Everything You Need to Know About Clear Aligners
What are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are the latest cutting-edge appliance for orthodontic treatment. Their function is similar to braces, they align uneven and crooked teeth. The difference is, that they are almost invisible to the eye, easy to maintain, custom-made for every patient, and treatment is completely painless without irritation, cuts, and nicks in your mouth common in treatment with braces.
As opposed to metal or ceramic dental braces, clear aligners are made of medical-grade, PBA-free plastic and cover your teeth completely. They are modeled as per the teeth of the specific patient’s requirements. Several teeth-related issues can be treated successfully using clear aligners.
Clear Aligners for Smile Correction
Depending on the severity of the issue, clear aligners can be used to treat the following conditions-
As the name suggests, uneven teeth or misaligned teeth can be treated using clear aligners. This is the most common orthodontic problem faced by many people.
An overbite is when the teeth at the top of the mouth stick out too forward compared to the lower teeth, making it difficult to chew or bite certain foods. Clear aligners can be used to treat overbite so that the upper teeth sit naturally on the lower teeth.
Similar to overbite, an underbite is a condition where the lower teeth of the mouth stick out too forward. Most cases of underbite can be treated using clear aligners.
Gaps in Teeth
If there is a gap between two or more teeth, there is a spacing issue which can lead to many other dental problems. Gaps in teeth can cause food to get stuck in between teeth, and food can cause damage to the gums, resulting in pain, teeth and gum diseases, and infections. Except for some extreme cases, clear aligners can be a solution for gaps in teeth. Just remember to remove your aligners before eating anything and clean your teeth before putting them back on.
An Open bite is a condition where both upper and lower teeth stick out and they don’t meet when the mouth is shut creating a gap between them. Clear aligners can help in closing the gap between them.
A condition where there are more than 32 teeth (in average human) or the jaws can not properly accommodate the total number of teeth present in the mouth is called crowded teeth. This causes teeth to twist and grow over other teeth. The overlapping of teeth and reduced spacing between them can cause tartar and germs to build up causing teeth and gum problems. Depending on the severity and complexity of the condition, clear aligners can be used for treatment.
How do Clear Aligners work?
Diagnosis & Scan
First of all, the Orthodontist will do a 3D Intraoral Scanning for diagnostic purposes. Then the doctor will capture the patient’s teeth bite, teeth, and gums using bite registration and construct a real-life or digital replica of the teeth. The method of digitally replicating the teeth has become widely popular in recent years. The teeth are moved to the desired locations in the digital impression of the teeth and create stages between the current and desired teeth placement.
The patients can see the simulation of the final results even before starting the treatment. This gives a lot of confidence to the patient in the treatment.
After the replica is created and the diagnosis is done, the custom treatment can begin. After obtaining the images of the desired placement of the teeth and the custom treatment using clear aligners is approved, the digital models of the teeth and aligners are sent to the manufacturing facility.
They are designed to put gentle pressure on the teeth and move them 1mm or less for one aligner set. Because of this reason, patients have to use multiple clear aligners to get the desired results. Clear aligners must be changed every 1 to 3 weeks and need to be worn 20-22 hours a day for optimal results. Not following the suggested time to wear the aligners can result in the extension of the treatment and unsatisfactory results.
Method of Working
The working of clear aligners is not as simple as just popping them on your teeth and letting them do their job. It can only work if there is constant pressure on the teeth. Aligners are designed to put gentle pressure on the teeth transferred to the roots and then to the jaws.
As the clear aligners are not attached to the teeth and they need something to apply pressure on certain points for the treatment to work, the doctors use something called attachments to create pressure points. They are tooth-colored and are attached to the teeth during the treatment.
The placement of the pressure points is unique to the patient and the treatment suggested by the orthodontist.
Apart from this, the teeth may need something called elastics. These are also commonly used by Orthodontists for treatment. Elastics are like tiny rubber bands that help move teeth into proper alignment during the treatment. These procedures cause minimal to no discomfort and are almost pain-free, so there is no need to use anesthetics.
Advantages of Clear Aligners Over Braces:
Unlike metal or ceramic braces, clear aligners are nearly invisible to the eye. Even during treatment, you can smile with full confidence and no embarrassment.
Clear aligners are flexible, medical-grade plastic which makes it super easy to remove and pop them back on, unlike braces. Due to this reason, there is almost no dietary restriction while using aligners. You can enjoy your favourite foods without worrying about food getting stuck.
No Pain Only Gain!
Aligners are soft on the gums and inner cheeks and put gentle pressure on the teeth which help with the gradual movement of the teeth as long as the treatment is going on. This makes them painless compared to braces which cause extreme pain, irritation and oftentimes scratches the inside of the mouth.
VAT – Value Added Time
Braces need tightening every 3-4 weeks. With aligner treatment, you need to visit the doctor only once every 8 weeks. Also, treatment with braces takes 2-3 years, while with aligners, it’s just 6-18 months. If you constantly have a busy work schedule or if you are just plain lazy, with aligner treatment you can have all the time in the world for yourself.
Proper Plan & Result
Aligner treatment will give you a pretty good visual timeline for every stage of the treatment, helping you get a clear picture of the expected result and treatment duration. Braces treatment can only give an approximate timeline and no clear idea about the desired result.
Worry Less About Oral Health
Since clear aligners are detachable, you can easily remove them while brushing, flossing and eating. With braces, it is difficult to clean the gaps created by the metal brackets, as a result, it becomes problematic to maintain proper oral hygiene. There is also the risk of developing teeth and gum infections while using braces.
Why Should You Choose Clear Aligners Over Braces
Precautions…Use ‘Em Right
- Constantly keep track of the fitting of your aligners. Consult your orthodontist if there is any inconvenience while using.
- There is never a fixed number on how many aligners are needed to reach your desired goal. Generally, it takes 10-50 aligners to reach your goal. You can reach out to your orthodontist if you have any doubts.
- It is a must to wear clear aligners for at least 20-22 hours every day, as teeth only move when pressure is applied to them to avoid unnecessary extension of treatment and compromised results.
- As they are made of plastic, there is a risk of deformity if they come into contact with hot food.
- Be sure to remove the aligners whenever you are eating.
- It is important to follow the schedule given by your orthodontist as the course of one pair of aligners can only move your teeth about 0.3 to 0.5mm.
- Clean them daily with cold or normal water as hot water can damage the aligners. DO NOT use toothpaste on them.
- Rinse them with water every time you remove them to eat.
- Make sure your teeth are clean before putting them on.
Still Not Sure About Clear Aligners Treatment?
If you are still on the fence regarding clear aligners, Flash Aligners will help you with all your questions. Book an appointment with Flash Aligners and get expert advice from our certified Orthodontists now. With tried and tested Clear aligners manufactured in India, Flash Aligners provides top-notch service and guarantees excellent results. To know more about Flash Aligners, visit our website.
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