Have you ever wondered how clear orthodontic aligners such as Invisalign work? The science of clear aligners and how they work is broken down by our Lethbridge dentists.
How do Invisalign clear aligners work?
Clear aligners are a series of trays that are custom-made, transparent, and removable to help with orthodontic issues. They do so by moving teeth in tiny increments into predetermined positions, as outlined in your dentist's custom treatment plan.
Over the last decade, they’ve been a popular treatment for adults and teens who want to straighten their teeth discreetly, without the wires and brackets that come with traditional metal braces.
You must be a suitable candidate for clear aligners
The first step is to determine whether or not you are a candidate for clear aligners. Your dentist will perform an exam at your consultation appointment, which will include digital x-rays, photos of your teeth, dental impressions, and a bite registration (to find out how your upper and lower teeth fit together).
This process is key to finding out whether your issue can successfully be treated with clear aligners.
Clear aligners effectively treat orthodontic issues
Your aligners will be made to treat specific orthodontic issues after your dentist examines your smile and takes impressions of your teeth. Dentists have successfully used Invisalign to treat patients with:
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth grinding
- Open bite
- Gapped teeth
- Sleep apnea
Each case is different, just like each patient's teeth are unique to them. Depending on which teeth must be moved and by how much, your treatment time and other factors in your plan may vary. Because of their position in your mouth, some teeth may take longer to move than others.
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, removable custom clear aligners can be an attractive and comfortable alternative to fixed appliances like braces, depending on your needs and preferences.
Clear aligners encourage excellent oral hygiene and oral health
You'll be diligently brushing away plaque and bacteria that can get stuck between your aligners and your teeth, leading to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease, with the brushing and flossing you'll need to do to keep your teeth - and your aligners clean - during treatment.
The commitment to excellent oral hygiene - and working with your dentist to follow the treatment plan and minimize the chance of plaque taking hold - is an important part of successful treatment with clear aligners.
Patients spend less time in treatment with clear aligners
Another benefit of clear aligners is that you’ll spend less time in your dentist’s office - and more time enjoying your straighter smile.
Clear aligners shouldn't need to be tightened or adjusted regularly, and you should only need to see your dentist every few months to check on your progress and make sure your treatment is progressing as planned.
Limitations to Treatment with Clear Aligners
While there are numerous advantages to clear aligner treatment, it is not appropriate for all orthodontic issues. Large overbites, severe rotations, some molar issues, and others may necessitate the use of an alternative orthodontic treatment.
If your case cannot be treated with Invisalign, your dentist can help you find another option that will work for you, such as traditional metal braces.