Table of Contents Hide
Straightening teeth with modern orthodontics has gained popularity in the recent years. Today invisible aligners or Invisalign are used widely and you don’t have to just stick to traditional braces to rotate and reshape your protruded and misaligned teeth. You will read about the most common questions around aligners in orthodontics. Questions like how do aligners straighten teeth or what are aligners and why do people choose aligners for their smile enhancement.
Aligners work by applying pressure on teeth gradually. You wear aligners and snap them in position and you can remove them in your mouth. Aligners are custom-made specifically for your teeth. You should remove your aligners when you eat, drink or brush your teeth.
As you see aligners are different from braces, which are fixed in your mouth. Metal braces use brackets that are attached to the surface of your teeth and wires to pull those rotated and irregular teeth into desired position. But for aligners, you wear them and they are not attached to your teeth. Aligners use pressure little by little to shift your teeth into the desired position.
Your orthodontists or dentists visualize all the changes of teeth with computer for perfect straightened teeth. They make series of aligners for you to wear in each stage of alignment to move the teeth. Aligners are made from transparent plastic material, so nobody sees them unlike the braces. As the aligners are transparent, people call them clear plastic aligners or clear aligners.
Clear plastic aligners are also known as Invisalign. Actually, Invisalign is one of the first and major brands of aligners. Invisalign or aligners use align technology to straighten crooked, rotated and irregular teeth.
Clear aligners move your teeth by putting gradual pressure on teeth so try to wear them as much as you can. Don’t skip or ignore wearing aligners because you will delay your orthodontics. You should be responsible and patients with first discomfort feeling and pressures on your teeth. Aligners are much more comfortable than traditional braces and you will get used to them in your mouth
How are my aligners made?
Impression and scans are taken by the dentist to get the shape of your teeth .Then the dentist uses align technology to visualize how the pressures and movements can correct your crooked teeth. Then 3-D printing of the clear plastic trays are fabricated with the best custom-made tray to fit over your teeth. To sum up, the steps for making aligners are:
- Scanning your teeth and taking an impression or bite registration of the teeth
- Sending the scanned and impression to the lab
- Visualizing the bit by bit straightening process in the computer by orthodontists or dentists
- Making the series of aligners on the casts with 3-D printing
How long should I wear aligners?
It is recommended to wear aligners for 22 hours per day especially in the beginning of your treatment. Aligners are removable orthodontic appliances. Therefore, you remove them for brushing your teeth, eating and drinking. For the remaining time, you should have your aligners on. The more you wear aligners, the shorter your orthodontics time and the faster to get the straightened teeth.
How many series of aligners do I need and for how long?
You should follow aligner schedule time for each aligner your orthodontist has designed. Orthodontists recommend that your wear each aligner or Invisalign for 2 weeks and then change to the next aligner in the series. Depending on the severity and difficulty of your orthodontics, you may need different series of aligners to correct your teeth. But don’t worry with align technology, everything has been made clear and you will know about series of your aligners and schedule more exactly in the beginning of your orthodontics.
Can aligners correct all types of teeth problems?
New technology in aligners and Invisalign production has treated even difficult irregularities in teeth. You should know that for a combination of orthodontic treatments, dentist or your orthodontist can prescribe adjunct tools that can straighten even bite problems. For example, for closing your open bite and at the same time correction of other malocclusions in your teeth, bite blocks can be prescribed along with your aligners.
Braces or aligners
To wear braces or aligners which is better for you? You know that braces can show that you are having a treatment, but aligners or let’s say clear aligners are invisible or at least they don’t get much attention as braces. Invisibility and tooth-colored are one advantage for choosing aligners.
Another important factor for you should be the results for a perfect smile. Aligners use the most advanced technologies in virtual modeling and visualizing the results. Doctors, dentists, orthodontist, lab technicians have all worked on the necessary modifications in each series of aligners for each stage of your treatment. They know what to prescribe to correct and rotate even complex tooth movements and problems.
Even when there is a necessity for braces in severe bite problems and malocclusion, it doesn’t interfere with your aligner therapy. You can wear braces for a period of time for correcting difficult tooth problems and switch back to your aligners. But these are possible with a good dentist or orthodontists’ plan. You can continue your orthodontics with your aligners and at same time go to work and be in public without worrying about the results.
Are aligners suitable for children?
When aligners first came, adults were the first who really felt that these are what they had been waiting for to wear and to straighten their teeth. Because aligners are invisible and functional, they didn’t wait a second and looked for an orthodontist to start to order their aligners. But today children and teenagers can benefit from aligners. They can decrease those fears of braces at school. One thing to know about children using aligners is that children are in an age that pass growing stages year by year and very quickly especially when they reach puberty.
So growth modification and hormonal changes make challenges for a predictable design for aligners. Orthodontist should predict those changes and plan for a suitable series of aligners during those growing stages of the child. They need to do modifications on the computer and fabricate custom-sized aligners that work well during growth stages of the child. Orthodontists can also resort to braces for a time and prescribe adjunct appliance and you don’t have to worry about the results of treatment for your child.