Have you ever wondered about the science behind clear orthodontic aligners like Invisalign? Our Grande Prairie dentists break down the science of clear aligners, and how they work.
How do Invisalign clear aligners work?
Clear aligners are a set of transparent, removable clear aligner trays that are made to order and used to treat orthodontic problems. They achieve this by gradually moving teeth into the predetermined positions as detailed in a specific treatment plan created by your dentist.
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
Determining whether you are a candidate for clear aligners is the first step in the procedure. Your dentist will conduct an examination during your consultation appointment, including 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 individual case is distinct, just like each patient's set of teeth. Depending on which teeth must be moved and how much, your specific treatment time and other aspects of your treatment plan may change. Due to their positioning in your mouth, some teeth may require more time 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
You'll be diligently brushing away plaque and bacteria that can get stuck between your aligners and your teeth, causing cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease with the brushing and flossing you'll need to do to keep your teeth and your aligners clean throughout the treatment.
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.
You should only need to see your dentist every few months to check on your progress and make sure your treatment is progressing as expected with clear aligners. Clear aligners shouldn't need to be tightened or adjusted frequently.
Limitations to Treatment with Clear Aligners
While using clear aligners for orthodontic treatment has many benefits, not all orthodontic problems can be resolved in this way. Another orthodontic treatment option might be necessary for certain issues, including large overbites, severe rotations, some molar issues, and others.
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.