Dental aligners are a type of braces which are used to straighten the crooked or crowded teeth, by orthodontists. It is done by applying gentle pressure on the teeth to make them move in a planned direction in the mouth. Traditional braces have been in use for decades with brackets and wires to apply the pressure and move teeth. Today the same goal of moving the teeth by pressure is achieved with devices other than metal brackets and wires. One such devices is clear aligners.
What are clear aligners?
Clear aligners are aligners that are made of clear plastic and therefore unnoticeable. Since they are not visible, many people choose it over traditional braces. It is popular not only among teenagers, but even adults who feel that they have passed their age of getting orthodontic treatment, can avail of them because of their quality of being invisible.
Modus operandi for clear aligners
Clear aligners are made of clear plastic or acrylic. These are trays made from perfect measurement of your teeth. Your orthodontist examines and decides on the route needed to move your teeth in to correct the position and fine-tune the line of teeth to get you the perfect smile you dream of. They will then order the trays to be made in the lab. The trays are made to fit on your teeth which should be worn all the time except while eating and cleaning your teeth and mouth. The trays come in a series to be changed every two weeks or so, as your dentist advises. The trays are made in such a way that it will keep making small adjustments throughout its course in your teeth which will result in straightened teeth slowly in a well aligned set of teeth.
The treatment may take about 10 weeks to 2 years depending on the condition of your teeth and how well you follow the dentist’s instructions. The more you keep them on, the lesser period it will take to get the desired results. If you keep them out of the mouth for longer periods than necessary, the treatment will take longer to get you your desired smile.
Who can consider a dental treatment with clear aligners?
Clear aligners can solve a range of dental problems including the following.
Crowded and crooked teeth
If you have teeth which overlaps over each other due to lack of space; or any other reason, or teeth which are not in a straight line due to lack of space, giving you a self-conscious smile, or a smile which is less than perfect, clear aligners can help you get an improved and beautiful smile.
Underbite, overbite and cross bite
If you have a problem of bite, that is; if your upper and lower set of teeth do not align, it creates problems of biting, and dental hygiene. Clear aligners can solve this problem if there is mild misalignment. But not all alignment problems can be solved with clear aligners, as severe alignment problems require different methods of straightening.
Diastema or gaps between teeth
When you have teeth that are quite apart from each other rather than next to each other, clear aligners can help them bring nearer to each other to form a beautiful smile, and correct speech problems, because teeth are an important part of forming words and speech. If there are gaps between teeth, the speech is affected.
Misaligned primary baby teeth
When the baby teeth are obstructing new teeth to cut through, the baby teeth can be pushed in place with clear alignment if the child is between 6 to 10 years old, to make room for the permanent teeth to come unobstructed and uncrowded.
Why should you opt for clear aligners over other methods of teeth straightening?
The following are some reasons that make clear aligners a superior option compared to other means of teeth straightening.
The main advantage of clear aligners is their invisibility. You can wear them at any age without being conscious of them. Many adults and teenagers prefer them because other people are unable to notice them and they do not obstruct speech.
Ease of eating and cleaning the teeth after meals
You can take out the aligners while eating and put them back on after you finish eating which helps in less worry about keeping the teeth clean because no worry of trapped food between wires and brackets.
They are more comfortable and easier to maintain. The brackets, wires and rubber bands in traditional braces are cumbersome and need frequent visits to the dentist. In the case of clear aligners, there is no need to visit the dentist frequently, as the clear aligner trays are ready to be worn in a series which are premade in the lab and given to you at the time you start the treatment.
The difference between the cost of metal braces and clear aligners is not too much so cost is not an issue while opting for clear aligners. Also, when you get the smile of your dream without becoming self-conscious as you would with traditional metal braces, the cost is well compensated for.
The clear aligners are given to you in a serial form of a set, marked with numbers to be worn one after the other in a series, the frequent visits to the dentist saves time. Also if you remove them for meals only and put them back on immediately after cleaning you can finish the treatment as planned and save time.
Many adults realize after their teenage years that they would like to improve their smile with orthodontic treatment. In older days, adults would have no choice to go for orthodontic treatment because it was believed that after a certain age, the teeth and jawbones get settled and it is hard to move the teeth in the jawbone. But the regular dentistry and the cosmetic dentistry has grown extensively in recent years, and it has been found that age is no bar for orthodontic treatment. That is why many people opt for aesthetic dentistry even after their growing years have passed. People who are in high profile professions realize the need for a beautiful smile, and now have options to get their dream smiles.