LET'S FACE IT: A PERFECT SMILE IS AN EGO.
Worried about being seen wearing ugly dental braces? Invisalign is a clear alternative that frees you from the emotional strain of chunky traditional braces. Dr Tan Kok Liang tells more about this simple treatment and who should go for it.
Let’s face it: A perfect smile is an ego booster and increase one’s self-confidence when making that vital first impression on a date or at a business meet. A smile may be a simple gesture, but it does make you appear approachable and friendly.
Yet, those suffering from crooked teeth have little to smile about, for fear of being gawked at should they expose their teeth. However, faced with thoughts of embarrassment and the discomforts of wearing traditional braces, many put off seeking treatment.
While it may be easy learning to smile without showing your teeth, or to bite the lip in every picture, prolonged avoidance of this teething issue often leads to problems with a sense of low self-esteem.
Fortunately, with new developments in orthodontic technology, there is help. Dr Tan Kok Liang, Orthodontist and Founder of emBRACE Dental Surgery, now offers patients an option that lessens the physical and emotional burden of wearing metal and ceramic braces.
According to Dr Tan, patients who are embarrassed to wear exposed metal or ceramic braces, may consider Invisalign, a treatment utilising specially developed polyurethane aligners that help straighten teeth whilst still remaining unnoticeable.
“By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth in a comfortable and inconspicuous manner,” explained Dr Tan, who has been providing the treatment for the last six years. “The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks,
moving your teeth into straighter positions step by step, until you have a more beautiful smile. And unlike braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual.”
Practically invisible, the ultra-thin aligners are not easily noticed. Measuring a mere 0.75mm thick, the rigid transparent aligners encase the teeth and guide them into proper alignment. Dr Tan pointed out that because of its smooth texture, Invisalign is also ideal for patients prone to getting ulcers in the mouth owing to constant friction with traditional braces.
The total set of aligners needed for an entire treatment ranges from 10 to 52, corresponding to the 20-week and two-year treatment time required. “The aligners may be difficult to insert and remove at first, but usually it takes less than half an hour to get accustomed to it,” Dr Tan assured.
Dr Tan recommends the treatment for patients who suffer from mild to moderate crowding, spacings at the front of the mouth, front teeth not touching and cross-bite involving the front teeth.
In addition, Invisalign can also be used as a supplement to lingual braces (braces attached to the tongue-side of the teeth instead of at the front, thus making them totally invisible) in more complicated cases with severely malpositioned, rotated or short teeth, or just to minimise the time the
patient spends wearing traditional braces.
With Invisalign, users do not have to feel overly self-conscious about their dental treatment, and can break into a smile without worrying about their braces getting all the attention. Now, that’s definitely a source of good news worth grinning about.

BDS, D Orth RCS (Edin), MSc
Embrace Dental Surgery
360 Orchard Road #01-14 International Building
Tel: 6235 6325
www.embrace.com.sg