (as you would for the fitting of any other brace)

• Research your Orthodontist first so you can be sure they have experience in the fitting of Invisalign Braces

• Confirm the cost of full treatment for the fitting and maintenance of your Invisalign Brace before committing to it being fitted.  They are costly, more so than normal braces, and therefore you should be confident you know what you will be paying out before undergoing the treatment

• If you have more serious dental problems, discuss with your Dentist and Orthodontist how the fitting of Invisalign Braces may help because they are designed to improve cosmetic appearances of teeth rather than treat any on-going dental health issues

Our experience

If you are concerned that your Invisalign Brace may not have been fitted properly and/or you are concerned that other treatment you have received from your dentist or orthodontist may have caused you some pain or additional money, give one of our specialists a call for some free advice as to what you may be able to do to investigate this further.

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