Author: Clapham South Dental Centre

Which invisible braces do we offer?

At our practice, we are proud to offer a few different types of Clapham invisible braces to suit your needs. We understand that you may not want to draw extra attention to your teeth whilst straightening them, which is why these braces are a great choice.invisible-braces-clapham

Cfast braces

This type of teeth straightening treatment focuses on your front teeth, which is great for cosmetic reasons. As only the front teeth are moved, that treatment takes less time but can still have effective results. The average treatment time for Cfast braces is only 5 months, which is great if you are looking for a quicker way to straighten your smile.

As well as the quick treatment time, these braces are also less visible to other people thanks to the tooth coloured wires and clear brackets used. This is great if you don’t want to draw added attention to your mouth during the process. These braces will also not affect the way you speak or how you eat your food, which our patients love.

Incognito braces

These types of invisible braces in Clapham are similar to traditional fixed braces, but they are attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front. This can really help if you are wishing to have a more discreet way of straightening your smile. Other people wouldn’t even know you have your braces on as the front of your teeth will look normal. The treatment time for these braces can vary massively depending on your needs, but in most cases it is usually 12-18 months, but can be done in as little as 6 months.

This is a great option if you are not only wanting to straighten your smile, but improve your oral health. As opposed to our Cfast braces that are mentioned above, which focus on your front teeth, incognito braces encompass all of your teeth and bring them into the correct position.


This treatment is great if you do not want a treatment that involves surgery, as it simply consists of clear, plastic aligners that you change from the comfort of your own home. We will take accurate scans of your teeth and use them to show you what the end result will look like, as well as using them to create your custom aligners. We will give you several sets aligners which you will change every 1-2 weeks, receiving a new set every 4-6 weeks. These aligners will gradually move your teeth into a straighter position over time.

Our patients love the ease of these Clapham invisible braces, as they have the ability to change their aligners from the comfort of their own home. This is useful if you are someone who gets nervous having treatments done at the practice. The appearance of these aligners when they are in is also a great benefit, due to the clear, plastic material used, other people will never even know that you have them in.

Clear braces – an old idea in a new form

Clear, see-through or ‘invisible braces’ have been under development for almost as long as metal braces have been used in clinics; more than 100 years and counting! So why have clear braces Clapham become popular in the last 5 years or so? Why do we get so many patients asking about them?clear-braces-clapham

There are two main branches of clear or invisible orthodontic tools, these are the clear aligners (which are technically not braces but are called invisible braces), and clear ceramic braces which are braces but do have a thin archwire which is not clear! Quite confusing!

Why go clear?

The driving force behind a clear brace is aesthetics. The effectiveness of a traditional metal brace is not doubted, but its users have had to tolerate them as a means to an end, rather than finding them particularly attractive.

Clear ceramic braces were developed first and are almost identical to the standard braces, but these braces are made of a clear material. This used to be glass but is now a much tougher polymer ceramic mix.

The first clear plastic aligners were called dental splints and although they were effective, they were too expensive and fiddly to gain widespread use.

But now, our clear braces Clapham patients are quickly outnumbering our traditional orthodontic patients; why?

The metal, design and manufacturing used in invisible braces have all taken great leaps in the last 10 years, lowering costs, increasing convenience and effectiveness, while at the same time, we are seeing more adults looking for orthodontic care. And with much higher standards than adolescents who will begrudgingly put up with braces in school which work, professionals simply will not wear a metal brace in the office.

Invisalign comes to our clinic

Pushing forward, a lot of these innovations are due to one of our partners and suppliers of Invisalign. They started 3D scanning models of patients’ teeth in the ’90s with scanning studios. They then used the models as a starting point to calibrate a medical simulation of a patient’s mouth; in this simulation, treatment options could be explored and an orthodontist familiar with the software could realign the patient’s teeth as they would with a traditional brace, but doing so with the computer image.

