Most dental patients are confused by the plethora of products that are available to them. A dentist or orthodontist can spend hours talking through a whole range of different products, all with mystifying brand names, that essentially seem to create the same result. So how do you know which product is right for you?
This article focuses on a product called InVu Braces. As with most orthodontic products, it sounds like it can work miracles on crooked teeth. Here, we will look at what InVu braces are, what makes them different to other products and what sort of people are suited to this type of treatment.
InVu Braces: the facts
Dentists recommend orthodontic work to a wide variety of people – not just teenagers whose teeth are still growing. The fact is that orthodontic work is not simply cosmetic. In many cases, it is an important procedure that can help you keep your mouth healthy and your smile attractive.
While most patients appreciate that an orthodontic procedure would suit them, they find the idea of wearing braces unacceptable. Conventional braces are highly visible, ugly and uncomfortable. This is one of the main reasons why a product like Invu Braces has become so popular, first in the US and now in the UK and other parts of the world.
InVu braces work in the same way as traditional metal brackets. So the end result is the same: the braces apply force to move the teeth into the chosen position. This is important, because while there are now a number of new products on the market, such as aligners and express orthodontic systems, braces are still the preferred method for many dentists. When a fairly large correction is required, braces still provide the strongest force through the combined use of brackets, elastic bands and archwires.
While InVu braces use the same principle as conventional braces, they have a number of critical differences. Firstly, the brackets are made from white ceramic, rather than metal. So they are barely visible against your teeth. Secondly, the archwires are also made from tooth-coloured material. Therefore, the two aspects of conventional braces which made them so ugly – so ugly, in fact, that they caused dentists to give them the name ‘train tracks’ – have disappeared.
InVu braces: the technology
So, InVu braces look better than conventional braces. Has the technology been improved as well? One of the greatest selling points of InVu braces is their strength, as well as their aesthetic value. InVu ceramic brackets are precisely engineered so that they both work hard on your teeth but also provide optimum levels of comfort. The injection molding process eliminates rough edges and provides unmatched smoothness. Some ceramic brackets, while looking good, are not as strong or as durable as conventional metal brackets. InVu brackets are much less likely to chip or shatter during the course of treatment.
For patients, another key fact is that InVu ceramic brackets are ‘low profile’. This means that your orthodontist will be able to place them on both arches if required, thereby enhancing the scale of the procedure. This means that InVu braces can be used to tackle more serious tooth corrections, rather than simply being restricted to minor cosmetic requirements.
InVu braces: the alternatives
There is now a wide range of alternatives on the orthodontic market. However, most products have subtle differences and so will only be suited to a particular type of patient. So while the choice may seem bewildering at first, a consultation with your dentist will probably help to narrow down your options considerably.
Most people consider white ceramic braces because they combine functionality with aesthetics. If you have decided that aesthetics are important, your dentist may also discuss other types of products with you. For example, lingual braces are fitted to the back of the teeth, so they cannot be seen, while aligners can be made from clear plastic so they do not require brackets or wires. For each patient, each system will have unique pros and cons. Then there are the more practical considerations too, such as cost and timescales.
During your consultation, your dentist will probably discuss each of the deciding factors with, helping you to focus your thinking, limit your options and find the product, procedure or treatment that is right for you.
InVu braces: the timescales
As we mentioned above, for some people the overriding factor in choosing their orthodontic treatment is aesthetics. For others, timescales are just as important. Braces can be uncomfortable and disruptive to everyday life, and most people do not want to wear them for any longer than they have to.
InVu braces are fixed in by the dentist. Therefore, they apply constant pressure to the teeth, and on average, treatment is concluded in 12-18 months. This is much faster than conventional braces. However, it is also important to remember that you will need to visit the dentist regularly during this time to have your braces adjusted and your teeth cleaned.
InVu braces: the aftercare
Any orthodontic treatment is expensive, so it is important that you look after your braces. As InVu braces are fixed, food can easily become trapped around the brackets and archwires, which increases the chances of tooth decay.
One of the obvious benefits of clear ceramic braces is that you can see exactly where the trapped food is. Having said that, if you do not keep your teeth clean, the tooth-coloured ligatures that hold the archwire in places can become discoloured themselves. The best solution may be to use a fluoride mouthwash regularly, as well as brushing and flossing.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but it is also important to watch what you eat. Some estimates say that each untreated broken bracket can prolong treatment by a whole month! So before you succumb to a hard apple or toffee, think about what it means.
InVu braces: the costs
Compared to other systems that market themselves as being aesthetically designed, white ceramic braces can be more cost effective. Treatment usually costs between £2000 and £3000.