Invisalign Full: The Original Invisible Braces
Invisalign’s “invisible braces” system uses removable clear aligner trays so you can straighten your teeth in a discreet way. Invisalign Full is the original system from Invisalign, suitable for treating a wide range of teeth alignment problems.
Here you can read about the benefits, drawbacks and cost of Invisalign Full so you can decide whether it’s the right type of brace for you or your teen.
Table of contents
How do Invisalign Full braces work?
Invisalign braces are completely different to the traditional metal style of braces which are fixed to teeth using brackets. Instead, they use a series of clear plastic aligners to gradually shift the teeth into the correct position.
Each aligner is carefully shaped to apply pressure to certain teeth as treatment progresses. Usually, you’ll need to switch to a new aligner every two weeks to keep your teeth moving into place.
Invisalign braces use state-of-the-art technology including mouth scanners and 3D printing to create an accurate treatment plan. Even before your treatment begins, you’ll be able to see a computer-generated image of how your teeth should look at the end.
Treatment with Invisalign Full may take anywhere between 12 and 18 months. During this time, you’ll need to visit your dentist every 4-8 weeks to check how your teeth are responding and to order your next sets of aligners.
Your dentist may fit small attachments to some of your teeth as part of your treatment. These help the braces adjust your teeth faster and more efficiently. For some people, the attachments are the most noticeable part of the braces.
The video below shows one patient’s experience with Invisalign Full treatment that lasted 15 months:
If you’re interested in the results you can achieve with Invisalign braces, did you know you can get a free smile simulation without even having to visit a dentist? Invisalign’s Smile Visualiser Tool lets you see what a difference braces could make to your smile. It’s completely free and it only takes a moment to upload a selfie and enter your details.
Benefits of using clear aligner braces
The biggest advantage for many Invisalign patients is that these braces are much more discreet than traditional metal braces. Most casual observers won’t notice you are wearing braces at all.
The aligners are also removable, which can be useful for people who have a big event or meeting to attend. You may just want to remove your braces for a minute while someone takes a photo. You can’t do that when you have metal brackets glued to your teeth!
Aligners still need to be kept in for 20-22 hours per day for successful treatment. They must be removed for cleaning, eating, and drinking anything except water. It’s simple to clean the trays with a toothbrush, and you’re free to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
Finally, many wearers find removable braces more comfortable than traditional braces. Metal wires and brackets have the tendency to cause mouth sores, especially when they are first fitted. Periodic adjustments can also leave teeth sore for a few days.
However, keep in mind that Invisalign treatment may not be suitable for:
- Moving teeth vertically
- Rotating teeth
- Correcting severe malocculsions
- Patients who lack the willpower to keep aligners in for the required 20-22 hours per day
Here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of using Invisalign Full to straighten your smile:
|Almost impossible to notice||Not completely invisible|
|Comfortable, smooth surface||Only suitable for certain cases|
|Removable - no eating restrictions||Requires willpower|
|Easy to clean teeth as normal||More expensive than traditional braces|
|No pain from tightening and adjustments||May affect speech at first|
Other types of Invisalign braces
Invisalign has several other treatment systems to suit different types of patient. These include:
- Teen: Similar to Full but with certain features to encourage teenagers to complete their treatment
- Lite: For mild to moderate cases, this treatment takes about seven months and is offered to UK patients
- Express: Patients in the US requiring mild correction can opt for a 3- or 6-month treatment plan
- i7: Aimed at treating milder cases of misalignment, this system uses just seven aligners over the course of about three months
You should speak to your dentist to find out which type of invisible brace is best for you.
How much does Invisalign Full cost in the UK and the US?
The first thing to know if you’re in the UK is that Invisalign braces are not available on the NHS. Under-18s can often get metal braces on the NHS, but they are only offered to adults in very rare cases. So if you have chosen to have orthodontic treatment as an adult, you will almost certainly need to pay for it privately.
As with any private dental treatment, you’ll find varying prices for invisible braces wherever you look. As a rough guide, though, you’ll pay between £2,500 and £5,500 for Invisalign Full braces in the UK. In the US, Invisalign Full costs between $3,000 and $8,000 on average.
The cost quoted to you will depend on the complexity of your treatment, since more work means a longer treatment course and therefore more aligners.
It’s a good idea to get quotes from several dentists in your area. It might be worth travelling a little further from home if you save several hundred pounds overall.
Don’t forget that even before you visit a dentist, you can see what your teeth might look like after Invisalign using this free smile simulation tool. Just upload a selfie and you’ll get your personalised visualisation within 24 hours.
Alternatives to Invisalign
If you’re worried about the cost of Invisalign, there are other types of invisible brace available at lower prices. You can find details in our complete guide to invisible braces.
There may be other reasons why Invisalign Full isn’t right for you or your teen. Perhaps your teeth are too badly misaligned, or you’re worried that your child will be tempted to keep their braces out for too long.
Other types of inconspicuous braces include clear braces (with brackets made from a clear material) and lingual braces (hidden behind the teeth). Our full article on adult orthodontics has more information about what other types of braces cost.
Whichever option suits you, we hope the dental information we provide helps you make a confident decision!