Have you ever been curious about the science behind clear orthodontic aligners such as Invisalign? Our Coquitlam dentists explain how clear aligners work and the science behind them.
How do Invisalign clear aligners work?
Clear aligners are a series of custom-made, transparent, and removable clear aligner trays that aid in the resolution of orthodontic issues. They accomplish this by moving teeth in tiny increments into the positions specified 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 you are a candidate for clear aligners. Your dentist will perform an exam during 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
After your dentist examines your smile and takes impressions of your teeth, your aligners will be made to treat specific orthodontic issues. Dentists have used Invisalign to successfully treat patients with:
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth grinding
- Open bite
- Gapped teeth
- Sleep apnea
Each case is different, just as each patient's teeth are unique to them. Your specific treatment time and other treatment plan factors may differ depending on which teeth must be moved and by how much. Because of their position in your mouth, some teeth may take longer to move than others.
Depending on your needs and preferences, removable custom clear aligners can offer an aesthetic and comfortable alternative to fixed appliances such as braces when it comes to orthodontic treatment.
Clear aligners encourage excellent oral hygiene and oral health
Brushing and flossing will be required to keep your teeth - and your aligners - clean during treatment. You'll be diligently brushing away plaque and bacteria that can become trapped between your aligners and your teeth, leading to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
A large part of successful treatment with clear aligners is the commitment to excellent oral hygiene - and working with your dentist to follow the treatment plan and minimize the chance for plaque to take hold.
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 should not need to be adjusted or tightened on a regular basis, and you should only need to visit your dentist every couple of months to check in on your progress and ensure your treatment is proceeding as planned.
Limitations to Treatment with Clear Aligners
While treatment with clear aligners has many advantages, it is not appropriate for all orthodontic issues. Large overbites, severe rotations, some molar issues, and other issues may necessitate additional 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.