The design software then created a series of steps, plotting the movement of the teeth from their starting to finishing positions. Then, with a little reverse engineering, the software could then calculate how much force was needed, the directions that force had to be applied to move the teeth, alongside those movement pathways. The next step was predicting the necessary shape of the aligners which, when being worn, would generate the desired forces and move the teeth!

Nowadays once the aligners are generated digitally, their 3D models are sent to a dental laboratory to be printed from UV light-cured resin, and sent out to our clinic, thus providing clear braces Clapham!

As 3D scanning, printing and computation have all improved, so have clear aligners – they have become more accurate, thinner, lighter and cheaper to make. Even any errors like bubbles or warping that can occur with regular dental moulds have been eliminated, with the adoption of intra-oral scanners making mould-taking redundant for designing a personalised aligner.

The clear aligner versus metal braces – your orthodontic options

The clear aligner is fast becoming a real contender when exploring orthodontic treatment options. Invisalign Clapham has become well known locally and by operating through local clinics, the biggest provider of aligners can ensure its products are used effectively and with the care that you can only get from your local community dental surgery.invisalign-clapham

The challenges that had to be overcome to develop an aligner which could perform as well as an affordable brace have been many and now we are proud to be an Invisalign Clapham local provider.

A clear aligner straightens teeth, using consistent force and relies on the same principles as a brace, but with a different method of action.


For most, braces are a way of improving their facial aesthetics and there’s nothing wrong with that. Yes, not having a fully closing bite can have some health implications, but they’re fairly minor if the misalignment is minimal. The use of an ‘invisible brace’ allows a patient to enjoy the advantages of orthodontic treatment without the disadvantages of 6 months to 2 years in a brace. So, it is not surprising why so many choose to pursue their treatment with aligners.

Installing a brace and fitting aligners

For the sake of simplicity, we are only going to touch on the basic installation of a standard brace, but there are many brace designs with much more complex interactions. The traditional brace moves teeth via a bracket, which is glued to the front of each tooth. There, the iconic square shape of these are linked together with a stiff, curved rod called an archwire; it is by adjusting the brackets on the archwire that the braces can be used to pull teeth towards one another or push them apart, correcting aesthetic and functional issues.

The installation can take up to an hour and when adjustments are made (the first of which will be immediately after installation), it will be slightly uncomfortable. Soft food is recommended for the next week and the use of over-the-counter painkillers is advised to combat pressure-related sensations.

The Invisalign Clapham aligner fitting is very different; an accurate 3D model needs to be made of your teeth, to begin with. This used to be carried out by sitting for a dental mould which would be used to create a plaster replica, which was then 3D scanned. As 3D scanners have improved in accuracy, it has become possible to scan the inside of a patient’s mouth directly. It is also possible to predict a 3D model from a set of X-rays, which we may also use.

How long do aligners take compared to braces?

There is no fair way to compare the treatments without some knowledge of the case they are being applied to. For orthodontic corrections that involve molars or altering the palate, an aligner would be ineffective and in general, a standard brace is used in such instances to get results quickly. In six months, your teeth will have been moved into an exceptionally good position, but it will have been a bit uncomfortable. Braces cannot be removed but aligners can be; remember, not wearing them consistently results in an extended treatment time. How long you use each aligner is based on how your teeth react to them, so while we will provide an estimated treatment time, we cannot guarantee it.

Why do people get dental implants?

Oral implants have become a real showcase for dentistry over the last 5 years, which is strange as they are not a new idea. They haven’t changed that much in the last decade, but dental implants Clapham? are now more common in our clinic. So, why are so many people seeking out oral implants when there are a plethora of other options?dental-implants-clapham

Restorative dentistry

Oral implants are an important element of the restorative procedures that we offer. A wide variety of techniques and tools are used in restorative dentistry, but always with the overall goal of returning something that has been lost both in terms of function like a strong bite, or aesthetics such as a gap-free smile. As implants offer both, it is easy to see why they are so popular.

