In the lead up to Christmas I shall be running deals at both my dental practices. At the Kings Road Dental Clinic in Chelsea I have an open day on Saturday 6th Dec where we are offering huge reductions.
CONTACT – 020 7351 1685
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At the Park Dental Clinic I am offering great reductions right now for 2 weeks only.
To reserve a space call 020 876 5088
or email email@example.com.
I thought I would write a blog post about my thoughts on the changing world of dentistry and particularly aesthetic dentistry and why I believe Invisalign is an excellent system and you should take advantage of this great offer.
Internationally us Brits have quite a reputation for ‘wonky teeth’. In the US fixed braces are virtually a rite of passage for every teenager and a full set of military straight, white, teeth seems almost mandatory. Over here, however, we seemed to be less worried about geometric precision in our mouths. In addition the rationing of NHS funding for orthodontics, and the relatively low exposure to workplace funded dental insurance means that orthodontics has been a rather low priority for most people.
This is changing. For many reasons nowadays in the UK we seem to be focusing more on our health and appearance. We are prepared to pay for it if we think that we are going to get good value for money. Inevitably this leads to companies bringing out new products to compete for patients. The world of dentistry is no exception to this. For many years dentistry has been seen as a necessary evil for many. Technological developments have meant that not only is the experience of going to the dentist considerably nicer but the treatments we offer are now such that you might opt to do them out of choice rather than necessity. This is obviously most true in the world of aesthetic dentistry. Resin technology has improved such that we can recreate very natural looking teeth with simple fillings and for more extensive work modern porcelains can recreate nature superbly.
The world of orthodontics (braces) is an area which has seen huge changes also. In days gone by orthodontics was almost exclusively for children and involved removable acrylic plates with wire springs etc or metal brackets and wires fixed to your teeth. The principles of moving teeth by applying force to them are still the same today, but the means and methods are constantly evolving. Adult orthodontics is becoming more and more widespread and a lot of that is down to less visible ways of doing it.
The use of fixed braces is generally the preserve of Orthodontic specialists but there has been a huge rise in the use of aligner systems by General Dental Practitioners who have undertaken further training in these systems. I have used a few different systems over the last few years but the one I use almost exclusively now is Invisalign. Invisalign is the most established of the removable aligner systems; it uses a series of clear, tight-fitting plastic aligners which fit over your teeth and gradually move the teeth to the desired position over a period of time. Each aligner is worn for 2 weeks and exerts pressure on the teeth to be moved.
You wear the aligners for 22 hours a day, taking them out only to eat, drink and clean your teeth. The overall time of treatment varies depending on the complexity of the situation. It can be as little as 14 weeks for very minor tooth movements or 2 years for major changes.
As well as aligners I would need to place attachments on your teeth. These are small bits of white filling stuck on to your teeth. They look random but actually they are positioned and shaped by computer precisely to redirect forces from the aligner in a way that allows optimal movement of the tooth. I am provided with a template which allows me to place them exactly as prescribed in your treatment plan.
One other thing that may need to be done is something called IPR or interproximal reduction. This is shaving between the teeth to create some space to move your teeth. We are generally removing about 0.2mm to 0.5mm between 2 teeth and we always keep it to a minimum. We use metal strips and sometimes polishing burs. DON’T WORRY it really is not too bad and usually does not even require any anaesthetic. AND in a plenty of cases we don’t need to do it.
The main advantages for both you as a patient and me as a dentist are:
- ClinCheck® virtual 3D treatment plan – a computerised plan recreating the planned movements of your teeth.
- Nearly invisible. Most of my patients tell me that no-one has noticed their aligners in place.
- The back up from Invisalign Advisors – over 2.5 million people have straightened their teeth with invisalign so a lot of experience has been gained and advice for more advanced tooth movements is always on hand.
- Whitening – it is possible to whiten your teeth at the same time using whitening gels that we can provide.
- Simple appointments – to get started we need impressions and photos, next visit we decide on the best plan in front of the computer and when we are ready to go we order the aligners. Once back we fit them and give you the first few sets. After that it is just short check appointments from time to time to give more aligners and check it’s all going well.
- As they are removable keeping your teeth clean is much easier than with fixed appliances.
- Anecdotally a lot of patients tell me they have lost weight as taking out your aligners to snack becomes a hassle!
Here is an example of a clincheck (apologies for graininess):
When treatment is completed you will need retainers. Your teeth are in their current position for a reason and we need to make sure they don’t go back there. Retention varies case by case and I would give you advise on this at a consultation but be prepared to wear them full time for a while and then every night for quite some time. There are fixed retainers as well which are useful in some situations.
Does it work? Yes it does – IF you wear them and we haven’t asked too much of the aligners for your situation. This patient achieved this result after 34 weeks.
This result was achieved after 28 weeks:
Click here to see a series of patients stories from the invisalign website.
I qualified as a dentist in 1997 and have practiced in an around London ever since alongside my singing. I am a general dentist offering a wide range of treatments as an associate dentist at Park Dental Clinic and Kings Road Dental Clinic. For a more detailed dental biog, click here.
I started using orthodontic aligners systems around 3 years ago and have been using Invisalign for around 18 months. I am already recognised by them as a Platinum Provider. I have been very pleased with the results so far. My patients experiences have been extremely positive and I am taking on more and more patients.
Do come and see me and find out what we can do for your smile.