What is Invisalign

Invisalign is a removable orthodontic treatment method that uses sequential clear aligners that fit over your teeth. These aligners move your teeth gradually with each aligner subtly progressing in shape towards the intended treatment result. When you opt for this method of treatment, patients can avoid the use of the traditional metal brackets that need to be stuck on the teeth. With this choice, the Invisalign can be removed and the patient can chew normally, speak clearly and look as natural as possible; almost as if they were not having a dental treatment at all.

Invisalign vs Traditional braces

Both treatment modalities result in straighter teeth. However, the process and journey of the treatment will be quite different. The general advantages and disadvantages are listed below:

Advantages of Invisalign:

  • Aligners are clear and transparent. This makes it less visible to others and is great for self consciousness
  • Aligners are removable. This makes your eating process normal and your oral hygiene remains the same. Removable aligners are also easily cleaned
  • Aligners are sequential. This means your treatment can progress even when you can’t see the dentist. You can simply wear the next aligner.
  • All cases are performed with a digital mock up which allows patients to track their progress. This helps motivate and keep the end result in mind for the patient.
  • Invisalign is done digitally which means the impression of the teeth is taken using a digital scanner. The scanning process is much more comfortable and less stressful for most people. This mitigates the difficulties of having a physical impression taken and helpful for children, gaggers and people with claustrophobic anxieties.

Disadvantages of Invisalign

  • Because the aligners are removable, a certain amount of discipline is required to wear the aligners. Failure to use it for a minimum of 22 hours can negatively affect the timeline of treatment
  • Patients who are heavy grinders can damage the aligners they are worn over the teeth. 
  • The duration of the treatment is generally longer compared to the use of fixed braces. Also, the invisalign cannot be adjusted immediately as new aligners take time to be designed and made.

Advantages of braces

  • In general, treatment time is slightly reduced since the compliance is assured with fixed braces. 
  • When issues arise with fixed braces, they can be fixed immediately with a visit to the dentist. Whereas, Invisalign may require some wait time to design and fabricate new aligners.
  • Some tooth movements are more efficiently taken care of by fixed braces compared to aligners.

Disadvantages of fixed braces

  • Fixed braces are immediately identifiable and this can be an issue for people who are in the public eye.
  • The wire and brackets can dislodge and may cause injury or discomfort that cannot be rectified without a dedicated visit to the dentist.
  • The fixed brackets are a potential area for food to get trapped and this can be unsightly. Also, the prolonged accumulation of food particles can cause gum problems and tooth decay
  • The effort to maintain oral hygiene is greater whilst wearing fixed orthodontic brackets. 

Invisalign treatment process

  • First, you will have to start off with an initial consultation where the desired outcome is discussed. Records which include a comprehensive extra oral and intra oral examination is performed to assess if there are dental issues that would preclude a patient from orthodontic treatment. Also, low dose digital Radiographs will also be taken.
  • Next, if the patient is found to be dentally healthy and suitable for Invisalign, then the teeth will be digitally scanned with an intraoral scanner that takes about 1000 digital images of the teeth within a couple of minutes. They are then stitched together to create a virtual model of your teeth. Also, pretreatment photos are also taken.
  • At a follow-up appointment about a week later, the dentist will present the orthodontic treatment plan to the patient and show you a video of the treatment as it is anticipated to progress. If the patient is comfortable and agrees with the anticipated outcome from the virtual mock up, we then order the Invisalign clear aligners to be fabricated. The processing order of the Invisalign in Singapore will take about a week to 10 days. 
  • At the first aligner visit, the patient is instructed on how to use the aligners and the attachments may be placed on the teeth. Attachments are small resin modules that help the aligners grip the teeth and move the teeth efficiently. 
  • The aligners are replaced every 7 to 14 days and in many instances patients can change the aligners themselves with the approval of their dentist. 
  • During the final appointment, the attachments are then removed and post-treatment photos and digital scans are taken.

How much does Invisalign cost in Singapore

Invisalign costs are determined largely by the number of aligners the treatment is anticipated to take. Simple single arch treatment might cost approximately $2500.00, whereas complicated cases may cost approximately $8500.00. Also, retainers are an additional fee that also needs to be considered.