Non-implant options

A regular oral prosthetic is usually a false tooth or teeth that closely resemble the teeth that were lost due to accident or decay. When in use, they will need to be adhered to or braced by surrounding natural teeth. A bridge requires two healthy teeth to be wired to and a crown needs to be built up over the core of a tooth, with the root undamaged to support the prosthesis.

It’s this lack of support in denture users that results in the movement and rubbing that can make dentures unpleasant or irritating. As implants require neither surrounding teeth nor a natural root to function, they are often regarded as superior by patients.

How do implants work?

Oral implants come in three parts, the first being the titanium rod which is placed into the jawbone and is referred to as the ‘implant’. On top of this is a false tooth, usually made from a mix of porcelain and polymers. This is held in place by a connector which locks the two pieces together. This allows the false tooth to be added later after the implant has fully set in place and also allows the tooth to be disconnected from the implant and replaced if damaged, without having to remove the implant from the jaw.

The maintenance of implants versus non-implanted prosthetics

Post implantation and fitting, there are significant differences in the upkeep of your prosthetics depending on whether they are implanted or not. Non-implants can be removed and are often cleaned outside of the mouth, using a denture cleaner or an overnight soaking. With removable prosthetics, there is a chance of rubbing and adhesive/padded stripes may have to be changed daily to minimise soreness and rubbing, which can be costly.

The daily maintenance of dental implants Clapham? is the same as your natural teeth; they need to be brushed twice daily and checked in the clinic every 6 months.

What is the best option?

There are pros and cons to both; although the fitting is simpler with non-implants, the long-term maintenance is much easier with implants. Implants are also not suitable for everyone and there are some pre-existing health conditions and prescription medications which would exclude you from receiving dental implants Clapham. You would have to speak with a member of our clinical team to assess your suitability.

The orthodontics you’ll never notice

We all like to be appreciated for the work that we do, but when your job is to provide invisible braces Clapham, going unnoticed is the sign of a job well done. As popular as clear aligners have become in our community, the odds are that unless you are using them, you will not have even noticed that they are there. Discretion is key!invisible-braces-clapham

How do aligners compare to braces?

So, clear aligners and the braces are both effective invisible braces Clapham that rely on the dynamic mobility of teeth to rearrange them and produce a well-fitting closed bite and to look appealing.

But that’s about it when it comes to what they have in common. The traditional metal brace has individual brackets or anchor points which are adhered to each tooth with dental cement or resin adhesive. These anchor points are linked to each other with an archwire, sometimes an adjustable rubber band is used to assist with the movement. This can take up to an hour to fit and once in place, it allows the orthodontist to ‘adjust’ the braces by tightening parts of it to apply pressure to the teeth, altering their position or orientation. The brace is worn for the entirety of the treatment and adjustments occur every 6 months.


Aligners, on the other hand, are removable at will and the fitting process involves making a 3D digital model of your teeth. This can be done by scanning a plaster cast of a dental mould or taking it directly with a 3D scan of your mouth. The designing and manufacturing of the aligners occur outside of the clinics and they should be available for collection within 4 weeks of the fitting. The designing steps are the most time-intensive, so replacements for lost or damaged aligners can be rushed through faster if required.

Each of the aligner invisible braces Clapham are only worn for 2 weeks allowing them to be light, thin and comfortable. They are not suitable for moving molars or complex cases where palate extension may be required to resolve overcrowding. When an aligner is new, it will feel tight as it is pushing on your teeth; at the end of its role in your treatment, it will feel looser as your teeth will have taken on their new positions. This is when you would change to the next aligner in the sequence.

The sequence of aligners behaves in a similar way to the adjustment made by an orthodontist using a brace. The smaller 2 weekly changes are much more comfortable compared to the 6-month brace tightening. The application of force allows the aligner to achieve good clinical results with a minimum of inconvenience.

