Invisalign — as its name suggests — whispers promises of invisible braces that would magically straighten teeth. In Singapore, Invisalign is one of the clear aligner brands that have risen in popularity here. Thankfully, gone are the days of clunky metal braces that are both unsightly and a huge hassle to maintain.
Teeth straightening in Singapore is an increasingly sought-after procedure — after all, they say a smile is the best accessory you can wear. It’s one of those things that make up first impressions and maybe even determine if you’ve scored that job interview.
Based on your smile (or lack of), people can quickly sum up at first glance whether they like you or think you’ve got a RBF. Just saying.
What is Invisalign?
Well hello, where have you been living! You must know about conventional metal braces, which are unfortunately known for how painful they are. Think: ulcers, cuts, food stuck between your metal brackets and wires.
While braces have become somewhat commonplace over the years, many of us are turning to clear aligner options like Invisalign for an easier, more glamourous and hassle-free alternative.
Invisalign is an orthodontics treatment that uses clear plastic aligners to straighten and realign teeth. Using a 3D computerised imaging software called Clincheck that will simulate teeth movement and provide a detailed timeline of your treatment, Invisalign is a highly elegant solution to your crooked teeth woes.
To undergo Clincheck, your orthodontist or dentist will take digital scans, rubber impressions or bite registrations from you. These will then be used to create and make the aligners that are specifically for your teeth, so that no two aligners are the same.
What is the cost of Invisalign in Singapore?
Invisalign costs between $6,000 to $9,000 in total, depending if you opt for a dentist or an orthodontist (specialist) and on the complexity of your case. It’s expensive because the aligners are custom made according to the 3D image of your entire oral make up. An average of 18 to 30 sets of aligners will be produced and you’ll have to change them about once every two weeks, to keep up with the changing structures of your teeth.
Other clear aligner alternatives like Zenyum, WonderSmile, SmileDirectClub are in the $2,000 range.
What’s so special about Invisalign and why is it so expensive?
Invisalign is made of patented SmartTrack material, which makes them especially comfortable and easy to put on as well as take off. Based on eight years of research and development, the SmartTrack material also boasts faster treatment times of up to 50% faster. In this way, you can be sure that your Invisalign aligners fit snugly around your teeth with better comfort.
How do clear aligners work?
Clear aligner brands in Singapore, like Invisalign, Zenyum etc, are designed to make small movements at a time by applying gentle pressure on your teeth, slowly nudging them to a perfect alignment.
Since changes to your teeth are meant to be gentle and gradual, it tends to be quite comfortable. However, it will take about 18 to 24 months for the entire treatment, depending also on the complexity of your case.
With Invisalign or other clear aligner brands, you won’t need to visit your dentist or orthodontist as frequently as you would for regular metal braces.
Invisalign in Singapore: Pros
1. Invisalign is 1000x more aesthetically pleasing
It goes without doubt that a set of clear plastic aligners would look better than having metallic brackets and wires in your mouth. This is a huge reason why people opt for Invisalign and clear aligners over braces. Even better when your clear aligners are so invisible that no one notices that you’re actually straightening your teeth. No need to morph into Ugly Betty; a set of plastics will help you slowly turn into a swan, on stealth mode. Enough said.
2. It’s comfortable to wear
You’ve probably heard the horror stories about braces. All those nicks, cuts and ulcers from metal wires? It’s like a war zone in there. On the other hand, Invisalign is made of polymer which will fit comfortably onto your teeth without irritating or hurting the gums around it.
3. You can remove your Invisalign clear aligners — easier to maintain and better oral hygiene
As Invisalign is a set of plastic aligners, you can remove them when you want to eat, drink or brush your teeth, unlike braces — only your dentist can remove them for you during your dental appointments. can only remove at the dentist. This also means you will have an easier time maintaining dental hygiene, because you can take them off when you brush or floss your teeth. With braces, it’s notoriously harder to brush and food bits always get stuck somewhere.
4. Less frequent visits to the dentist
Invisalign users only have to visit their dentist every once every 8 to 12 weeks. That’s less frequent compared to people who are wearing braces. Dental visits can be dreaded and time-consuming, so fewer visits are definitely appreciated.
Invisalign in Singapore: Cons
1. Requires a lot of discipline
There’s always pros and cons to every option—and the biggest con for this one? It requires steadfast commitment and discipline, you guys.
You will need to put on your Invisalign or clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day for the treatment to be effective. Yup, that basically translates into all the time, save for 2 to 4 hours of mealtimes (breakfast, lunch and dinner). You will need to be disciplined enough to excuse yourself after eating dinner with your friend to pop ‘em aligners back into your mouth.
Sounds too difficult? Or if you’re the sort who is really forgetful or have commitment issues, clear aligners may not be for you—stick with metal braces instead, you won’t need to remove them for meals and put them back on yourself!
2. Get ready for some changes, like bringing your toothbrush everywhere you go and staying off the fizzies
As you have to put your Invisalign aligners back on after every meal, you’ll find yourself constantly having to brush your teeth. Even after eating a small snack. Most Invisalign users I know find themselves giving up on snacks altogether because it’s just too troublesome to keep brushing their teeth every time they eat something or take a sip of boba tea.
You’ll also have to avoid drinking fizzy or sugary drinks to prevent pooling of the beverage, which may lead to tooth decay. But hey, if this means a healthier diet, why not?
Are clear aligners painful?
Although clear aligners like Invisalign are generally already more comfortable and less painful than traditional braces, it can cause slight discomfort for some when wearing them. Since there’s pressure on your teeth as you change into different sets of aligners, the discomfort mostly comes from your teeth shifting around and adapting to new positions.
In some cases, it is also possible for clear aligners to rub against the insides of your mouth, causing soreness. If you experience that, do let your dentist know so he or she can check the fitting of your aligners. It’s quite normal to feel tightness or discomfort as you change into a new set of aligners—as long as the pain is just momentary. Again, don’t be shy to highlight any problems to your dentist!
What a typical Invisalign treatment looks like
1. Determine your suitability
The first step to getting Invisalign done would be to have an initial consultation with your orthodontist so that he or she can assess your teeth. After an oral examination, X-ray scans and photographs of your dental and facial profiles will be taken to assess if you are a good candidate for the aligners treatment.
In general, Invisalign and clear aligners can work for everyone from teenagers to adults. It will typically take a longer treatment time for adults though, as our bone structure gets denser as we grow older. Clear aligners usually work well with less complex teeth issues such as correcting overbites, underbites, crowded or crooked teeth.
2. Begin Invisalign treatment
Once you are a suitable candidate, your orthodontist will start by making an impression of your teeth using a digital scan or physically making a rubber impression (ugh). Your first set of clear aligners will be modelled based on this! The whole treatment process and expectations should be explained to you during this stage so that you know what to expect. An Invisalign treatment typically takes 18 months.
3. Monitor progress
You will need to visit your orthodontist or dentist once every 6 to 8 weeks to monitor your progress and change your aligners. Some clinics or aligner brands like Zenyum that is based in Singapore also offer online or in-app monitoring.
After that one to two year-long treatment, you’re finally aligners-free hurray! But you’re not entirely free of these plastics yet though—you will need to wear retainers nightly to bed, similar to the post-treatment process for braces.
Whether you opt for Invisalign, other clear aligners or braces, the pursuit of a pretty smile definitely comes with some level of effort and determination. The question is, are you game?
If there is one thing Germaine could do for the rest of her life, it would be to explore the world, with her camera in hand. You can also often find her diving deep into a fictional universe on Netflix or filling her shopping cart with cute clothes and trinkets.