It was not over a decade ago when teeth braces were routinely used for correcting misalignment of teeth. Although they were quite effective in bringing about tooth movement, and thereby correcting the alignment and angulation of teeth, one of their major drawbacks was their unaesthetic appearance. They become visible whenever the wearer smiles, eats or talks and ruins the facial esthetics. Unfortunately, at that time, braces were the only appliances available to dental patients for undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Say Goodbye to Dental Braces
Thanks to modern esthetic dentistry, patients can now say goodbye to unaesthetic and uncomfortable teeth braces. Today clean aligners are available which work just like the braces, without disturbing your smile or creating any inconvenience during smiling, eating and speech.
What are Clean Aligners?
Clean aligners are basically removable aligners that are fabricated from transparent materials. An interesting fact about clean aligners is that the idea came not from dental experts but a patient who happened to be an engineer, and did not like the multiple visits to the dentist for orthodontic treatment. He invented the Invisalign Clear aligners using the latest computer aided design (CAD), and computer aided manufacturing (CAM). As with most inventions, the idea did not get immediate acceptance, but now it is the craze because of its multiple benefits.
How Clean aligners Work?
Clear or invisible braces are clear plastic structures, somewhat like the clear teeth guards. They are worn over the teeth, and are designed to exert controlled forces on your teeth to gradually move and re-align them in the right direction. Normally 16 to 30 sets of numbered aligners are manufactured and given to the patient to be worn in the same sequence. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks.
How are Clean Aligners Prepared?
- Clinical Examination: Before starting treatment with clear braces, your dentist will first perform a detailed clinical examination to ascertain whether you are a suitable candidate for orthodontic treatment with removable clear retainers. In addition, your dentist will also evaluate x-ray images of your teeth and study models to prepare a comprehensive treatment plan.
- Fabrication of the Removable Aligners: a digital impression of your upper and lower teeth will be made, which will then be used to prepare a digital design of the clean aligners. The designing is done in such a way that the braces will generate forces, which will in-turn re-align the teeth.
- Replacing the Old Aligners after Two Weeks: each set of Clean aligners is usually worn for about two weeks. Afterwards, new aligners are designed while considering the new position of the teeth, and to continue forcing the teeth to move into normal position. In this way, treatment is continued until the desired results have been achieved.
- Retention of Orthodontic Treatment: after successfully re-aligning the teeth, there are always chances that they may fall back to their previous position. To prevent this, specially designed removable retainers are provided to patients so that the teeth remain aligned. Alternatively, the last used Clean aligners can also work as retainers.
Advantages of Clear Braces
- Invisibility: As these are mere shells of clear plastic, they are not visible except to a very careful examination. Thus, they are superior in aesthetics to both metallic wire braces and the ceramic braces.
- Improved Oral Hygiene: since Clean aligners can be removed while sleeping, eating and brushing, they allow for improved oral hygiene maintenance in comparison to the fixed braces.
- Convenience: Clean aligners are quite comfortable and unlike the metallic braces, they do not injure or damage the oral soft tissues during use.
- Reparability: in case a set of Clean aligners is accidentally lost or damaged, it can be easily replaced with a new one.
- Removing and Wearing: The patient can easily remove and wear the aligners and clean them when necessary.
The Downside of Clean aligners
Despite their numerous benefits, Clean aligners have a few downsides as well:
- Expensive: Clear braces are significantly more expensive in comparison to the metallic, ceramic, or lingual braces.
- Require Training: not all dentists can provide treatment with clean aligners. They need to undergo training before they can offer this service.
- Cannot be Used for Severe Cases: Clean aligners are not indicated for extremely severe cases. Treatment of such cases is usually carried out with traditional teeth braces.
So, here is your chances to get the smile of your dreams without having to wear those uncomfortable and ugly metallic braces. Visit your dentist or orthodontist today to discuss the possibility of getting your teeth aligned with clear removable braces.
A video about keeping your clean aligners clean. Duration: 1:27