A 3rd option – ceramic braces

There is a third option for those who have orthodontic issues which are considered too complex for clear aligners but do not wish to wear a regular metal brace. The ceramic brace is a polymer cross glass-ceramic brace; its archwire is much thinner than a traditional brace, but it share s all its main features and is suitable for treatment on a wider range of conditions.

How and who can clear braces help?

Clear braces are a popular treatment option for uneven or crooked teeth, with people of all ages enjoying the benefits of this means of improving their smile. They are made up of a soft plastic in the form of trays. These trays are made for the patient on an individual basis (after the creation of moulds during the preparation process), so that they fit over the teeth easily and comfortably. They are transparent, which makes them very appealing to those patients who may be a little self-conscious about embarking on an orthodontic treatment.clear-braces-clapham

How do they work?

Clear braces, also known as aligners, are designed to be worn for the majority of every 24-hour period (usually around 22 hours). They gently move the teeth into a better position during the period of treatment. Aligners are usually worn for around two weeks, after which the teeth will have moved into a slightly different position. After this time, they are replaced with a new set which encourages the teeth to move further, with each time getting closer to the desired result. This process usually takes a few months, making the braces a relatively quick way of improving their smile.

Can anyone get these braces?

Whether or not a patient is a suitable candidate for these braces very much depends on their individual circumstances. However, it is worth noting that age is certainly no barrier to getting this kind of treatment; with many adults of all ages opting to get their teeth straightened with aligners. Rather, the crucial factors determining whether or not they are suitable are the complexity or severity of the individual case, and the commitment of the patient to the treatment process.

Commitment to the process

The importance of this should not be underestimated. If the patient is not disciplined about the wearing of the braces and oral hygiene, then this may not be the best option. Those who are unsure about wearing the trays for most of the day, every day, should think carefully before opting for invisible braces. Keeping the braces, the teeth and gums clean is also of utmost importance in order to ensure the best possible result.

Are they expensive?

Clear braces in Clapham can be very affordable. We discuss the cost and how it can be paid before starting treatment, allowing our patients to feel confident and relaxed throughout the process.

Find out more about what we can do for you and your teeth

Read more about all the ways we can help patients to achieve a better smile through orthodontic treatments like invisible braces, improved oral hygiene and much more.  Getting the teeth straightened can allow the patient to keep their teeth cleaner and healthier, as misaligned teeth can make it difficult to remove plaque and food debris. Regardless of age or the condition of the teeth and gums, there are ways we can help everyone to feel more confident about their appearance, as well as promoting good oral health that can be beneficial for general health.

Can smokers get Invisalign in Clapham?

Invisalign has become a popular means of straightening teeth in recent years. It’s often chosen by patients here at Clapham South Dental Centre because it’s discreet and convenient, offering great benefits in a relatively short time period. Those who smoke may wonder if this kind of treatment is a viable option for them, so here we explore the facts relating to aligners and being a consumer of tobacco products.invisalign-in-clapham

What are the main factors to consider?

Those who have smoked for any length of time will know that tobacco can cause staining to the nails, hands and teeth. This is also true of aligners, which can become discoloured as a result of tobacco use.

If the individual requires to smoke during the course of wearing the clear moulds, they should take care to remove these before smoking. While this is not necessarily problematic in itself, it’s time that is a significant factor. The success of invisalign in Clapham depends on the patient being able to wear the aligners for most of every 24 hour time period; only removing them in order to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. If smoking time is added on to that, then the efficiency of the treatment can be diminished. This can mean that the patient does not get the results that they were hoping for at the end of the treatment.

Is vaping with aligners ok?

Vaping, or smoking an e-cigarette, is a relatively new activity. The result of this is that not a lot is known about how it can affect aligners. However, the time factor is an issue as with cigarettes: removing the aligners to vape can decrease the effectiveness of treatment and mean that the results aren’t quite what they should be.

