For many years, traditional metal braces were the main form of orthodontic treatment. But nowadays, you have several other orthodontic options to choose from, such as ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners. If you are unfamiliar with clear aligners, then you probably want to know what makes them different from other orthodontic treatments.
This article will help you to understand what clear aligner treatment is, and how it works.
Clear aligner treatment can be mapped out before treatment begins
The first stage of clear aligner treatment is the planning stage. This involves an examination and X-ray, which help to create a 3D model of your teeth. Your dental provider will then use software to map out your treatment from stage to stage. At this point, you'll gain a good idea of how your treatment will progress from aligner to aligner.
Aligners are made of a clear, plastic material
Each aligner is made of soft and comfortable medical-grade plastic. As well as being comfortable to wear, the aligners are clear, which means they are less noticeable than traditional braces. If you prefer to undergo orthodontic treatment discreetly, clear aligners are right for you.
Clear aligners are removable
Although you must keep your aligners in for at least 22 hours per day, you can remove them for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene. Since your aligners will only achieve their preset targets if you wear them for a minimum of 22 hours a day, self-discipline is important during treatment. You may need to extend your treatment time if you keep your aligners out for too long.
Clear aligners are usually worn in two-week stages
In general, patients wear each of their aligners for about two weeks. During this time, each aligner gradually moves teeth to the positions that were set in the initial planning phase of the treatment. But sometimes, an orthodontist will decrease or increase this time period depending on a patient's unique needs or preferences.
Clear aligners sometimes require attachments and buttons
In some cases, when an orthodontist wants to have more control over tooth movement, they may use attachments or buttons with the aligners. Attachments help aligners cling more easily to the surface of teeth. This provides some assistance when the dentist wants to use more pressure to move a tooth.
Orthodontists attach buttons to aligners when they want to use rubber bands, which can be clear, to move teeth in specific directions.
Clear aligners are a discreet and convenient way to achieve a straighter and more beautiful smile. If you think clear aligners, like Invisalign, is right for you, get in touch with a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist today.