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Have you made the decision to straighten your teeth and improve your smile but are unsure which brace is for you? You may be asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Which brace is the quickest acting?
  2. Which brace is the most effective?
  3. Which is the lease noticeable?
  4. What are the costs involved?

Colchester Orthodontic Centre provides orthodontic treatment by Specialist Orthodontists. They are expertly trained to be able to discuss the pros & cons of the options available for straightening your teeth. These may include tooth coloured fixed braces and Invisalign.  At your initial consultation appointment, a Specialist Orthodontist and your dedicated Treatment Co-Ordinator will discuss in depth, all the treatment options appropriate for you. They will answer all your questions and provide a written summary of your treatment options and a quote for the treatment costs.

Tooth Coloured Fixed Braces or Invisalign? What’s the difference?

The essential differences between these two options are that tooth coloured fixed braces are bonded (fixed) to the surfaces of your teeth & so cannot be removed whilst the Invisalign brace system involves you wearing a series of clear ‘aligner’ braces which can be removed for eating, drinking & toothbrushing. The Invisalign brace is much less noticeable than a fixed brace, although tooth coloured fixed braces do blend in with the surfaces of your teeth very well. Tooth coloured fixed braces are generally faster acting & very precise in the tooth movements they can achieve. They are suited to all types of orthodontic problems. Invisalign  is usually a little slower acting & is not as sophisticated in terms of how it is able to move teeth. It’s better suited to the less complicated orthodontic problems such as mild to moderate crowding or spacing of teeth.

Tooth Coloured Fixed Braces – for discreet straightening!

Tooth coloured fixed braces offer a precise, yet discreet way to realign your teeth. They work just like conventional metal fixed braces but do so much less obviously, thanks to their tiny ceramic (or clear) brackets. The wires which join the brackets together can be tooth coloured during the early stages of treatment but need to be metal as treatment progresses. They are secured to the brackets by tiny rubber rings. These are clear when first fitted but can discolour in between appointments with food and drink stain. They need to be replaced at each visit. We will usually need to see you once every 6-8 weeks to adjust your braces. Sometimes you may need to come  in between appointments if wires or brackets come loose.

As tooth coloured fixed braces are bonded to your teeth, you must pay close attention to your dental hygiene. Extra time is needed to thoroughly clean around the brackets & wires with your toothbrush. You can use interdental brushes to clean any awkward areas.

You could dislodge or damage your brace if you bite down on hard or chewy foods, so try to cut up harder items or avoid altogether.

Invisalign – for effectively invisible straightening!

Invisalign is a barely noticeable way to straighten your teeth. This clever system requires you to wear a series of clear, custom-made aligners, which gradually move crooked teeth to a more pleasing position.

Your orthodontist will arrange for a 3D scan of your teeth. This is sent to the Align Company laboratories where your customised aligners are made. Invisalign is particularly suitable for adults and teenagers who may feel self-conscious about wearing fixed braces. The aligners can also be taken out for tooth brushing and eating. They need to be removed for drinking anything but water, contact sports and swimming. However, for Invisalign to be effective, you will need to wear the aligners at all other times.

Invisalign works by exerting gentle pressure on teeth in very precise positions. To assist this process, small tooth coloured ‘attachments’ need to be bonded to some teeth to act as surfaces against which the aligners push. These are simply bonded onto the teeth & polished off at the end of treatment. We usually only need to see you once every 10-14 weeks to monitor your progress.

Keep your smile straight!

Don’t forget you will need to wear a retainer following any kind of treatment with braces to keep those straighter teeth in line. See our blog post on retainers for more info & do browse our website for further information on all the treatments we offer. 

What are the Costs?

Your treatment options will be tailored to your precise requirements & the nature of your own orthodontic problems. Consequently, the cost of treatment will vary form one case to another. Your personalised treatment plan & report will provide your individual quote for the treatment you require. In general, costs associated with the Invisalign system are a little greater due to the increased treatment time & personalised aligner production. The investment you make to straighten your teeth & enhance your smile is important to us & so we are able to offer various repayment options to make the process as easy as possible.

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