What is Invisalign?

logo_tagline_colourWhat is Invisalign?

Gaps, crowded, twisted looking teeth?

While everyone of every age wants beautiful straight white teeth, braces are not for everyone! Here at Smilessence, we can offer clear removable braces!

Why not keep smiling and laughing without being self-conscious of metal showing?

Invisalign is the clear alternative to braces. Invisalign gradually moves your teeth using a series of custom made, removable, virtually invisible aligners.

Continue on with your daily activities while straitening your teeth!

There are advantages of having Invisalign over traditional braces:

  • the appliance is removable for good hygiene
  • easy to clean your teeth
  • straight teeth can improve your oral health
  • more beautiful smiles
  • made of smooth comfortable plastic
  • allowing you to eat whatever foods you like
  • a reason to start smiling more!

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Invisalign FAQ’s

Can anyone see that I have the aligners on?
Fortunately the aligners are clear! When in the mouth they are almost invisible.The aligners are made of a clear, glossy material.

How often do I have to wear my aligners?

24/7 whilst you must remove them to eat, brush and floss.They are to be in the mouth a minimum of 22 hours a day.

Do I have to avoid certain foods with this treatment?

Unlike traditional orthodontic braces you will no longer have to give up your favourite foods for straighter teeth. With invisalign you won’t have the stress of breaking brackets, bending wires or having food stuck throughout the day.

How long does invisalign treatment take?
Treatments vary from patient to patient, depending on what the patient wants to achieve, for most patients treatment takes between 6-18 months.

How often will my appointment be with the dentist?

In most causes you will see your dentist once every 6 weeks, at each appointment you will be given 3 sets of your aligners that you will be asked to change every 2 weeks.

What happens after I finish my treatment? How do I keep my teeth I position?
Keeping your teeth in position is easily done. We will make you 3 sets of retainers, however do remember the retainers of for life! Simply wear them every night to bed.

How do I clean my aligners?
Keeping your aligners clean is easy and fast; simply give them a quick brush with Luke warm water and a bit of toothpaste.

Will I have discomfort throughout treatment?
You will experience discomfort for the first few days of each set of aligners, remember you are slowly moving your teeth into different positions.

Will wearing the aligners affect the way I speak?
As with anything new there is an adjustment period where we allow 1-2 days for our self to get used to having something new in your mouths. Most patients don’t have an issue with their speaking.

Dental Implants

Dental Implants

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Question
What is a dental implant?

Answer
A dental implant can be thought of as a prosthetic tooth root that is surgically placed into the jawbone. This is then used to support an artificial tooth (crown) or teeth (bridge or denture).

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Dental implant is fabricated from a very strong, biocompatible material placed in a simple procedure that, generally, is as convenient as a tooth extraction. After an initial healing period, during which the implant is buried in bone and left undisturbed under gum tissue, it is uncovered and connected to a small metal post that secures and supports the artificial tooth.

The implant material is extremely biocompatible. The bone grows onto the implant and bonds to it.

Question
How long does it take?

Answer
It depends on the type of bone, and where the implant is placed into your jaw. It can range from a few months to over 9 months. Generally, implants in the front lower jaw need  round 4 months; the back upper jaw needs around 9 months and elsewhere in the mouth  round 6 months. These times may need to be lengthened if bone needs to be grown or grafting has taken place.

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Question
Is everyone suitable?

Answer
Some people may not be suitable for this procedure. Conditions such as heavy smoking,
periodontal disease and uncontrolled diabetes can cause problems. Your dentist will also need to check to see how much bone you have and whether there is enough space for an implant. The adjacent teeth roots will also need to be away from the implant. If you don’t have enough bone, it is possible to grow bone or even graft bone from elsewhere in the mouth.

Question
What are the advantages of the implant treatment?

Answer
The adjacent teeth are not damaged or cut in any way as compared to a bridge which involves reduction of the adjacent teeth. It also helps to prevent bone loss. Implants are also used to stabilise loose dentures or even replace them with fixed bridges.

Question
What is the procedure for implant treatment?

Answer
The gum is lifted and folded back and the bone is prepared to receive the implant. You may have this done in the chair with local anaesthetic. The implant is generally covered over and left to heal until the implant has integrated into the jawbone. Your dentist may also leave the implant uncovered by the gum at this first stage. A second operation may then be needed to uncover the top of the implant. Your dentist can usually start construction of your crown or a bridge after a month.

Question
How long will an implant last?

Answer
This is impossible to predict, especially when done to repair a missing tooth that has diminished gum tissue. Though research has demonstrated a long life once the implants have been integrated with bone, each patient is different, and longevity may be
affected by overall health, nutrition, oral hygiene and tobacco usage. Individual anatomy, the design and construction of the prosthesis and oral habits may also have an influence.

Question
What is the cost of an implant?

Answer
In general, costs are closely comparable to those of other prostheses involving fixed
bridgework. The uniqueness of repairing a missing tooth (or teeth) depends on each patient’s restorative needs, which means this should be discussed with your dentist.

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Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crown is useful when a tooth is decayed or broken to the extent that fillings are not able to repair the damage. Porcelain crowns or “caps” wrap around the entire portion of a tooth and act as a new outer layer of the tooth in comparison to fillings which just cover a very limited part of the tooth.

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The crown acts as a protective shell for the damaged tooth to strengthen it and at the same time improve the longevity of the tooth. With the right colour selection, a crown can not only help restore a damaged tooth back to its original shape but also blend in harmoniously with your natural teeth.

