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What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

6th May 2021
Woman fitting Invisalign over teeth - Blythe Road Dental Practice
1000 667 Bev Love

The braces brand has been around for 20 years and was developed by two dentists. Its sole purpose was to create a removable, custom fitting system. People before it used braces in traditional ways, such as wearing bands of metal around their jaws and moving teeth around to get them into the correct positions. However, this tended to get more and more painful with wear and resulted in teeth breaking, leaving gaps in the teeth or even missing. Now, instead of moving teeth, Invisalign only requires you to move them into the correct position. This is done by aligning each tooth with special trays that are made from a thermoplastic material called polyclear.

The costs of Invisalign

You will need to spend between £1500 and £2000 to have a teeth aligner made. But since a typical smile will cost about £20,000, you can see that it’s worth it.

There are four components to Invisalign – a set of teeth trays, an aligner, a bracket and a release cable. Here is a closer look at each of these components. The teeth trays are where the aligner inserts into your teeth. The Invisalign Inline (mostly used by adults) and Invisalign Expert trays are designed to fit the gaps between your teeth. The Invisalign Standard trays are designed to fit the small vertical space between teeth that is not properly supported by the existing tooth crown.

What to expect from Invisalign

According to Invisalign.org, you have a choice of 3 types of Invisalign aligners:

Clear – easy to remove with wet or dry mouth; however, more permanent

Transparent – a softer plastic for permanence; hard for removal

Permanent – an opaque plastic for longevity and long-term maintenance

It is important to ensure that you and your orthodontist are in agreement with your treatment goal and that you are prepared for the treatment process.

Taking your Invisalign out

Every time you use the tray, the soft silicone covering on the teeth will decay, making your teeth sensitive to heat and cold. As a result, the dentist has to polish the teeth to avoid staining and the surfaces of your teeth have to be scraped for the new, softer dental trays.

Preparing for the Invisalign Treatment

The dentist has to go through a number of measures to avoid any physical trauma to your teeth during treatment, so they choose to do the job gradually. This will allow your teeth to get used to it and so that the trays don’t accidentally dislodge when you are relaxing with friends after a tough day.

Why Invisalign is the best choice for you

The fact that the trays are invisible (if you get them professionally fitted) means you can eat and drink with confidence. You are unlikely to have any side effects, so this is ideal if you’re self-conscious about your teeth or want to be sure you have healthy teeth for life. The treatment is also less expensive than traditional methods such as braces. Invisalign is the process of aligning your teeth with adjustable plastic aligners. They are not for everyone.

There are a number of factors that you need to think about when considering treatment. All patients should have their options laid out before starting treatment and take medical history into consideration. Ask about your current diet and how much you eat and drink each day.


It’s important to remember that Invisalign aligners are not the same as braces, they are similar but not the same. With braces, you have metal and braces come in a number of different pieces or bands that snap on to your teeth. With Invisalign, you simply use the trays on your teeth in sequence. Braces typically last from 4-6 years, with many cases needing to be redone every 2-3 years. Invisalign, on the other hand, can last for more than 10 years, many cases lasting 12-13 years. This has many advantages in that your teeth will be at their best in these first years of Invisalign treatment. During the time that you are in your treatment, there is no need to wear rubber bands on your teeth. This will save you lots of money and hassle in the long run.