Invisalign: the future has already arrived

Man being checked by dentists

3D printing seems like an amazing futuristic technology, but it has had a place in the world of dentistry for two decades. Even though the idea of 3D printing is still something that many people cannot understand the workings of, it has revolutionised the world of teeth straightening, with the advent of Invisalign clear aligners.

In St John’s Wood, Invisalign is an increasingly popular way to straighten teeth. And it can now be found all over London, where it is available from dental practices such as Aura Dental.

What makes Invisalign different from traditional bracket and wire braces systems is that it uses transparent thermoplastic resin trays. Rather like mouth guards, these slide on snugly over the teeth. At 0.3mm thick, they are so thin that it is almost impossible to see them, unless someone is really up close and examining the teeth.

The trays are made custom-made for each patient using measurements taken by hand-held scanners, operated by their dentist. The production facility in Mexico uses thisinformation sent by the dentist to calculate the path the teeth needed to travel along to reach their required alignment. The laboratory makes a series of aligner trays using 3D printing. Each aligner is designed to be one step on from the previous one. This is how progression is made, rather than the tightening of wires used by brackets and wire braces.

The patient wears each aligner for 7-10 days before moving on to the next one. The number of aligners varies depending on the misalignment that need to be corrected. Treatment can take anywhere from six months to two years but is usually about one year.

Another great advantage of Invisalign in St John’s Wood is that the aligners are removable, so cleaning is much easier. It also means that the patient can leave them off entirely for a few hours if they have to attend an important social or professional event.

More hidden pluses

People often lose weight when using Invisalign in St John’s Wood. Because they need to wear their aligners for at least 22 hours a day, it cuts out mindless snacking.