There are many advantages to using clear aligners. This includes a more subtle and convenient treatment schedule than is currently available using traditional metal braces. The realignments which are performed using clear aligners are in much smaller steps than the adjustments you would receive from an orthodontist and are much more tolerable.
One of the UK’s biggest providers of clear aligners is Invisalign in St John’s Wood, which was started in 1995 by two dental school students. Using computer models in order to predict how teeth will be affected by the constant application of pressure, these finished aligners are highly customised, with each aligner only useful for a short period of time.
Clear and invisible aligners have several advantages over the standard metal brace.Clear aligners are not only translucent, making them harder to spot in public allowing them to go unnoticed, but they are also more forgiving and less likely to irritate the inside lining of the mouth. This is often a common cause for mouth ulcers in orthodontic patients while wearing a regular metal brace.
Treatment can vary considerably between patients. Some treatment schedules can be finished in less than 6-months but in more severe cases, up to 2 years may be required. So, clear aligners are only approved by the British Orthodontic Society for mild to moderate cases of misalignment which does not include molars.
The relatively short period of time is up to 2 weeks that each liner is worn for. This allows aligners to be very thin and lightweight, as they do not need to last any longer than their two-weeks in the treatment schedule.
When using a clear aligner in everyday life,it can be easy to forget that you’re wearing them. The only time you’re recommended to remove your aligner is when eating or drinking and the only daily maintenance needed is brushing your teeth before replacing your aligners. This is in stark contrast to traditional braces, which you have to wear whilst eating and therefore meticulously clean once you have finished your meal. For many orthodontic patients, the inconvenience of having to clean a brace leads them to avoid certain foods like popcorn and toffee; this is not an issue when using clear aligners.
Both traditional braces and clear aligners work by continually pushing on your teeth in order to coax them into a new position. This makes the shape of the aligner very critical to your treatment; misshapen aligners can be caused by inappropriate storage or heating of the aligner. Unfortunately a misshapen aligner will have to be replaced. Skipping aligners or continuing to wear an aligner for longer than you have to will not only delay overall treatment but may give an opportunity for regression, or stagnation of the treatment.
Thankfully Invisalign offers a rapid turnover on single aligners within already produced treatment schedules, which allows your local dentists to rapidly reorder any required replacements so you can pick them up from your local clinic.