What Are Aligners?
Aligners are also referred to as clear, removable invisible braces that straighten your teeth. There is no need for brackets and wires, and none of the restrictions that come with metal braces.
Aligners have revolutionized orthodontics. Invisalign was the first clear aligner manufacturer and remains the most recognized brand associated with clear aligners today. In many countries around the world new services are building on Invisalign or provide a similar technology with the same end goal – helping you achieve that perfect smile!
Patients opting for aligners will receive custom-made clear aligners that treats their individual case. In general, they can help with dental issues such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, gaps between your teeth, crowding, and crooked teeth.
What are the benefits of aligners Vs traditional braces?
- Discreet treatment: orthodontic treatments used to mean having to wear distracting metal wires and brackets. Clear aligners are the discreet alternative to braces as they are almost invisible causing minimum disruption to your daily activities.
- Greater comfort: As opposed to traditional braces, there are no metal brackets to irritate your gums and no spacer treatments before candidacy. The aligner trays fit over your teeth and gently move teeth into proper alignment through micromovements. In the beginning the aligners may feel very right and cause some discomfort - aligners can be taken out and do not force you to wear your braces and endure the discomfort.
- No dietary restrictions: As you take out your aligners everytime you want to eat or drink, they allow you to eat or drink whatever you want!
- Easier oral hygiene: Traditional metal braces require special tools to floss and lengthy periods of time brushing between meals. Aligners can be removed, so that you can clean your teeth AND aligners separately just like normal.
- Reliable results: reliable software can project your future smile and adjust to your own preferences.
How do aligners work?
Aligners are meant to push your teeth into their desired position. You might be surprised to find out that your teeth are pushed into the ideal position (based on the specific set of aligners that you are wearing) within the first 24 hours.Yet, you must wear the specific set for a recommended 14 days (2 weeks) before changing to a newer set. This is to allow your gums and bones enough time to settle in their new position and make sure that your teeth do not return back to their original position. Aligners take time and patience!
What is the process of fitting aligners?
- Aligners are designed to move teeth a little bit at a time. By gently applying pressure to the teeth, your teeth will be ever-so-slightly repositioned.
- Before receiving your set of aligners, you must visit a service provider (such as a dentist) for an examination. The dentist will examine you and take photographs and impressions or digital scans of your teeth.
- Based on the information the dentist can arrive at a diagnosis. Together with your dentist you will agree on the design of your smile and plan the treatment process – i.e. how the teeth will move and what the desired end state will be.
- This applies to ALL of your teeth, not just the ones you want to have corrected and see when you smile! The end goal is not just aesthetics, but also functionality: you should have a healthy set of teeth that will sustain you for the long term in all daily activities.
- With the end goal in mind, a series of plastic aligners are created using the patient’s initial impressions or digital scans as the starting point. You will receive all the sets to take home.
- It is recommended that aligners are worn 20-22 hours a day. Each set of aligners is worn for up to 2 weeks and the total number of aligners that you have to wear will depend on your case. After completing all your aligners you will likely be given a retainer to help sustain your teeth in the new positions.