For those who face the quandary of needing braces, but are put off by the thought of a having a mouth full of metal, there is an alternative treatment option called Invisalign – a sequence of aligners that not only moves teeth into their ideal positions, but are clear and near invisible. By Dr Maryam Dawjee
As an aesthetic dentist, I am always looking for the most conservative treatment approach to meet the aesthetic objectives of my patients. My treatment planning often includes a need for orthodontic alignment and repositioning prior to crowns or veneers. However, the notion of orthodontic treatment for a period of 12 to 18 months weighs heavily on patients, as not everyone is keen to take on the inconvenience and aesthetic changes that accompany conventional braces.
We live in an age where there should be an option that fits into our lifestyle, so that we don’t have to make drastic alterations just to acclimate a treatment.
Enter Invisalign – a treatment modality that is able to change your smile without substantial modification to your life. This is accomplished by wearing a sequence of aligners that not only moves teeth into their ideal positions, but are clear and near invisible.
Invisalign at work
Using an intra-oral scanner, we are able to create a digital model of your teeth and supporting structures, which removes the need for those unpleasant dental impressions. A series of photographs are taken to ascertain the current relationship of the upper and lower jaw, as well as the individual positions of the teeth.
The Invisalign clinician then carries out a detailed evaluation of this material. Equipped with a full understanding of the ideal tooth position, capacity for various tooth movements and functional positioning, a diagnosis and prescriptive treatment is formulated and sent through to Invisalign.
There is a series of communiqué between the Invisalign specialists, lab technicians and the clinician, which results in consensus on the movements necessary to achieve the ideal conclusive outcome. Once treatment is accepted, you as the patient are able to view a video projection of all movements through each stage of the alignment process, with an illustration of the final result.
A series of aligners are then manufactured, where the movement of teeth is facilitated with the use of attachments which are bonded onto the surface of your teeth. These are precisely matched to the colour of your enamel and no bigger than 0.3 mm. The aligners are worn for 22 hours a day and progressively changed every two weeks. The movements are so slight and deliberate; you only need to visit your Invisalign clinician every six to eight weeks for an assessment and to receive a new set of aligners.
Once your treatment is complete, you are fitted with comfortable, equally invisible retainers that are worn at night-time for a period of six months. Should there be any relapse in treatment, Invisalign’s five-year guarantee allows for remedial aligners to be manufactured at no additional expense.
Technological advancements such as Invisalign and digital smile design are edging us closer to growing the number of people out there smiling confidently and proudly. It is also advantageous in the planning and execution of detailed cosmetic dental procedures – such as smile makeovers – which can be achieved through a holistic, minimally invasive and comprehensive methodology.
A2 Disclaimer: This article is published for information purposes only, and should therefore not be taken as an endorsement or advertisement for any product or medical treatment – nor should it be regarded as a replacement for sound medical advice.
This article was written by Dr Maryam Dawjee and edited by the A2 team EXCLUSIVELY for the A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine December 2017 Edition (Issue 24).
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