A GUIDE TO INVISIBLE BRACES AND INVISALIGN IN THE UK
Among adults, invisible braces, including Invisalign, are becoming an excellent option for treating misaligned teeth without the embarrassment that comes with an awkward smile or laughter. Due to its innovative design, Invisalign is trending.
In getting the best option for orthodontic treatment, you need to know the cost of invisible braces, how effective they are, and what brand is the best. This guide aims to provide answers to these questions and more.
Keep on reading to find out more about some of the trending brands of invisible braces in the UK. You will also get to know how much this treatment will cost.
Table of Contents
1.What are invisible braces?
1.1Why are they trending?
2.Aligner systems and how they work
3.1What are the various types of Invisalign clear braces in the UK?
3.1.1Lite and i7
3.2How much do Invisalign braces cost in the UK?
3.3Invisalign: before and after
4.Other brands of clear aligner braces
4.1Clear Smile braces
4.2Inman Aligner braces
4.3Clear Correct braces
5.What is the cost of invisible braces?
5.1Can invisible braces be gotten on NHS
5.2Cost of Invisalign braces vs others
5.3Payment plan for treatment
5.3.1Dental payment plan
5.3.3Health or Dental insurance
5.4How much do clear retainers cost after teeth straightening treatment?
6.Comparison of invisible braces and metal braces
6.1Which works better?
6.2Other types of clear braces
WHAT ARE INVISIBLE BRACES?
This is an orthodontic treatment that employs the use of several clear plastic aligners (trays) to straighten misaligned teeth. They are often known as ‘removable braces’, but the correct description is ‘clear aligners’.
These clear aligners are innovatively designed such that one cannot easily detect them on a wearer. Top on the list of invisible braces is Invisalign. Other brands are available. We would show you later on in detail, how you can choose between the different types of braces.
There are different types of misaligned teeth problems ranging from mild to moderate, which teeth aligners can fix.They include:
- Gap teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Open bite
Teeth aligners can help people whose teeth are gradually becoming aligned from previous treatment.
About 90% of orthodontic cases can be treated using Invisalign. Although, more severe cases may require other kind of braces.
WHY ARE THEY TRENDING?
Invisalign provides a subtle way of straightening your teeth without anyone noticing. This is because of the way they were designed. That’s the reason they are becoming so popular despite the fact that they are new to the market.Your oral health plays a role in your overall health condition; you shouldn’t wear braces just to make your smile more natural.
The embarrassment of wearing visible metals or braces makes Invisalign a more suitable choice, especially among adults. Although the stigma attached to children wearing braces from childhood is fast waning, some people still feel self-conscious of using braces in adulthood.
If you have a big day coming up, like a wedding, birthday, or anniversary, you wouldn’t love to have your photographs wearing a metallic smile. This makes the choice of Invisalign a good one. It is good for people that play contact sport too.Do you need an Invisalign brace for yourself or family member? You can easily book an appointment.
ALIGNER SYSTEMS AND HOW THEY WORK?
Before your treatment commences, your dentist or orthodontist will take an impression of your teeth to create a digital scan or directly scan your teeth using the latest imaging technology. With this scan and a computer program like ClinCheck, your treatment is planned and your aligners produced.
Even before your treatment starts, the computer plan, usually 3D, will give you visuals of your teeth before and after treatment. With a view of the predicted outcome, you and your orthodontist can discuss which treatment option will best suit you.
You can consider filing some sides of your teeth as part of the treatment plan. The benefit of this painless procedure is that it covers up cosmetic imperfections and creates tiny gaps between teeth for ease of movement.
The aligners are custom-made to lie flat on your teeth and apply pressure on the right places for gradual straightening; a perfect fit. Usually, you’ll need to change aligners between every 1 to 2 weeks. However, this depends on your orthodontist’s recommendation. There would be no checkups so often, but follow-up should be done every 4 to 6 weeks to monitor the progress of the treatment and effect the provision of new sets of aligners.
The duration of treatment can be 9 to 18 months, or even one year, depending on the complexity of misalignment. Cost of Invisalign braces will increase if the treatment takes longer periods. And longer treatment equals more trays.
In cases where complex rotation is needed, the aligners may be fitted with ‘attachments’ to make them work better.