During your first visit, the dentist will reshape the tooth by shaving some of the tooth off to make room for the new “shell”. After that, an impression of the tooth will be taken in order to create the porcelain crown, using a special material. This impression will then be sent to the dental laboratory to create a permanent crown. While waiting for the permanent crown to be sent back to the dentist, the dentist will make a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth before the next visit. The colour of the temporary crown will usually match the original colour of your other teeth.

After the dentist receives the permanent crown from the laboratory, your temporary crown will be replaced with the new permanent one. Before permanently cementing the crown into place, the dentist will make sure that it fits and that the colour matches.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a professional treatment that can lighten the colour of teeth. This very popular treatment has very few side effects with the vast majority of people happy with the result that they achieve. It is done with custom fitted moulds and professional grade dental whitening agent that is applied to the teeth.

Whitening can remove the stains on teeth that can be caused by smoking, tea and coffee as well as other stains that develop over time. Whilst it is suitable for most patients, whitening is not suitable for everyone and therefore a careful assessment of the individual is required prior to treatment.

Two visits a few days apart are usually required. The first visit is to determine if the whitening will be effective and appropriate as well as to take the moulds of the teeth that will be used to make the whitening trays. The following visit the trays are checked in the mouth to make sure that they fit perfectly and instructions on how to use the trays are given.

The custom trays can last a very long time and once the initial whitening is done patients can keep the trays and whitening agent for a “top-up” in the future.

Tooth Grinding Treatment (Bruxism)

Bruxism or Tooth Grinding Treatment

Bruxism or tooth grinding is caused by reasons such as stress, bite problem or simply just a bad habit. Constant grinding will cause problems like worn teeth, loose teeth, chipped teeth, jaw muscle and joint soreness as well as headaches.

Treatment for tooth grinding involves two stages. The first stage involves the usage of a custom night guard, known as a splint to protect the teeth as well as decreasing inflammation in thejoint while relaxing the muscles. The splint must be made carefully to ensure that it does not exacerbate the problem. These splints are designed for long term use and therefore must be checked at the periodic check-up appointments, ensuring that they still fit the way they are supposed to. Most people will not need more than this for their grinding problem.

Depending on the seriousness of the damage caused to the teeth due to grinding, some patients may need to have their teeth built up to restore the lost height. As a result, normal chewing function is restored. This may mean that most teeth in the mouth need to be restored, typically with crowns or onlays.

Amalgam Replacement

Amalgam Replacement

Amalgam (silver fillings) have been replaced with other methods of restoring a tooth for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because of the nature of amalgam, it may expand causing the filled tooth to crack over time.

Composite resin fillings are one of the tooth coloured fillings that are commonly used, and it is done by sculpting the material directly in the mouth. Porcelain restoration on the other hand is fabricated in the laboratory based on an impression of your teeth and is stronger than the composite fillings.

Thus, many patients are replacing their amalgam for composite or porcelain fillings. Amalgam removal is being done under high speed suction in order to reduce exposure to mercury vapour in the process. Here, dentists use rubber dam because it greatly reduces the patient’s exposure to mercury vapour.

Cosmetic Denture

Cosmetic Denture

Traditionally a full denture is needed when an entire set of teeth is missing or damaged and cost is a concern. Cosmetic denture gives its wearer a smile that is designed for him or her. For a better fit, you can opt to have implants placed to help retain the denture. If only a few teeth are missing, partial dentures can be made to fit around other teeth so that the remaining teeth can be preserved.

Tooth Replacement

Tooth Replacement

Missing teeth not only affects your appearance but it also affects the health of your mouth.
Missing teeth can result in movement of the remaining teeth into the space. Adjacent teeth can “tip” into the space, and opposing teeth can over erupt into the space. Food traps often occurs if space is left un-restored for too long, which in turn leads to decay.

Imagine your teeth like bricks that form a wall. A missing tooth is like a missing brick. Apart from being unattractive, the structure is not as strong as a complete wall especially during heavy biting or chewing. The remaining teeth take more loading as a result of the missing teeth, causing them to crack and break more easily.

If enough teeth are missing the bite can be changed enough to cause serious problems with the jaw joint. It can also be quite uncomfortable to chew harder foods like nuts and cereals leading people to change their diets which can have a negative impact on their overall health. Replacing missing teeth should be considered when teeth are lost.

The options for replacement of missing teeth include:

  • 1.Dental Bridge
  • 2.Dental Implant
  • 3.Partial or Complete Denture

Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are conservative dental restoration methods alternative to fillings and full crowns. They are commonly used to repair small cavities or replace old fillings in molar and premolar teeth. They are typically made from ceramic. Dental inlays are restricted to bonded material at the centre of the tooth, while dental onlays bonded material can extend further to one or more cusps of the tooth.

Inlays have the advantage of being less destructive than crowns, whilst being stronger than composite resin fillings and retaining the natural colour. Ceramic inlays/onlays are the ideal restorative material to replace old amalgam restorations.

The placement procedure typically requires two visits. On the first visit, the tooth will be prepared and then an impression of the tooth that will be sent to the dental laboratory to create the permanent inlay or onlay. You will be given a temporary inlay or onlay to protect the tooth in the meantime. At the next visit, the temporary inlay/onlay is removed and the permanent one is cemented in its place. The bite is checked and the restoration is polished.

Peridontal Treatment

Peridontal Treatment

Gum disease is a very common cause of tooth loss in adults. Plaque and tartar build up on the teeth cause inflammation, and subsequent damage to gums and bone that support the teeth. If left alone, gum disease will cause bad breath, loosening of teeth, infection, and chronic gum pain.

Treatment of periodontal disease can stop the disease from worsening, and in some cases, reverse the damage helping to preserve the teeth for longer.

For more information please see our FAQ on periodontal disease.