Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are Invisible Braces?
  2. Are Invisible Braces for me?
  3. Are Invisible Braces expensive?
  4. Does it involve teeth extraction?
  5. Will it be very painful?
  6. How long will the treatment take?
  7. Will the improvement be permanent??

Does it involve teeth extraction?

Most patients hold the idea that extractions of teeth are necessary in orthodontic treatment. With proper diagnosis and setting of treatment goals, correct timing and sequencing of treatment, proper application and control of the orthodontic appliances, extractions can be avoided in more than two-thirds of the patients.

For adults, we try to avoid extraction of permanent teeth if possible. Extractions of teeth are recommended only in severe cases. Achieving a natural and harmonious profile of the face and a full smile is the primary objective. Treatment planning must be profile-driven with consideration of future changes to the thickness and tone of the facial soft tissues. Unnecessary extractions may result in over-retraction of front teeth and create a "dished-in" profile.

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Will it be very painful?

The pain from wearing braces has been exaggerated. The placement of braces is painless but once the pressure from the braces sets in, there may be some discomfort in the first few days. With the use of more "patient friendly" tooth-moving wires such as the titanium wires, the level of discomfort is significantly reduced.

After this initial breaking-in period, patients are able to adapt well to the braces. The levels of discomfort vary with the thresholds of the individuals with a small group of patients even reporting minimal or no discomfort. Most patients reported the discomfort as mainly due to a mild ache or tenderness of teeth during chewing. Each subsequent adjustment of the braces may again cause some discomfort that lasts for only 2 to 4 days. The level of discomfort will also lessen as the treatment progresses.

For lingual (invisible) braces, patients may experience soreness of the tongue and some initial speech impairment such as lisping. However, almost all patients with lingual braces adapt to it within a month.

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How long will the treatment take?

Treatment duration varies according to many factors. Depending on the treatment objectives and severity of the problems, it can range from a few months to two years or more. On the average, comprehensive orthodontic treatment takes about slightly over a year to two years. Other factors that will influence the length of treatment time are the regularity and frequency of attendance by the patient, care and maintenance of the braces by the patient and compliance to instructions during the course of treatment.

Although treatment of similar problems in adults may generally take a little longer than in children, the better cooperation and compliance from adults can sometimes more than make up for this disadvantage.

Treatment duration aside, a desire to seek improvement and a positive attitude towards treatment are essential. A healthy set of teeth and a great smile for the rest of your life will more than justify the short period of time invested.

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Will the improvement be permanent?

Teeth, facial bones, facial muscle and soft tissue tones are constantly changing and adapting as we age. Teeth that have been crooked for years will have a tendency to return to its original situation after treatment. However, with proper treatment planning and execution of treatment, you should expect more than 90% permanent improvement in most cases. Minor movements or relapse may occur but with conscientious and periodic wear of retainers (available with lingual fixed retainer or clear/invisible retainer nowadays) following treatment, these changes can be minimized. In fact, some minor movement or settling of teeth into occlusion may even be desirable.

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