Ask the Dentist: 5 Types of Invisalign
Don’t worry if you can’t tell apart the difference between Invisalign types. Dr. Pua Hong Ping can, and he’s here to clear the air.
Most of us who struggle with crooked teeth have heard of Invisalign, the almost-invisible teeth-aligning method. But not all of us can figure out the difference between the many types of Invisalign available, so we’ve gotten iDental’s Dr Pua Hong Ping, a Platinum Elite Invisalign Provider, to explain.
So, Dr. Pua, how many types of Invisalign are there?
Right now, in Singapore, there are five types of Invisalign:
- Invisalign for adults
- Invisalign Teen for teenagers
- Invisalign Lite for mild to moderate cases
- Invisalign i7 for minor corrections
- Invisalign G-series for patients with deep bite
In general, when we talk about Invisalign, more often than not, we’re referring to the Invisalign Full Treatment, which is the default treatment for adults. Similarly, Invisalign Teen is the default treatment for teenagers. The other variants were developed for patients with other specific needs.
Why do teenagers need a different type of Invisalign?
Simply put, it’s because teenagers have different orthodontic needs. Some teenagers still have their deciduous (milk) teeth. We need to be able to estimate how much space to leave for the adult tooth to emerge later. Teeth in teenagers also tend to move at a different speed, which is another important consideration in teeth alignment.
The best part about Invisalign Teen is a feature that has only recently been introduced to Singapore — Mandibular Advancement. I learnt about this feature about a year ago at the European Invisalign Summit and I’m really excited to be among the pioneer group of 20 local practitioners approved to apply it.
Invisalign Teen with Mandibular Advancement taps on the child’s growth spurt to encourage the proper development of the lower jaw. If uncorrected, this would almost always require jaw surgery later in life. Before Mandibular Advancement, we had to use a device called Twin Block. It was very uncomfortable and not at all pretty, so I’m happy to have a more advanced option to offer my young patients now.
How about Invisalign Lite?
As its name suggests, Invisalign Lite is designed for mild to moderate cases. Malocclusions (or the imperfect positioning of teeth) are graded by severity. In mild to moderate cases where 14 sets of aligners are sufficient to achieve the desired smile, Invisalign Lite is a lower priced option. In my experience, however, Invisalign Lite is unable to effectively treat the bite on back teeth so I only recommend it for patients with mild front teeth misalignment.
And Invisalign i7?
While Invisalign Lite is meant for mild to moderate cases, Invisalign i7 is a treatment option for very minor crowding, spacing and relapses. It only involves seven sets of aligners and can only achieve a minor correction of about 2mm — which, to be honest, is pretty insignificant, so I hardly ever recommend this to my patients.
What about Invisalign G-series then?
You can think of Invisalign G-series as a supped-up version of Invisalign for patients with deep bite. Deep bite was traditionally a weakness of Invisalign (the same way open bite is an issue with braces). The G-series comes with additional features to improve Invisalign’s ability to treat this condition. It started with Invisalign G5, which has SmartForce features for more precise teeth movement in deep bite patients, G6 with the first pre-molar extraction solution (great for severe crowding) and now G7 with SmartStage to more accurately predict teeth movement. When G5 was first released, I remember being pleasantly surprised by the speed and ease of treatment! I think the G-series a great addition to the Invisalign family, especially since deep bite is very common among Asians.
Is there a type of Invisalign that can give me faster results?
Well, yes and no. The Invisalign types were developed for the more effective treatment of different orthodontic conditions, not speed. But if speed is what you’re after, there are ways to achieve it.
The simplest method is to opt for Acceledent and VPro5 with your Invisalign treatment. Both are add-on devices that deliver a gentle pulsating vibration to encourage your teeth to move into position, so you tend to see results faster.
On stubborn teeth or in cases where a tooth needs to travel a long distance, it’s also possible to create a micro-perforation around the tooth within the jaw bone. This stimulates the remodelling process and achieves faster movement. It’s best to discuss the suitability of these options with your dentist.
So, doctor, which type of Invisalign is for me?
To answer that, I need to ask some questions first! I always talk to my patients to understand why and what they want to achieve, before explaining their options. I like to encourage my patients to think about their preferences and understand what is involved before we make the decision together.
Dr. Pua Hong Ping from i.Dental is a Platinum Elite Invisalign Provider accredited by Align Technology. He is also an approved Osstem Implant, Botox and Fillers provider and certified by the Academy of Laser Dentistry to use Erbium and Diode Lasers. Dr Pua graduated from King’s College London and completed his electives at University of California, Los Angeles and a New York aesthetic clinic.
If you’d like Dr. Pua’s advice on whether Invisalign would work for you, request for a consultation today!