Invisalign FAQs: what you need to know

How invisible are invisible braces?

The term “invisible braces” has been used for some years to describe any brace that has been designed to make little visual impact. There are a few different kinds of invisible braces, and they vary in their discreetness. There is no brace on the market that is 100% invisible, but there are some that come as close as you can get. For example, aligner brands, such as Invisalign, use a clear mould that is similar to a retainer that is only visible up close. Even better are lingual braces. This treatment works similarly to traditional train-tracks in that they use brackets and wires. The difference is that the brace is hidden on the back of your teeth.

Can invisible braces be removed?

As pointed out above, there are many options when it comes to invisible braces. Some (like Invisalign) can be removed, and others (such as lingual braces) are fixed. Which brace is the most appropriate to you is down to your individual dental needs and your personal preferences.

Do invisible braces stain?

Clear braces, such as Invisalign, are susceptible to staining. However, the treatment and the advice you are given in terms of looking after your brace will help you to avoid ending up with stained braces. Invisalign braces are replaced every 1-2 weeks, so there is little opportunity for discolouration to set in. You are also advised to avoid food and drink (other than water) when your clear aligners are being worn.

How expensive are invisible braces?

Invisible braces on the whole are not significantly more expensive than train-tracks. The expense of brace treatments vary vastly based on the complexity of the patient’s needs.

Lingual braces to tend to become a little more expensive as they are more difficult to work on. The time spent fixing and adjusting them leads to longer sessions in the chair, and therefore, higher fees.

Are invisible braces available on the NHS?

Generally speaking, it is difficult to get invisible braces on the NHS. As invisible braces are generally seen as a more image-conscious choice for teeth straightening, they are not considered to be the essential option. If you qualify for NHS funded braces, the likelihood is that you will only be offered train-tracks.

In addition, on the subject of eligibility, NHS funding is only awarded to those dental cases that are critical to the improvement of the patient’s dental health. If your choice to have your teeth straightened is purely cosmetic, you are very unlikely to be eligible for NHS funding.

The expense of braces treatments vary vastly based on the complexity of your needs.

Are invisible braces as effective as traditional braces?

Yes. Invisible braces are just as good at adjusting teeth as traditional braces. Some braces are designed for more complex work than others, but all invisible braces are built for purpose and you would not be recommended a treatment that was not capable of doing the job.

Are the effects of invisible braces permanent?

Just as with traditional braces, invisible braces require you to use retainers after the treatment in order to keep your teeth in their new position. This will usually last for at least a year after the treatment, as this is how long your bones will take to fully adjust to the new layout of your mouth.

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