Invisalign FAQs

A confident smile and increased self-esteem aren't the only benefits of correcting your smile with Invisalign — your oral health can be positively enhanced as well. Learn more Invisalign from these common questions.

Will Invisalign® work for me?


If you have all your adult teeth with fully erupted molars, most patients can be treated with Invisalign®, even if they have crowns or bridges. Many common issues like crooked or crowded teeth, spaces between teeth and certain overbite and crossbites can be successfully corrected. Dr Hiren Patel is also one of the most experienced Invisalign® clinicians in the south of Surrey and will be able to give you a reliable opinion if you are suitable candidate for Invisalign®.




Do the aligners hurt?


It is normal to feel temporary discomfort when you wear or change the aligners for the first few days. The smooth aligners are not harmful to the inside of your mouth, but you do feel pressure. This though is a good sign that the aligners are working.




Can Invisalign close gaps


Yes. Spaces between teeth are generally easy to close with Invisalign.




Are crowns a factor in Invisalign treatment


Crowns (tooth caps) are usually not a factor in Invisalign treatment. However, sometimes small tooth-coloured composites called "attachments" are bonded onto teeth to help achieve certain movements and are more difficult to bond on crowns than teeth. In these cases, the location of crowns must be carefully evaluated. An Invisalign-trained dental practitioner can advise.




Are bridges a factor in Invisalign treatment


Because bridges firmly link two or more teeth together, they offer significant resistance to tooth movement. Your Invisalign-trained dental practitioner will be able to determine whether bridges will be a factor in your treatment. An Invisalign certified dental practitioner can advise.




Are there certain dental conditions that automatically exclude someone from being an eligible patient


Only your dental practitioner can determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign treatment.




Does the procedure work on overbites


An experienced Invisalign dental practitioner can use Invisalign to treat overbites in the vast majority of adults and adolescents.




I am currently wearing braces. Can I make the switch to Invisalign


A significant number of patients are being treated with a combination of braces and Invisalign. Consult your Invisalign dental practitioner to determine the best treatment for you.




Do Invisalign aligners contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)?


No. Invisalign aligners do not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticisers. Invisalign aligners are made of USP Class VI medical grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resins. Tests have been conducted to determine the biocompatibility of these materials, and show that they are biocompatible and pass all applicable regulatory requirements and thresholds for human wear in the mouth. Of course, as with any medical device, you should consult with your dental practitioner about your aligner treatment and any applicable risks of use.




Does Invisalign have ISO certification


ISO is an international organisation which promotes standardisation and grants Quality Certifications. Align is certified to the ISO 13485:2003 standard. This standard is granted to companies which comply with the regulatory requirements for medical equipment and devices.




How many patients are being treated with Invisalign


More than 8 million patients (including 1.4 million teen patients) worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily.




How old is the technology


In 1945, Dr. H.D. Kiesling envisioned that one day modern technology would enable the use of a series of tooth positioners to produce the kinds of movements required for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Align Technology has made this vision a reality. Using advanced computer technology, Align Technology produces Invisalign, a series of customised clear aligners. Each aligner is worn sequentially by the patient to produce extensive tooth movements in both upper and lower arches.




How old is Invisalign


Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997.




What are aligners made of and what do they look like


The virtually invisible aligners are made of strong medical grade thermoplastic material, uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan. The aligners are custom-made for you and fit snugly over your teeth. Some orthodontists have referred to them as 'contact lenses for teeth'. Have a look at the photo gallery for examples of what the aligners look like, inside and outside the mouth.




How does Invisalign work


Based on Dr Hiren Patel’s diagnosis and prescription, a series of aligners are custom made in a laboratory using highly advanced 3D computer imaging and machining technology in Texas, USA. You wear each aligner for two weeks, before replacing it with the next one, until your teeth are straight. You must wear your aligners for 22-23 hours a day for them to work, and most treatments usually takes 9-10 months, but every case is different!




How do I get started with Invisalign


Just make an appointment with an Invisalign-trained dentist, Dr Hiren Patel at the Smile House Dental Practice, Sutton, for an initial consultation by contacting us today. Call us on 020 8642 0088 today!




Is this a new way to straighten teeth


Dentists or orthodontists have, in the past, successfully used removable appliances for years. But with the application of Align Technology’s 3D computer technology and mass-customisation, the Invisalign system can be used to treat almost anyone who wants straighter teeth. The unique Invisalign software allows patients to see their treatment from beginning to end even before the start of treatment.