What to do

Talk to us to find out more about Invisalign in Clapham: we want to help all of our patients to achieve the best possible smile. As well as advising about aligners or other suitable treatments, we can also advise on how best to take care of the teeth and gums. Stopping smoking can help to improve oral health quite significantly, so here are our tips for getting started stopping.

You may want to consider nicotine replacement therapy. This can take the form of patches, gum, lozenges or oral sprays. The purpose of these is to help people to wean themselves off nicotine in a gradual manner, with the aim of making being a non-smoker more achievable.

Talk to the doctor if you think you may need more assistance! There are various medications available on prescription that can help support the patient in stopping smoke. You should investigate alternative ways to relax and try to relieve stress. Meditation, mindfulness and yoga can all help to keep people calm and resolve stress as they transition into being a non-smoker.

We understand that it is not easy to quit smoking, but if that is not possible; it is still well worth talking to us to investigate all options for improving the look of the teeth. Invisalign may remain the best choice, and with support from us, patients can expect great results!

What are the advantages of dental implants?

Dental implants are long-term means of replacing a missing tooth or teeth. They are a popular alternative to dentures, and can be a great option for patients who want a solution that is durable and reliable for many years to come. Composed of titanium, they mimic the natural root of the teeth, and fuse with the patient’s own jaw bone over time, replacing missing teeth in an unobtrusive manner. For those interested in dental implants in Clapham, we can discuss individual options for tooth replacement at the convenience of the

As natural as possible

Because implants are a permanent fixture that integrate with the teeth and gums, patients can expect an improved appearance that feels natural and just like the teeth that remain. This can help to develop greater confidence in both how the individual looks, and in their ability to speak normally (without any slurring or difficulty in speech that can be the result of sliding dentures).

Patients can eat as they please

A missing tooth or teeth can make it difficult to eat, as can some kinds of dentures. Instead of being limited to a small range of foods, and having to rule out some things because of concerns about biting and chewing, patients who have had implants fitted can enjoy total freedom with meal times. Implants give back the ability to bite and chew food as normal, and this can be very liberating when the patient has previously struggled with eating.

Helps to keep the jaw bone healthy

When a tooth is lost, the bone around that area (particularly where the root previously resided) is reabsorbed back into the body. If there is no corrective treatment for this, the jaw bone can become diminished which impacts on the oral health and physical appearance of the patient. Dental implants can correct this by replacing the root of the tooth and encouraging the jaw to become firmer and healthier.

A solution that lasts

Alternatives to implants, such as dentures and bridges, usually have to be replaced every 5-10 years or so. This is a solution that patients can rely on for many years to come. The implants may need occasional adjustments, but otherwise have the potential to endure for decades. This is especially true for patients who are committed to taking good care of their teeth and gums, and at Clapham South Dental Centre, we can advise on how best to do this.

Who is a good candidate?

Patients with a regular oral hygiene routine and who have good bone density are often suitable candidates for implants. If this is not the case, and for example, there is some gum disease present or the jaw bone is not as healthy as it should be, we can advise on a course of treatment to resolve any issues before commencing with an implant treatment. We want our patients to have the best possible outcome at every stage of treatment, so why not find out more about what we can offer?

Eating with invisible braces

Invisible braces have allowed people to improve their smile in a discreet and relatively rapid manner in recent years, but what are they exactly and what do they involve?invisible-braces-in-clapham

Composed of trays of clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth, these kinds of braces have been a popular choice since they first became available in the late 1980s. They are designed to be worn for most of the time like other kinds of braces; though they have the advantage of being removable for convenience. They are particularly popular with adult orthodontic patients because they are barely noticeable, which is ideal for those who don’t want it to be obvious that they are having this kind of treatment done.

Here at Clapham South Dental Centre, we are always happy to answer any questions our patients might have about this or any of the other treatments we offer. One of the most commonly asked queries is ‘how can I eat with these braces?’ Here, we explain how you can continue to enjoy food while getting your teeth straightened in this manner.

