Invisalign - The Modern, Discreet Way To Straighten Your Teeth

Orthodontic treatment no longer means having to wear old fashioned and highly visible braces.

Most dental treatments can correct problems in a relatively short period of time. This isn’t always the case though and if you have crooked and uneven teeth, the treatment period could be quite lengthy, depending on the nature of the problem. While some minor corrections can be made in just a few weeks, more significant corrections may take a year or even longer to achieve. This is necessary as applying too much pressure too soon could cause permanent damage to the teeth and result in further problems down the line.

While we might accept the need to face any phobias we might have about receiving dental treatment, providing it is quickly over with, the thought of having to wear dental braces for a year or more can be a step too far for some people and probably explains why, in the UK especially, we seem to have a reputation for crooked teeth (often exaggerated for comedic effect it has to be said).

The reality is that people don’t want to have to wear unsightly and highly visible braces that are also inconvenient and possibly uncomfortable, for over a year. The good news is, that with the advent of modern orthodontics like Invisalign, you no longer have to.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign works the same way as traditional braces in that it gently encourages the teeth back towards their correct position. Like traditional braces, it can take a significant period of time to do this. There, the similarities end though and we are convinced that after reading of the benefits of these orthodontics, any of our Eltham patients who have crooked teeth might want to reconsider having their teeth straightened.

While traditional ‘train track’ braces use a series of metal wires and brackets that are attached to the teeth and appropriately adjusted by the dentist to achieve their desired aim, Invisalign abandons this approach altogether and instead, uses a series of progressive plastic trays to achieve the same result.

The treatment journey

Your first step to have your teeth straightened using this system is to arrange a consultation at AR Smiles dental practice. We will first of all need to check your general oral health and any problems such as gum disease will need to be treated first. Following this, scans and x-rays are taken which determines how to straighten your teeth correctly. The scans will also be used to produce your own custom trays which are made from a transparent, almost invisible, medical grade plastic.

Once the trays have been produced, you will be recalled and shown how to put them in and take them out again (more of that in a minute). You will be given a number of these trays, each of which progressively moves the teeth to their desired position. Each tray should be worn for at least twenty hours a day and you will need to change the trays every week or two depending on the instructions given to you by your dentist. At the end of the treatment, you will be left with nicely even and great looking teeth. Many patients complete their smile transformation by having a teeth whitening procedure to get the best results possible.


There are a number of advantages that Invisalign has over regular braces. The most obvious of these is that they are almost invisible and enable patients to feel more confident when wearing them. They ‘can’ be removed for certain occasions such as a job interview if you feel that helps you feel even more confident, but we strongly recommend that you do this as little as possible or it will take longer for the treatment period to complete.

What you can, and should, remove the trays for is when eating meals and for cleaning your teeth. One significant problem with the wire and bracket braces is that food gets easily trapped in them. Not only can this be unsightly but is a significant problem and can lead to tooth decay, especially as braces make it hard to clean your teeth properly. When you wear Invisalign, you won’t have this problem as you can eat as normal and cleaning your teeth should be straightforward. It is important, of course, that you do clean your teeth well through brushing and flossing regularly and also keep your trays clean as explained by our dentist.

When you initially put your trays in, your body may react in certain ways and increased salivation and some speech issues may occur for a short while. This shouldn’t last for long though as you become accustomed to them and is a small price to pay for an otherwise positive experience. Because the trays are custom made especially for you, most people find them very comfortable to wear, something we rarely hear from traditional dental brace wearers.

If you would like to find out more about this revolutionary method for straightening teeth which is becoming increasingly popular, both here and abroad, why not contact us to arrange to have an initial consultation with one of our cosmetic dentists. You can do this by calling AR Smiles in Eltham on 020 8856 7759.

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Site last updated December 2023
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