You’ll need to wear retainers after an Invisalign treatment to hold your teeth in place, especially at night. Wearing it during the day will depend on your dentist’s recommendation.
There are different kinds of retainers, but Invisalign retainers are not easily detected. Consequently, you may have to use retainers for a lifetime to avoid relapse—a condition where your teeth move out of alignment.
Invisalign braces are produced by Align Technology, a company founded in 1997. With great advertisement and promotion, the product entered the American market in the year 2000. Prior to this time, the orthodontics market had seen very little advancements. What was obtainable were lighter and brighter materials using the traditional wires and brackets.
With the introduction of invisible braces, an innovative way of straightening teeth was birthed. This product has carved a niche for itself globally.
‘Invisalign Full’ was the first product of Align Technology, but they have produced a plethora of other products to treat different teeth problems. Since then, the company has achieved so much, including the treatment of its sixth Invisalign patient in December 2018.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS TYPES OF INVISALIGN CLEAR BRACES IN THE UK?
Lite and i7
This type of Invisalign brace treats minor and moderate cases of teeth misalignment. For minor dental corrections and sometimes for aesthetics, the Invisalign i7 is used. With i7, the duration of treatment can be 3 months with just 7 seven sets of aligners. Treatment with Invisalign Lite can take about 7 months.
The ‘teen’ age is a time where the jaws and teeth are still developing, thus making it just the perfect time to treat any teeth misalignment. The challenge is that some brands of invisible clear braces are not designed to fit in the jaws of teenagers. Removable braces are not ideal due to the possibility that wearers may take them out longer than recommended.
Using Invisalign Teen, teenagers can comfortably straighten their teeth while their jaws and teeth are still developing. It comes with the following special features:
- Special aligners to boost lower jaw advancement and elastic-free treatment
- Tabs for tooth eruption to create space for growing teeth
- A compliance indicator that monitors the wearer
- About 6 free replacement aligners; in case of damaged or lost aligners
HOW MUCH DO INVISALIGN BRACES COST IN THE UK?
There are no available Invisalign braces on NHS. In the case of using Invisalign Teen, parents may be worried about their children as regards the bullying associated with the use of braces.
It is ideal for children that play some contact sport or a wind instrument. You should consult your orthodontist or dentist to be sure that your child’s teeth can be treated with clear aligners.
For adults, Invisalign treatment will cost more than traditional braces. Its subtlety in treatment is the primary reason why many persons may go for it despite the cost.
Keep reading to find out more about the price of invisible braces and NHS treatment options.
INVISALIGN: BEFORE AND AFTER
The efficacy of Invisalign treatment can only be seen in the tremendous change in misaligned teeth. With ClinCheck, you can view the projected condition of your teeth after treatment even before the start of treatment. It’s simply beautiful what Invisalign can do.
We will give you a sneak peek into what Invisalign users are saying about it. Although, there are so many review sites where you can get honest opinions of different people.
There have been reported cases where people experience mouth sores, bleeding gums, and ulcer while adjusting to the trays. Some people report having difficulty removing them initially. The majorities soon adjusts completely and begin to love it.
“I use 12 attachments, and tray changes can be uncomfortable for some days, but, the process has been quite easy. Anyone contemplating straightening their teeth should go on and do it. I wish I had done this years ago!” wrote one user from North Lincolnshire.
One reviewer from London wrote:
“The pain this time around is a little more intense, mainly when trying to remove the aligners to eat, as I have tender teeth and the aligners are hooked onto the attachments”.
You may feel uncomfortable removing the aligners to eat or drink anything except water, but you won’t worry about the stress of cleaning it like in the case of metal braces.
Not everyone can have Invisalign braces. It is advised that you take out time to read some reviews to be sure if you want it. You can do an Invisalign assessment first to be certain if it is ideal for you or your teen.
OTHER BRANDS OF CLEAR ALIGNER BRACES
The choice of the aligner brand is yours to make. In the UK, Invisalign is at the forefront of braces with 20 years of good experience. Nevertheless, your dentist can discuss other treatment brands with you. Remember that some products may not have been properly researched. These should guide you in choosing what will be best for you.
