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Invisalign FAQ


Dr Brian Mulgrew (Specialist Orthodontist) has been treating patients with Invisalign since 2009. He is one of Northern Ireland’s leading Invisalign providers. Here are his thoughts on all things Invisalign-related.  

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an alternative teeth-straightening method. It’s also called clear-aligner treatment, since instead of braces, it uses aligners. Aligners are almost invisible gum shields which gently guide your teeth into the desired position. You’ll need to wear several aligners during the process.  

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign works by gently moving your teeth into the desired position using custom-made aligners. You change these every 1 to 2 weeks. Anywhere from 6 to 48 aligners may be needed.    

Is Invisalign Good Only For Very Mild Cases?

No: that’s a common misconception. Invisalign can be used to treat nearly every case. Invisalign is just a different tool to straighten your teeth. It is prescribed by the clinician treating you just as braces are. If you want your teeth straightened with Invisalign, we would recommend that you attend a Specialist Orthodontist experienced in the use of Invisalign to achieve optimum results.

Is Invisalign As Good As Braces?

Yes. But only in the hands of a Specialist Orthodontist experienced in using Invisalign. I have discovered that almost anything I can treat with braces I can also treat with Invisalign. Invisalign is constantly improving and innovating. It has revolutionised orthodontics and it has removed barriers for lots of people who were very unhappy with their smile, but suffered in silence because they were worried about their appearance with traditional fixed braces.  

What Does It Feel Like?

My patients tell me that, at first, they feel like they’re wearing a slim and lightweight retainer. They do feel the presence of the aligner and may even have a small lisp as they get used to its presence in their mouths. This becomes less and less a nuisance with each passing day and with each aligner change. Invisalign’s great advantage is that, unlike braces, it’s removable. So, there’s no need to make changes to your diet. What’s more – this practically eliminates the risk of breakages and/or malformations.  

What Are the Advantages of Invisalign?

I call it the 4Cs Cosmetic.
Clear. Invisalign is transparent and almost invisible. You’ll find amost instantly that most people will not even notice you’re wearing an aligner.
Clean. You should remove your Invisalign aligner every time you eat and/or drink. Therefore, as opposed to using traditional braces, you do not have to worry about food getting caught around the brace. You are much less likely to have problems with inflamed gums during the Invisalign treatment.
Comfortable. Invisalign aligners don’t have any wires or brackets, so they will not rub from your gums as much as a traditional brace.
Convenient. Invisalign is removable so it can be removed for 2 hrs a day. This means that if you have a music recital or are going out for a special meal you can take it out and feel as comfortable as if you’re not using it at all. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is wearing the brace 22 hours a day.

Is Invisalign Painful?

Every patient experiences tooth movement differently. In my experience patients describe it as uncomfortable during the first few weeks; tender rather than painful. Even though some people experience no discomfort at all, as is the case with regular braces, it is only normal to experience a little bit of discomfort during the movement of your teeth. This can be easily managed with normal painkillers. Compared to traditional braces, however, Invisalign is much less bulky; and since, unlike them, it does not have any wires or brackets which can annoy or rub the inside of your mouth – the discomfort should not be as great as well.  

What is the Cost of Invisalign?

Your smile is a worthwhile investment. So is Invisalign. Depending on the type of Invisalign used – e.g I7, LIte or full Invisalign – the price varies. It also depends on the complexity of your problem. At Mulgrew Orthodontics we offer all our patients interest free payment plan over 18 mths. A simple example: if you put a deposit of £900, in the case of full Invisalign treatment, you will then have to pay as little as £116 per month during the next year and a half.