Mallory Hopkins said, ‘Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.’ And what makes you smile confidently? Nothing but sparkling white and perfectly aligned teeth. But, do you sometimes get conscious while smiling due to the improper arrangement or shape of your teeth? Do you want to get your teeth aligned, but the thought of metal braces makes you feel uncomfortable? Then keep reading!
WHAT ARE INVISIBLE ALIGNERS?
Clear aligners, also called invisible aligners, are a type of orthodontic treatment that corrects misaligned or crooked teeth. One of the most obvious solutions for the orthodontic problem is to get braces, but with more and more teens and even adults needing their teeth straightened, there is another option known as Invisible or Clear Aligners. They are a virtually invisible and removable alternative to braces designed around convenience and flexibility.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
Like traditional braces, your dentist does a full exam of the patient’s mouth to assess the most appropriate approach to treatment. This exam will likely include x-rays, digital scans, photographs or impressions. Your doctor will decide the best way to guide your teeth into healthy positions (all of the teeth, not just the ones you can see)! The overall goal of invisible aligner treatment is to achieve a healthy bite. A healthy bite is one where top and bottom teeth align, function, and fit together properly. With an end goal in mind, a series of clear, plastic aligners (trays) are custom made. Once your doctor has customized your treatment plan, they can better estimate how long treatment will take and the number of clear aligner trays you may need. When the aligners are in place in the mouth, they will begin to put a gentle pressure on the teeth to get them to the desired position gradually. The total number of aligners for treatment varies from patient to patient.
However, as with all things, there are both pros and cons to using clear aligners. It’s important to know all the details before you decide to get fitted with the aligners at your dentist’s office.
- Invisible braces can be more attractive. The clear, plastic aligners are virtually invisible and molded to your teeth. This makes it less obvious that you are wearing them.
- Due to the smooth, flexible plastic they are made from, invisible braces tend to be more comfortable. There are no wires or brackets to contend with.
- Unlike metal braces, invisible braces can be removed to eat and therefore, have no dietary restrictions. Also, you can brush your teeth or floss by removing them which can be a great benefit when practicing proper oral hygiene which helps to lower your risk of developing gum disease. Unlike braces, the tooth discolouration is also less with the aligners.
- You can remove them for short periods for any social events and that makes them very convenient to use.
- Unlike braces, clear aligners are not poky and do not cause any ulcers and injuries.
- Computer software is used to plan your treatment in advance; therefore, monthly visits are not required. It reduces the number of follow up visits as the patient needs to change the trays at home depending upon the treatment plan.
The CONS to keep in mind include:
- Depending on your plan of treatment, Invisible braces can be more expensive than conventional braces.
- Discipline is required to get the best results. Invisible aligners must be worn a minimal 22 hours per day. It is important that you put them back on shortly after removing them. Neglecting to wear your aligners for 22 hours each day can prolong treatment. So may not suit you if you are a frequent snacker.
- You may feel some pressure or discomfort as your teeth adjust to a new set of aligners.
- Invisible braces are most effective when treating those with mild or moderate bite issues, not for those with more complex orthodontic issues.
- In order to hold the aligners in place, tooth coloured attachments have to be put on the teeth which might come out often when shifting to a new set of trays. These attachments are a must for some patients as they act as pressure points for tooth movement. Some patients find this very inconvenient as it requires one to visit a dental clinic to get the attachments placed again if dislodged.
- Clear aligners can be cumbersome for some patients. You always have to remove them for eating, which means you may deal with some embarrassment when you go out to eat. You are also required to brush your teeth after each meal before putting them back in your mouth, which means you’ll be brushing your teeth multiple times per day, which can be inconvenient.
IS IT THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU??
Many patients find them to be highly convenient, but at the same time, there are definite downsides to the clear plastic aligners. What works for one person may not work for you, and it’s important to ensure that invisible aligners is the best option for straightening your teeth. Clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment option for busy adults and teens, but they're not suitable for everyone. Factors like the severity of your case, your age and your commitment to the process all play a role in your dentist determining if they are right for you.
So schedule an appointment with us now and know if Invisible Aligners are right for you?!