Other brands of clear aligner braces include:
Clear Smile braces
ClearSmile is a British-Croydon based company. They produce various adult braces like ClearSmile Brace and ClearSmile Aligner. The ClearSmile Aligner is primarily used for straightening the front 8 to 10 teeth.
To begin with ClearSmile Aligner treatment, impressions of your teeth will be taken and analysed using Archwize software. From the diagnostic report, patients can see ‘before and after’ views of their teeth on 3D.
ClearSmile combines 3D printing and moulding to produce comfortable and good braces. To ensure the progress of alignment, more impressions of every six aligners may be taken.
INMAN ALIGNER BRACES
This treatment has only been recently introduced into the UK market, although it is popular in the US.
Inman employs a different approach to clear aligners. With the use of patented technology, the pressure is exerted simultaneously on the front and back of the teeth. The treatment period is usually 6 to 18 weeks.
Unlike Invisalign, this treatment works only on the front teeth. People who use this treatment are mostly those suffering from relapse (a condition where people have crooked teeth again because they stopped wearing a retainer).
One downside to Inman aligner braces is that they are not really invisible—the metal springs and clasps attached to the rear teeth are quite visible in a smile.
CLEAR CORRECT BRACES
This company is perhaps the next giant in aligner orthodontics. They launched their first product in 2006.
ClearCorrect braces are produced in Texas and shipped out to orthodontists or dentists in the UK, Australia and US. Before designing a treatment plan, a dentist uses a scanner or impressions to capture the patient’s teeth.
It is recommended that patients wear their aligners for a minimum of 22 hours every day. Depending on the complexity of the straightening, the treatment may last from a few months to a few years.
ClearPath and Eon are other available brands of invisible braces. Each product has its value proposition. For instance, Eon uses a stronger, more stain-resistant material than other manufacturers. ClearPath does not use any attachments.
Some dentists offer different brands so you should discuss which one is the best option for you. It should be mentioned that some Invisalign reviews have people reporting greater comfort from using this brand because of the material and its compatibility with their gums.
In case you’ve already decided to use Invisalign, you can book an appointment here to find an Invisalign dentist.
WHAT IS THE COST OF INVISIBLE BRACES?
Invisalign braces, in most cases, cost a little more than the traditional braces. In spite of this, it is a price most people are willing to pay for the advantage of having their teeth subtly straightened out.
The price for Invisalign depends on:The complexity of your treatment The expected period of treatment.
Again, it depends on your orthodontist or dentist because they charge differently in different locations.
If for instance, your dental examination qualifies you for an Invisalign Lite, the cost of it will be lower than if you had to use Invisalign Full.
As an estimate, we can project the cost of Invisalign to be around £1, 500 – £5,500 in the UK. The price is this way because of all the variables involved.The best way to get a more accurate price for your Invisalign treatment is to consult an Invisalign orthodontist.
CAN INVISIBLE BRACES BE GOTTEN ON NHS?
No. Invisalign braces are not available on the NHS but, you can pay for them privately if you need them. You can find traditional metal braces on the NHS for qualifying patients; mostly children and teens under the age of 18 clinically recommended for orthodontic work.
COST OF INVISALIGN BRACES vs OTHERS
Certain factors like appearance, convenience, and cost are the deciding factors for most people when it comes to selecting the right kind of braces. Although, there are several things to consider, what is the cost of invisible braces compared to other types?
The table below highlights the cost of Invisalign to other braces as similar to or less than.
|Type of Brace||Estimated Price|
|Invisalign||£1,500 – £5,500|
|Ceramic||£2,000 – £5,500|
|Traditional metal||£1,500 – £3,000|
|Lingual (Incognito)||£2,000 – £10,000|
|Self-ligating (Damon)||£1,500 – £4,500|
Get more information about the various types of braces in our complete guide to braces for teens and adults.
PAYMENT PLAN FOR TREATMENT
The payment for Invisalign treatment can be high, but your orthodontist or dentist may be able to help you spread it out. A lot of Invisalign dentists provide free initial consultations and Invisalign payment plans for customers in the UK.
You can pay for your Invisalign treatment with:
Dental Payment Plans
With dental payment plans, you can pay a deposit up-front and pay off the remaining cost during your treatment.
