Clear aligner is a method of straightening crooked teeth without using traditional braces. Invisalign® is the most established type of clear aligners. Your dentist uses Invisalign’s proprietary 3D computer imaging technology to make a series of clear and almost invisible customised aligners. They are comfortable to wear as they fit over your teeth while gently guiding your teeth to move into the ideal position. Invisalign® is ideal for working adults as it does not disrupt your work or social life, and the aligners can be removed when you have meals or special occasions. Invisalign® clear aligners are made of flexible plastic, FDA-approved and contain no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten.
Yes, Invisalign® First, a proprietary clear aligner treatment for our little ones, can be used for children to influence jaw growth and reduce the complexity of teeth alignment treatment in the future. As a child grows, their smile grows with them. And even with baby teeth, it may be time for children aged 6 to 10 to start orthodontic treatment. This is known as Phase 1 treatment. The goal of Phase 1 treatment is to develop young jaws and arches to make room for existing teeth and for incoming permanent teeth. Usually children do not experience much discomfort as their teeth and bone are already growing and moving naturally. Early treatment
Your dentist will create a unique, digital treatment plan that maps out the exact movements of your teeth. You will wear a series of clear, removable aligners designed to apply the right amount of force to the right place at the right time based on your plan to gradually straighten your teeth.
On your first visit, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, facial proportions and profile to determine if you are suitable for Invisalign®. Dental Records are taken (photos, X-rays, digital scan of teeth). The full-mouth X-Ray examination is important as it allows the dentist to check if you have any buried or extra teeth that might interfere with the treatment. A second X-Ray will show your side-view profile to ensure that your teeth can support your lips in a more ideal position.
Your dentist creates your individual 3D treatment plan with Invisalign AI technology. You get to view the treatment outcome, estimated treatment time, and approve the plan.
You will receive your first set of retainers within 3 weeks from plan approval. Your dentist will teach you to wear the aligners and answer your queries. Your dentist may sometimes need to adjust the sides of your teeth to create more space for the required tooth movement.
Each set of aligners come with instructions for its use. You should try to wear the aligners for as many hours in a day, removing them only during meals, when cleaning your teeth, or for special occasions. In general, you will be asked to change to a new aligner every 7-14 days as your teeth gradually move into position. The treatment usually takes between 1-2 years to gently guide your crooked teeth into alignment. You will need to return to the clinic every 6-8 weeks for review of your progress.
Our teeth get discoloured over time as we consume soy sauce, coffee, tea, red wine, and other coloured food and beverages. We can reverse this by applying a special gel to our teeth and leaving it to bleach or whiten over time. If the stains are very deep or dark, or if the stains are due to medication discolorations, whitening gel may not be sufficient. In those cases, porcelain or zirconia veneers or crowns may be required. The sources of tooth whitening treatment can be broadly classified into 4 categories:
A protective layer of gum barrier is first placed over your gums as the chemicals used can irritate the gums. A high concentration whitening gel, typically hydrogen peroxide, is then placed on the tooth. In general, the teeth whitening treatment is painless. If patients feel some sensitivity or a tingling sensation, the treatment can be divided over 2 visits for greater comfort.
Home whitening kits can also be used to whiten teeth. A set of custom trays will be made by your dentists to contain the whitening gels around your teeth for home application. However, for safety reasons, the concentration of the gel is usually much less, thereby prolonging the amount of time needed to achieve a satisfactory result. It usually takes up to 2 weeks to achieve the desired effect and is suitable when the teeth are not excessively stained. Home whitening kits are also beneficial when used in conjunction with in-office teeth whitening procedure to maintain the effect for a longer period of time. The main benefit is the much lower cost.
The Singapore Dental Association recommends consumers to choose a whitening product only after consulting with their dentist. This is to minimise undesirable side effects such as tooth hypersensitivity, gum damage, as well as to treat the underlying causes of tooth discoloration by a professional. Up to 2/3 of users experience transient mild to moderate tooth sensitivity during the early stages of bleaching treatment. This is because the sensitivity is closely related to the peroxide concentration of the material and the contact time. However, under the help of proper techniques, there is no record on long-term adverse outcome.
While teeth will slowly darken over time, you can prolong the effect of teeth whitening through the following measures:
Veneers are thin tooth-coloured shells, custom made to fit over the front surface of teeth to improve the shape, size, colour, or alignment of the underlying teeth. They can be made of a variety of materials such as composite resins, porcelain or zirconia. While they are done mainly to improve aesthetics, they can also be used to repair front teeth which have fractured or have large fillings. Veneers are also preferred by many, compared to crowns, as much less of the tooth is trimmed, resulting in less sensitivity.
Patients often choose veneers for their front teeth in the following situations:
The teeth are first reshaped lightly before either making a mould or taking a digital scan of the tooth surface. The laboratory then uses computer technology to design a veneer with the desired shape, proportion, and colour. The process is fully automated and the images are sent to the precision milling machine which then creates the desired form. The final product is then heat treated; it may be stained and the surface of the veneer characterised, for a more natural look.
As only a small amount of tooth is shaved down, the veneer is less effective when covering darkly stained teeth. There is also a higher chance of breakage or dislodgement when compared to crowns which are thicker, stronger and cover a greater surface area. However, veneers can work equally well in patients whose bite forces are not excessive and who has stable jaw
Porcelain and zirconia fillings are the more favorable alternative to traditional tooth-coloured fillings, especially when the cavity to be restored is large. Porcelain fillings are popular due to its strength and superior cosmetic appearance. Zirconia fillings are better for patients with strong bite forces because of its relative durability. Porcelain and zirconia fillings are made from strong and natural looking ceramic material which are biocompatible and longer-lasting than composite resins. In combination with accurate scanning and computer processing technology, it can be made to match the colour of the surrounding teeth and require the dentist to trim less of the remaining tooth structure compared to conventional crowns.
The procedure is similar to a traditional filling process – local anaesthetic is first given; any decay is removed and the remaining tooth prepared. The difference between traditional filling and porcelain or zirconia filling is that the former is filled on the spot, while the latter is an “indirect” filling made outside of the mouth. Your dentist will take a mould or a digital scan of the cavity to be sent to the dental lab, and then fill the cavity with a temporary material. A second visit is required, the patient returns to the clinic to remove the temporary filling and cement the porcelain or Zirconia restoration.
Decayed teeth were traditionally filled with amalgam, a mix of silver and other metals with mercury. These eventually becomes discoloured over time and its use has decreased in recent years due to the presence of mercury. In addition, the desire for more aesthetic and biocompatible materials resulted in the development of composite resins as fillings. When the cavity is small, composite resins are adequate but when large sections of teeth need to be replaced, porcelain and zirconia, which are stronger and more durable, are better choices.
If damage to the tooth is extensive, a filling may not be a stable long-term solution and more of the tooth may need to be trimmed for better retention. In this case, a half-crown or even a full crown may have to be considered. Half-crowns are a compromise between better cosmetics, strength and stability while limiting tooth preparation to the minimum necessary to achieve the intended objective of restoring the tooth to full function.
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