What are the benefits of Invisalign


Invisalign aligners are practically invisible. No one may even notice that you’re wearing these virtually invisible ‘braces’, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle and day-to-day interactions with others. Invisalign aligners are removable. Unlike fixed metal braces, you have the flexibility to eat and drink what you want during treatment by simply removing the aligners. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would for fresh breath and to maintain good oral hygiene. Invisalign aligners are comfortable. Unlike traditional fixed braces, there are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth. This also means that in most cases less time is spent in your dental practitioner’s practice for adjustments. And finally, Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you even begin treatment so you can see how your straight teeth are expected to look when your treatment is complete.




What is Invisalign®?


Invisalign is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth and achieve the dazzling smile you've always dreamed of. Using advanced 3D computer-imaging technology, Invisalign depicts your complete treatment plan based on your dental practitioner’s prescription, from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth - and your teeth only - to move them little by little. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, until the final position of your teeth is achieved. Your Invisalign treatment time will be determined by your dentist or orthodontist, based on your specific needs.




How much does Invisalign cost?


Your Initial Consultation is free!* We can offer full Invisalign® treatments from as little as £1,300 to £3,600. This includes: All Photographs, Impressions, Radiographs, ClinCheck viewing, Full set of aligners, all 6 weekly review appointments, Case Refinements should this be necessary and Retainers at the end of treatment. (We can also offer Interest Free Option subject to credit check acceptance.) Some Practices will quote lower initial fees but will not include some of the steps above and usually work out to be have much higher fees overall. Please ensure that you are aware of exactly what you will be provided with when comparing fees. *a fully refundable (on attendance) £20 deposit is required, the deposit is refunded to you after you attend your initial consultation.




How often must I see my dental practitioner once I have started treatment?


Appointment intervals are generally the same as with traditional braces but can be much quicker with less time spent in the dentists’ or orthodontists’ chair during appointments as no adjustments need to be made to wires/brackets. Patients typically visit their dental practitioner every 4 to 6 weeks to ensure the treatment is progressing as planned, and to receive their next few sets of Invisalign aligners, but your dentist or orthodontist will decide based on your treatment.




How long does the Invisalign treatment take?


The total duration of treatment depends on the complexity of the treatment and is generally equal to that of traditional braces. Typically treatment can last between 4 and 18+ months. During your consultation, your dentist or orthodontist can provide you with more detailed information.




Is the Invisalign treatment painful?


Some people may experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days, at the beginning of each new stage of treatment when they insert a new aligner. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that the aligners are working – moving your teeth gradually, helping you to achieve the final results. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.




What's the best way to clean my aligners?


The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water and using the Invisalign Cleaning Crystals or special cleaning tablets. It’s important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.




Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?


Chewing gum while wearing aligners is not advised as gum can stick to aligners. It is recommended that aligners be removed for all meals and snacks.




Can I smoke while wearing the aligners?


Smoking is discouraged while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become stained / discoloured




Will the aligners affect speech?


The vast majority of patients report no effect on speech. However, as with traditional orthodontic appliances, there is an initial adjustment period associated with having something new in the mouth.




How often must the aligners be worn?


Aligners should be worn all the time during treatment, except when eating, brushing or flossing teeth.




Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?


No. Unlike traditional wires and brackets, you can eat whatever you like while in treatment because you remove your aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict consuming any of your favourite foods and snacks. Also, it is important that you brush and floss your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.




What is the minimum age of a patient that a doctor can treat with Invisalign®?


With experience, your dental practitioner can use Invisalign to treat malocclusion for a majority of adults and adolescents who want a better smile. If you are a teenager, talk to your Invisalign dental practitioner to see if Invisalign Teen may be the right treatment option for you.





Invisalign The Clear Alternative to Braces

Here you will find some questions and answers about Ivisalign®  the new clinically proven, invisible way to straighten your teeth.

What happens after treatment is completed?


Then the Retention phase begins, this means wearing removable either clear and/or Plastic and wired appliances that are designed to hold your teeth in the final well aligned positions. You start by wearing clear Retainers just like the Invisalign® Aligners for about 6-10 weeks flowed by the wired retainers for gradually reducing frequency over 12 months. Ideally, you should be prepared to wear them at nights for 2-3 years.




Why should I select Invisalign®?


Aligners are Invisible-straighten and your teeth without any one noticing metal wires or brackets. Aligners are Comfortable-there are no wires or metal to cause mouth abrasions. Aligners are Removable-for eating, drinking, dental care or other activities. Better Oral hygiene during treatment- brush and floss normally to maintain health gums and teeth. Treatment with Invisalign® is more predictable as all movements are built into the initial diagnostics.




How does Invisalign® work?


Based on Dr Ravi Patel’s diagnosis and prescription, a series of aligners are custom made in a laboratory using highly advanced 3D computer imaging and machining technology in Texas, USA. You wear each aligner for two weeks, before replacing it with the next one, until your teeth are straight. You must wear your aligners for 22-23 hours a day for them to work, and most treatments usually takes 9-10 months, but every case is different!