Using finance for dental treatment can make a huge difference in the total cost of your aligners. To achieve this, we recommend that you seek a dental practice that provides 0% finance.
Health or Dental Insurance
For persons under 18 years, dental or health insurance may provide a partial covering for orthodontic treatment. It is less likely for adults to be covered, but the good news is that more providers are beginning to add orthodontic work to their insurance coverage.
You can check your insurance policy for details. Note the percentage covered and the lifetime maximum per person insured.Be careful not to change provider half-way through orthodontic treatment because the new insurance policy may not have any covering for work that has already kicked off.
More than one payment plan can be used. For instance, your dentist may let you pay a part of your treatment cost with your dental insurance and then finish up the payment using a payment plan. This payment option may be easier. If you need financial help, there are other available finance options.
HOW MUCH DO CLEAR RETAINERS COST AFTER TEETH STRAIGHTENING TREATMENT?
After your orthodontic treatment has ended, you will need retainers to keep your teeth in position. Invisalign retainers come in the brand name Vivera. Vivera can last up to a few years or months, depending on how you maintain them.
Vivera clear retainers can cost about £250 for a set of three for one arch (jaw) and £450 for a complete set of three in the UK. This cost will vary with different dentists.
Similarly, another retainer; Essix retainer is inexpensive and can be obtained from most dentists.
Again, there is the Hawley retainers that use acrylic and wires.Whatever option you choose, try to calculate the lifetime cost of using one in addition to your orthodontic treatment. A relapse will likely occur when you stop using retainers.
COMPARISON OF INVISIBLE BRACES AND METAL BRACES
Invisible clear braces are more efficient than other alternative forms of fixed braces in the following ways:
- The near-invisible feature of aligners takes away every self-consciousness from the wearer
- With aligners, the wearer can be brace-free; they can take them out up to 4 times a day for big days, eating, drinking or cleaning
- People who use aligners can eat sticky, hard, or any kind of food they want as long as they first remove the aligners
- There are no rigorous, monotonous visits to the dentists
- The trays can be easily cleaned as well as the teeth
- Aligners are a better hygienic option since food cannot get stuck in them
Invisible braces also have some cons:
- The possibility of losing trays is high among wearers
- Invisalign treatment could take more time than fixed braces
- For complex cases where rotating teeth or moving them vertically is required, they may not be ideal
- After eating, the wearer must brush their teeth before replacing aligners
- Adhering to the instruction of keeping aligners on for at least 20 to 22 hours may be challenging
It is worthy to note that failing to keep your aligner on for the daily recommended hours will cause your treatment to take longer, be ineffective, or worse still cause a relapse.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is important for wearers of all kinds of braces. This is to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, or staining during treatment.
WHICH WORKS BETTER?
It is still a debate as to which is more effective; invisible braces or traditional braces. In spite of this, it is glaring that for over 20 years, Invisalign braces have enjoyed more patronage than others; with over 4 million users in well over 90 countries. Invisalign has been used by celebrities like Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise, and others to subtly correct their smiles.
Again, Invisalign has done extensive research that has paid off as it can now treat 90% of orthodontic cases, including some severe misalignment problems.
OTHER TYPES OF CLEAR BRACES
Some persons may prefer the visible braces to Invisalign. If you’re one of such persons, there are options you may want to consider.
ClearSmile Brace, Ceramic braces, and Damon braces are synonymous with metal braces in that they use the same system of brackets and wires. The only major difference is that the brackets are produced using tooth-coloured or white materials which make the braces less obvious, though the discomfort remains.
A good alternative for patients not qualified for aligners is clear braces. Lingual braces; hardly noticeable is another option, but they’re expensive and may be uncomfortable for some people.
Are you considering getting dental braces? Do well to consult an orthodontist or dentist for a practical guide on the best option that will fit perfectly into your lifestyle.
A lot of people enjoy the convenience of having their teeth inconspicuously straightened without affecting their lifestyle.
Among all the available brands, Invisalign stands out as a very good one. The reasons are clearly shown in its ability to treat 90% of orthodontic cases, including severe malocclusions with 20 years of good performance. Discover if you are qualified for Invisalign braces by consulting your dentist. Your teen can also be checked out too.
You can also do your assessment here. Would you like to speak to someone directly? You can book an appointment today.