Having straight teeth is fundamental to having a beautiful smile. For many of us not blessed with naturally straight teeth there is the option of orthodontic teeth straightening. This involves fitting a device around the teeth to gradually move them into the desired position. As you are surely all aware, this is called a brace and its most common form is that of a fixed metal bracket and wire system, often more commonly known as ‘train track’ braces. These fixed metal braces can be quite unattractive and very uncomfortable for the wearer but for years they were considered a necessary evil to have straighter teeth.
However, orthodontic technology has come a long way in the last ten years. There are now available a whole new range of more aesthetically pleasing straightening devices that offer a much higher degree of discretion. By far the most discreet brace available is the Invisalign retainer. Introduced in 1999 by Align Technologies, the Invisalign retainer is a one millimetre thick plastic retainer that is designed to fit over the teeth making small adjustments. Each retainer is worn for a period of two to three weeks before a new retainer is used, again with a small adjustment. In all, an average of twenty retainers are used throughout the course of the treatment, although this varies on a patient-to-patient basis.
As most braces are fitted to patients in their teenage years, the level of discretion offered by Invisalign is invaluable. In the emotionally charged and difficult teen years nobody wants to stand out from the crowd, so a virtually invisible Invisalign retainer could be perfect for straightening teeth and retaining the patient’s confidence. Similarly for more mature patients keen to avoid the stigma attached to wearing braces at a later time in life, the Invisalign system can offer teeth straightening while maintaining the patient’s mature and professional appearance. One of the other major advantages of the Invisalign system is that the braces are completely removable. This means they can be taken out for meal times and important meetings or social occasions.
Invisalign braces were not the first clear plastic retainers on the market but they are certainly the first that offer an authentic straightening power. The retainers offer the best of both worlds for patients eager to have the perfect straight toothed smile. If you are considering teeth straightening treatment, speak to a dentist about Invisalign braces.