What is Invisalign®?


Invisalign® is the new clinically proven, invisible way to straighten your teeth and give yourself the dazzling smile you have always dreamed of. You wear a series of clear, almost invisible, removable aligners that gradually move your teeth into the desired positions. Our aligners can be removed for eating and cleaning. Each aligner is individually manufactured for your teeth, and your teeth only. As you replace each aligner, your teeth will move - little by little, week by week - until they have straightened to the final position prescribed by your dental practitioner. Invisalign is the best way to transform your smile without interfering with your day-to-day life. Invisalign may look like a straightforward "piece of plastic", but it's so much more. With advanced technology and a sophisticated manufacturing process, your Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, and only you. Over time, your teeth should move to reveal the smile you've been longing for. Dr Ravi Patel is our fully accredited and trained dentist who can provide our patients with Invisalign. Book an appointment to come in and see him if you have any questions. Remember, no questions are silly questions!




Invisalign for teenagers


Invisalign offers a range of treatment options for teenagers. The great benefit of Invisalign is that it provides an aesthetic, more flexible way to give teenagers the confidence of a great smile. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are comfortable, removable and nearly invisible, which means teenagers can carry on enjoying life without the restrictions, irritation and self-consciousness associated with metal brackets and wires. Invisalign aligners are also removable, so teenagers can continue brushing and flossing normally. This can lead to better overall dental health in the future. What options are available to teenagers? Invisalign has several treatment options available for teenagers, depending on the stage of teeth development. Some teenagers will be suitable for the same Invisalign treatment as adult patients. Younger teenagers, or those who haven’t got all of their adult teeth erupted can be treated with Invisalign Teen – a treatment designed specifically for teenagers. Your dental practitioner will determine which treatment best suits your individual needs and the condition of your teeth. Why Invisalign Teen? Invisalign Teen has been developed with teenagers, parents and leading orthodontists who understand the active lifestyles and unique treatment needs of teenage patients. The Invisalign Teen aligners are made with the same Invisalign technology used for Invisalign aligners, moving teeth gradually without the need for metal or wires. But because teens (and their mouths) are constantly on the move, we’ve added a few special features:

  • Blue wear-indicators fade from blue to clear to help your dental practitioner, you, and your teenager to gauge wear time.
  • Special features designed to compensate for the eruption of canines, second premolars and second molars.
  • Six free individual replacement aligners are included in case any get lost or misplaced.
To find out more about Invisalign for teenagers, please talk to your dental practitioner who’ll be able to suggest the best treatment option for you.




Why Chose Invisalign


When it comes to considering your options for a smile makeover, it's easy to see Invisalign's clear advantages which provide another reason to smile. Compare Invisalign to other teeth straightening options below. What about veneers? Veneers can complement and can be used in conjunction with Invisalign to improve the shape or colour of your teeth. Should you have a chipped or irregular tooth, veneers can be used to finalise your treatment and smile after your teeth have been straightened with Invisalign. While veneers offer many advantages in combination with Invisalign, veneers as a standalone option to address a cosmetic issue can have distinct disadvantages that should be considered very carefully before agreeing to treatment. With veneers, the entire front surface of the tooth enamel is permanently removed and replaced with a thin piece of specially-shaped porcelain or plastic glued over the front of the teeth. This is an irreversible procedure as natural tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneer. When using veneers as a dental straightening solution only, more tooth enamel than necessary may need to be removed. If used in combination with Invisalign, the amount of enamel that needs to be removed may be minimised. Veneers are not a permanent solution. They can chip or break, requiring you to replace them on an individual basis, which can be very expensive. They also have a life expectancy of about 5 to 10 years, depending on the quality of the veneers purchased. Since your tooth enamel has been removed, most patients have no choice but to replace their veneers, incurring the same high costs every time they have to get a new set. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, as veneers are a purely cosmetic procedure, they don't correct the position of your teeth or correct bite problems. Instead of straightening teeth as Invisalign does, a veneer simply covers up the imperfections. Invisalign offers you naturally beautiful, healthy teeth. It's a solution worth smiling about!




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What could be simpler? Spread the cost of your treatment over a months or years. With our dental Care finance you only pay for the treatment you actually receive, this allows you to afford improved dental care for you or your family whenever it is needed.