Don’t wear them when eating or drinking

If you’re undergoing treatment with aligners, it’s fine to drink cold water while wearing them. This won’t do any harm, and it’s a good idea for the general health to ensure that the body is well hydrated throughout the day. However, if the patient is having anything else to drink; such as tea, coffee, fruit juice or even a glass of wine, the braces should be removed beforehand. This is because drinks other than water can cause the aligners to become stained, which could damage them as well as potentially giving them an unsightly appearance.

The trays should also be taken out before eating any meals or snacks. This is to prevent bits of the food becoming trapped within the aligners. If this was to happen, they could become damaged and also compromise the patient’s oral health when worn – potentially encouraging the growth of bacteria and plaque.

Keep aligners clean

After enjoying a meal or snack, we advise our patients to give the trays a good rinse with warm water before putting them back in. It’s also a good idea to floss or use interdental brushes and give the teeth a good clean before replacing the aligners. Completing these steps will mean that the braces will remain almost invisible and the patient’s mouth is fresh and bacteria free.

Get organised

In order for this kind of treatment to be most effective, patients should wear the trays for around 22 hours each day. This means planning meal and snack times so that the braces can be worn as much as possible.

We offer invisible braces in Clapham to many of our patients. Find out more about this treatment and the other available treatment options we have, which should be able to improve your smile! We assess our patients on an individual basis, which means they can be confident of getting the right kind of help to improve their smile.

Do clear braces really work?

Yes; we have offered clear braces (both the Invisalign based transparent aligners and the glass-ceramic options) for many years, seeing patients from the first assessment to completion of orthodontics. One of our medical team Dr Recheal Ibbotson has made Invisalign her speciality. So why would there be any downside to invisible braces?clear-braces-clapham

Why are there doubts about clear aligners?

For a well-established treatment method, it seems strange to us at Clapham South Dental Centre that there would be any doubts but there seems to be confusion in the public consensus. Invisible orthodontic procedures are not a new or untested treatment- the first of the aligners called plastic sprinters were trialled in the ’60s, with there being attempts to fashion clear braces from glass for over 100 years before this.

These earlier attempts were unsuccessful but many decades of iteration has gone into creating the approved treatments which we use in our clinic today.

Aligners to your door

What has developed in dentistry over the last 5 or so years is DIY or at-home orthodontics. It’s a variation on the method that Invisalign uses to produce clear aligners. After registering and making a payment online, a manufactured dental mould kit is sent out to you; these are simplified compared to the ones that we use in our surgery.

You’re expected to take your own dental mould and post back the kit, so the scanning and creation of the aligner can take place.

Bigger picture

The idea of sending of mould to have various pieces of dental equipment made in a dental lab by a technician or a 3D printer is not out of the ordinary- we do it all the time. But taking that mechanism and lifting it out of dental practitioners hands causes some obvious problems.

The first is the underlying motive of the practitioner; the dentist has a full array of treatment options available and, even if the best option for your teeth is to do nothing, they will not be paid compensation to inform you of that fact. An aligner manufacturer does not and has a more financially based interest in you using their service.

Our Clear Braces in Clapham come from local dentists, serving their local community and must put their reputation above making a quick sale.

Clear aligner lawsuits

Different nations regulate orthodontics differently, one of the largest providers of at-home aligners globally has run afoul of this. By moving all aspects of the pre-screening and suitability assessment to a company owned mobile app, they have lost the right to provide orthodontic aligners in USA and India.

This matter of business law and regulation seems to have had a damaging effect of the perceived trustworthiness of Clear Braces in Clapham. This is uncalled for, as it is not the effectiveness of the treatment when used appropriately which is in question. Only the business practises of the manufacturers who choose to work outside the established dental institutions and their safeguards.

We are more than happy to provide Invisalign to our patients, as this company works exclusively within dental clinics.