An attractive smile is a powerful, yet peculiar thing. It can change your outlook, draw attention and give you greater confidence in your professional as well as social life. Developed by Align Technology together with leading orthodontists in 1997, Invisalign straightens your teeth using a series of clear, comfortable and removable aligners – without using traditional fixed braces. In short, Invisalign can potentially transform your smile without disrupting your life.
How does it compare to traditional braces?
Invisalign offers many benefits beyond your brand-new smile:
- Clear aligners mean hardly anyone will notice that you are straightening your teeth.
- Removable aligners allow you to maintain the health of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing as usual.
- Removable aligners also allow you to remove them briefly to eat, drink or for special occasions.
- The treatment simulation software allows both you and your orthodontist to visualize how your teeth are expected to look like at the end of treatment as well as how long treatment is expected to take.
Using advanced CAD-CAM technology, Invisalign can treat a broad range of poor bites that were previously treated with traditional braces – from simple, single tooth movements to complex movements involving several teeth. These include:
- Crowded teeth
- Spaced teeth
- Deep bite
- Protruding teeth
How does Invisalign work?
On average, it takes approximately between 9 and 18 months to transform your smile using Invisalign. Getting there takes just 6 simple steps:
- You meet with an orthodontist to assess your suitability for Invisalign treatment, explore alternative treatment options and better understand the cost of your treatment.
- Based on your dental records and your orthodontist’s treatment plan, a virtual 3D simulation of the treatment plan is generated, showing the expected movement of your teeth from their current position to the desired final position.
- Once you and your orthodontist have approved the treatment plan, the aligners are custom fabricated to fit your teeth and delivered to your orthodontist. The number of aligners varies for each person.
- Your orthodontist coaches you on how to fit and remove the aligners. He will also place attachments on your teeth and/or create space between your teeth (when needed). You wear your aligners about 22 hours every day (Yes, we mean it!), except to eat, brush, and floss.
- Switch to a new set of aligners every 2 weeks and the aligners will gradually move your teeth towards their final prescribed position. Throughout your treatment, your orthodontist will see you periodically to ensure that the treatment proceed as planned.
- Upon treatment completion, protect your new smile using either a removable or fixed retainer.
How much does Invisalign cost in Singapore?
The cost of Invisalign treatment is dependent on the complexity of your malocclusion and the experience of your orthodontist. In Singapore, the average cost of Invisalign treatment is between $7,000 and $9,000, although it can start from as low as $3,000 if only very minor tooth movement is required.
What you should ask your Orthodontist.
Past patients have found the following questions useful when consulting an orthodontist about Invisalign treatment.
- What is your level of experience in providing orthodontic care for patients who want straighter teeth?
- Am I a suitable candidate for Invisalign?
- If other treatment options are available, how would they suit my needs?
- Have you treated cases similar to mine in the past?
- How long should I expect to be in treatment?
- Will I be able to bite well after treatment?
- What happens if the treatment does not progress as planned?
- How much does your practice charge for Invisalign for a case similar to mine?
- Do you offer flexible payment plans to your patients?
Common Myths about Invisalign treatment.
Below are a few common misconceptions about Invisalign treatment.
- Invisalign works faster than traditional dental braces. The speed of orthodontic treatment is determined by your bone physiology – on average, teeth movement is between 0.5mm and 1mm a month, no matter which method is used.
- Invisalign treatment is painless. Teeth movement is possible because stimulated bone cells release chemical mediators to help remodel the bone supporting your teeth. Some of these chemical mediators are responsible for pain transmission. That is why your teeth will feel slightly tender for a few days every time you fit in a new aligner. The smooth nature of the aligners does however reduce the likelihood of lip and cheek irritation when compared to traditional braces.
- Invisalign is not covered by insurance. Orthodontic treatment can bring about both health and cosmetic improvements. When orthodontic treatment is recommended by an orthodontist for health reasons (non-cosmetic), Invisalign may be at least partially covered by dental insurance. Check the terms of your health plan.
- Invisalign guarantees straight teeth, permanently. Up to 70% of orthodontic patients may experience some degree of unwanted teeth movement after treatment, a phenomenon termed as “relapse”. Orthodontists recommend the use of either a removable or fixed retainer, until they can better ascertain your risk of relapse after several years of observation.
Invisalign is by no means a perfect system, just like most things in life. It is however a very patient friendly and convenient way of moving teeth. The difference between a happy and disappointed Invisalign patient often lies in both the patient’s and provider’s understanding of its abilities and limitations. If you’ve ever thought about improving your smile, Invisalign could be the clear way forward.