  • Spread the cost of your dental care
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Treatment process


Step by step to a great smile Once your dentist or orthodontist confirms that your issue can be corrected with the Invisalign system, he or she will prescribe a detailed treatment plan that determines how each of your aligners will change throughout your program. When you begin treatment, you'll wear each set of custom-made aligners in approximately two-week increments. The aligners gently move your teeth into position, and at the end of each two-week period, you "graduate" to the next set of custom-made aligners. Step by step to a great smile As you progress through the series of aligners, which you only remove to eat, drink, brush and floss, or for special occasions, your teeth will begin moving, little by little. And you don't have to wait until you complete treatment to see your smile change—you may start seeing positive changes early in the process. You will have occasional checkups with your dental practitioner — often as little as once every six weeks—in order to gauge your progress. And at the end of your treatment, you'll be showing off a smile you never knew you'd have before you had Invisalign. Your lifestyle. Your schedule. So how long will it take to finish your treatment? For most adults, treatment time is just under one year. Of course, your total treatment time depends on your particular situation, so it's important to speak with your dental practitioner about how your situation and goals fit into an Invisalign treatment program. You're in control of your treatment's success, the more you wear your aligners, the better. And you're on your way to the smile you've always dreamed of! You’ve taken the first step towards your new smile by logging onto our site and seeing the success stories of previous patients. Now take the next step towards your dream smile and book a consultation with an Invisalign-trained dental practitioner at the Smile House Dental Practice.




Health benefits


Smile healthy It's easy to see that a straight, even smile of glossy pearly whites look great. But a cosmetically perfect smile often means it's also a healthy smile. So put yourself in a healthy state of mind, and take a look at the additional benefits of a properly aligned smile. Healthier gums Signs of periodontal disease, such as swollen gums and redness, can surface due to teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Clinical studies have shown that when teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit tighter around the teeth(1), which can lead to better gum health. Since Invisalign's greatest advantage is its ability to effectively straighten teeth, your gum health may improve after Invisalign treatment(2). And since you can brush and floss normally with Invisalign, unlike with traditional braces, you can more easily prevent tooth decay and related gum disease. Better oral health One of Invisalign's best qualities is that it uses no metal bands, brackets, or wires that may trap food and plaque like traditional braces. And since the removable nature of Invisalign allows you to maintain good oral hygiene, you may also reduce chances of plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease. Improved chewing and speech When you leave incorrectly positioned teeth and jaws untreated, it can lead to speech difficulties and uncomfortable chewing issues. Invisalign treatment can improve both of these problems by providing better-aligned teeth and jaws. Maintain comfort and tooth structure Misaligned teeth and jaws can result in abnormal stress. This can cause painful trauma to supporting bone and jaw joints. These issues can also cause abnormal wear on your teeth, which can trigger continued problems in the future. Invisalign treatment can improve the alignment of your teeth and improve your bite.

  1. Ong et al., 1998 Boyd and Baumrind, 1992, Zachrisson and Zachrisson, 1972.
  2. Presented at the AADR in San Antonio, Effect of Invisalign Aligners on Periodontal Tissues, Taylor, MG; McGorray,




How much does Invisalign cost?


Our Initial Consultation fee is £40.00 and will be taken off any treatment fees if you decide to go ahead. We can offer full Invisalign® treatments from as little as £1,499 to £4,500. This includes: All Photographs, Impressions, Radiographs, ClinCheck viewing, Full set of aligners, all 6 weekly review appointments, Case Refinements should this be necessary and Retainers at the end of treatment. (We can also offer Interest Free Option subject to credit check acceptance.) Some Practices will quote lower initial fees but will not include some of the steps above and usually work out to be have much higher fees overall. Please ensure that you are aware of exactly what you will be provided with when comparing fees.




Will it work for me?


If you have all your adult teeth with fully erupted molars, most patients can be treated with Invisalign®, even if they have crowns or bridges. Many common issues like crooked or crowded teeth, spaces between teeth and certain overbite and crossbites can be successfully corrected. Dr R H Patel is also one of the most experienced Invisalign® clinicians in Surrey and will be able to give you a reliable opinion if you are suitable candidate for Invisalign®. A confident smile and increased self-esteem aren't the only benefits of correcting your smile with Invisalign - your oral health can be positively enhanced as well. Learn more about several common issues below that an experienced Invisalign-trained dental practitioner can work with you to correct. Overcrowded teeth occur when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can cause an increased chance of gum disease as your teeth are harder to clean and can prevent the normal function of teeth. Widely spaced teeth occur when you have extra space within your jaw. This could be due to small sized teeth, abnormal growth of jaw bones, genetics, missing teeth and/or tongue protrusion. When teeth are missing, this can also be caused by the other teeth shifting due to extra space. Spacing issues can cause some perio-dontal diseases including gingivitis and periodontitis, that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Cross bites occur when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It usually causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and/or the sides of the mouth. This issue can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss. Overbites occur when the upper teeth overlap significantly with the lower teeth. It's typically caused by either genetics, bad oral habits, or over development of the bone that supports the teeth. This issue can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth and can cause painful jaw and joint problems. Underbites occur when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth, usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This issue can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars which can lead to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.





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