Getting orthodontic treatment can positively impact your life in a host of ways. However, it can be a big commitment, both in terms of time and money, and it’s only natural that you should wonder whether it’s the right decision for you.
There are more orthodontic options available than ever before, and discreet treatments like clear aligners have become increasingly popular. But some patients wonder, “do invisible braces work?”
What Problems Can Clear Aligners Solve?
There are several problems that dentists use clear aligners and other orthodontist treatment to solve, such as:
- Crooked teeth.
- Gaps between teeth, known as a diastema.
- Misaligned bites, including overbites, underbites, open bites, and overjets.
Fixing these orthodontic issues is essential, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because they can lead to other problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and speech impediments. Additionally, it’s important not to underestimate the effect orthodontic issues can have on a person’s self-esteem. Invisible braces, such as Invisalign can tackle these matters whilst causing minimal disruption to your daily life.
How Do Invisible Braces Work?
Clear aligners are the most widely known type of invisible braces, and like traditional braces, rely on pressure to force the misaligned teeth into the correct position.
The Process of Clear Aligners
At Dentistry on Solent, we offer various clear aligners to suit your needs, such as Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and Inman aligners.
If you are considered a good candidate for clear aligners, your dentist takes 3D images of your mouth and enters the images into a software program that plots out the course of your treatment. This not only allows you to visualise the progress of your teeth, and see the potential final result, but also provides information for the dental technicians to fabricate your personalised set of aligner trays.
During your treatment with clear aligners, you wear your series of trays, changing them approximately every two weeks. The trays, which are made specifically for your teeth, encourage your teeth to move and conform to the shape of the tray, with each tray moving your teeth closer to the final location.
Do Invisible Braces Work For Everyone?
Although clear aligners have a fantastic success rate, they are not suitable for every patient. In cases where there is extreme misalignment or multiple complex orthodontic issues, a wire and bracket brace is usually a better choice.
Clear aligners are unsuitable for moving teeth up and down in the gum membrane to lengthen or shorten the tooth. They are also unsuitable for teeth that are rotated out of position further than 20°.
If the alignment of your teeth is too severe for aligners, don’t let that put you off getting orthodontic treatment.
At Dentistry on Solent, we offer other styles of invisible braces, such as ceramic, tooth-coloured brackets, and we are happy to discuss alternatives to aligners with you.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Clear Aligners
If you adhere to your dentist-recommended protocol when wearing clear aligners, they can drastically improve your teeth. However, like any orthodontic treatment, there are pros and cons.
Pro: They’re Invisible
For most people, the discreet nature of clear aligners is their greatest benefit. Aligners like Invisalign are made from BPA-free, clear thermoplastic that is so subtle that nobody can tell you’re wearing them.
Con: They Need to be Removed for Eating and Drinking
Unlike wire and bracket braces, which you don’t take out yourself, clear aligners must be removed when you eat or drink anything other than water. This is because the tray can stain easily. You must be disciplined at wearing them.
However, because you remove your aligners to eat, you won’t have to change your diet, whereas many people find they have to avoid certain foods while wearing braces.
Pro: They’re Comfortable
While it’s true that all forms of orthodontia can cause some discomfort due to the pressure they exert on teeth, clear aligners are much more comfortable than braces. The wires and brackets of traditional braces can give patients mouth sores, which are avoided with clear aligners.
Con: They Need to be Cleaned Often
Clear aligners need to be cleaned often. Your dentist will discuss the specifics of your aligner cleaning routine, but it is usually recommended that you clean your teeth and the tray every time you remove them to eat or drink. They should also be soaked daily in a sterilising solution. If you fail to keep your teeth and the trays clean, bacteria can build up around your teeth and cause decay. The plaque that forms can also discolour the trays making them more noticeable.
However, cleaning aligners is much less time-consuming and easier than cleaning around brackets and wires.
Pro: Aligners Work Quickly
The length of time orthodontic treatment takes depends on the individual patient; however, clear aligners tend to work faster than traditional braces because they correct mild to moderate misalignment issues. Inman aligners available at Dentistry on Solent can correct front teeth alignment in as little as six months.
Their Success Depends On You
While clear aligners are removable, they must be worn for at least 22 hours a day. This, along with the cleaning demands, can be challenging, and some people end up taking them out for more extended periods, affecting the success of the treatment.
However, if you adhere to the guidelines, there’s no reason invisible braces shouldn’t work for you.
Choose a Dentist You Can Trust
At Dentistry on Solent, we pride ourselves in taking a compassionate and caring approach to dentistry. We understand that committing to orthodontic treatment is a big decision. We aim to ensure all our patients are informed and comfortable enough to make the best decision for them.
Whether you choose traditional braces or invisible braces such as Invisalign, Inman Aligners, and ClearCorrect, Dentistry on Solent’s talented team of professionals are here for you.
For more information or to arrange a consultation, call us on (02) 9158 6137 today.