Tooth straightening

Tooth straightening

Having your teeth straightened is a popular way to improve their appearance without damaging tooth structure, by having crowns and veneers. There are 2 methods of having your teeth straightened.

  • Fixed braces
  • Removable braces, most well known system is Invisalign.

Fixed braces

Fixed braces are the traditional way to straighten the teeth. These will be most commonly seen in children, but increasingly adults are also choosing them as a method to improve their smile. Fixed braces are usually fitted by a specialist orthodontist, however, there are some systems which can be used by general dental practitioners. Fixed braces are used in the most complex of cases, but for simple cases they may be more affordable than removable solutions. Typical cases take 12-18 months to complete with fixed braces. If you wish to consider a fixed brace, we do not undertake these at Church View Dental Care. Your dentist will however be able to advise you of your options regarding being referred to a specialist orthodontist.

Removable appliances

These are known as aligners. The most common system used in the UK is Invisalign, but there are other systems which use similar technology. Here at Church View Dental Care, we have 4 dentists that are certified Invisalign providers.

The key features of Invisalign are as follows:

  1. Invisalign uses a system of clear, custom-made aligners that are virtually invisible when worn.
  2. Each patient’s treatment plan is tailored to their specific dental needs. This is determined through a 3D scan or impressions of the teeth.
  3. Invisalign aligners can be easily removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. This makes them more convenient compared to traditional braces.
  4. The aligners are made of smooth, comfortable plastic, reducing irritation to the cheeks and gums often associated with metal braces.
  5. Invisalign uses advanced computer technology to map out the complete treatment plan, allowing patients to see a virtual representation of their teeth’s movement and the expected end result.
  6. Typically, Invisalign requires fewer in-office visits than traditional braces, making it a convenient option for many patients.
  7. Treatment is often quicker than with traditional braces, without the need for tooth extractions. Average treatment times are between 24-35 weeks.
  8. Invisalign can treat a wide range of dental issues, including crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, and crossbites.

How does Invisalign work?

  1. Each aligner is worn for 7 days, and has certain tooth movements programmed into it. When you first place the aligner, it will feel very tight as the teeth wont be in this position yet, as the 7 days passes it will become more comfortable.
  2. Aligners need to be worn all the time apart from eating and drinking, brushing and flossing. Invisalign say aligners need to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day. If you do not wear them for the recommended period of time, the teeth will not move as expected which will increase the treatment time.
  3. Invisalign creates space either by widening your smile, or by using Interproximal Reduction (using very thin pieces of sandpaper between the teeth to reduce the friction to allow the teeth to move past each other, IPR). Once the teeth are aligned, these spaces will not be there.
  4. You will have attachments placed on certain teeth (tooth coloured shapes on the surface of the teeth). The aligner engages with these and helps the teeth move. These will feel sharp to your tongue when you don’t have your aligners in.
  5. Following the alignment of your teeth, you will need to wear retainers for life, this is actually the most important part as if you don’t wear your retainers the teeth will move back.
  6. Depending upon the extent of crowding, if eligible for Invisalign, there are 2 types. Invisalign Go which moves 10 teeth, and Invisalign Go Plus which moves 12 teeth. Once a treatment plan has been created the dentist will be able to advise which treatment will be appropriate for you, the attachments required and the extent of IPR.

What is the process of having Invisalign treatment?

  1. We offer a complimentary consultation with our treatment coordinator. At this visit, they will take a digital 3D scan of your teeth and take some photographs. This information will allow us to provide you with a digital smile simulation to show you what might be possible.
  2. If you are happy with the simulation and wish to discuss the process further, we will arrange an appointment with your Invisalign dentist. Here we will fully assess your mouth and teeth and take some xrays to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for Invisalign.
  3. Using the 3D model, your dentist will create a customised treatment plan. They’ll show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move throughout the treatment and a prediction of how long it will take.
  4. Based on the treatment plan, a series of custom-made clear aligners will be fabricated. Each set is slightly different and corresponds to a specific stage of your treatment.
  5. At your fit appointment, we’ll make small adjustments to some of your teeth to help create room and add some tooth coloured attachments to your teeth.
  6. You’ll have periodic check-ups with your dentist, usually every 4 weeks. They’ll monitor your progress and provide you with the next sets of aligners.
  7. At the end of the process we will reassess the position of the teeth. In most scenarios, we will require some refinements to perfect the tooth positions. This will involve a further set of aligners.
  8. Towards the end of your treatment, we will provide you with some gel to whiten your teeth
  9. Once your treatment is complete, we may place a fixed bonded retainer to aid in stability of the tooth position. You will be provided with removable retainers, also known as, vivera retainers, which will need to be worn for a period of time. Your dentist will specify this.
  10. We will generally see you a few months after your treatment has finished, to ensure that you are wearing the retainers as instructed and to make sure everything is stable.

How much does Invisalign treatment cost?

Your Invisalign dentist will be able to advise you of the specific costs for you as an individual. The costs will vary according to the extent of how crowded your teeth are and whether any further cosmetic treatment may be required at the end of treatment.

All our Invisalign packages include up to 3 sets of aligners, a tooth whitening home kit, 3 sets of Vivera retainers and fixed bonded retainer (if required).

We are pleased to offer various finance options. Your treatment Coordinator or a member of the reception team will be happy to discuss this with you, if desired.