Clear Aligner

Orthodontics

What are clear aligners?


Clear aligners are innovative solutions for correcting various orthodontic problems in a discreet fashion. Crafted exclusively for the needs of the patient, clear aligners are a set of transparent and semi-elastic retainers to gradually realign the array of the teeth. Their predominant advantage (which can be furtherly argued as the reason for their "creation"), is being practically "invisible", thus enabling the patient to undergo a comprehensive orthodontic treatment without any impact on their social image and presence. Removing any fear regarding the aesthetics during the long time spans of the orthodontic treatments, clear aligners expanded the scope of the orthodontics treatments marginally.

Clear aligners function with the same principle with dental braces, by slowly relocating the teeth to the desired array with applying very small amounts of pressure continuously. Gradual presence of specifically destinated pressure, which changes through the different phases of the treatment, enables teeth to realign properly. In an orthodontic treatment with clear aligners, a new retainer is used at fixed intervals to calibrate the pressure with regard to the course of the treatment.

In order to execute an efficient clear aligner treatment, the procedure starts with an extensive examination by an orthodontist. Accurately diagnosing the orthodontic problems, evaluating the suitability for clear aligners and tailoring a comprehensive treatment plan composes the initial stage of the treatment, respectively. Moreover, regular control appointments are necessary to evaluate the course of the treatment and ensure its efficiency.



Benefits of the Clear Aligners


Aesthetics


Needless to say, a large part of the reason patients choose clear aligners over traditional dental braces stems from the aesthetic concerns they might have. As traditional braces are intrusive in terms of aesthetics, people shift towards clear aligners to undergo their treatments without having to worry about unpleasant looks for the duration of their treatments.



Shortened treatment timespan


Clear aligners treatments are known to have a shorter timespan compared to traditional braces, taking about half the time. Whereas traditional braces will typically take anywhere from 12 to 24 months for the treatment to be considered complete, clear aligner treatments usually take between 6 to 12 months.



Comfortable and Removable


Due to the softer and more flexible material used for the production of the clean aligners, patients enjoy reduced discomfort during everyday tasks such as chewing and speaking. With clear aligners. There is the added benefit of their ease of removal, allowing patients to take them off before they eat.



No Dietary Restrictions


Traditional dental braces often bring with them a set of dietary restrictions which the patient must closely follow. Traditional dental braces are more prone to damage that can be caused by the patients diet and lead to food getting stuck in the patients mouth which may be very difficult to remove. Clear aligners, owing to their removable nature don't have such issues. Patients are free to eat whatever they like, though it is advised not to consume unhealthy food or drinks for overall dental well-being and enamel health.



Reduced dental health risks


Traditional dental braces carry the risk of leading to oral abrasion and discoloration, and as they render it harder for the patient to take proper care of their dental health, may lead to further complications. Clear aligners are made from soft material, meaning they don't lead to oral abrasion due to sharp metal edges, and they can be removed for the ease of dental care and reduced risk of discoloration



Why are they used?


Clear aligners are groundbreaking solutions in the field of orthodontics. They are discreet, easy to use and can be removed while brushing and flossing, preventing the formation of stains and cavities during the range of the procedure. A range of orthodontic problems can be solved through the clear aligner treatment. Even though they can be utilized to treat most cases, clear aligners may not perform sufficiently in some severe orthodontic situations. A comprehensive examination from an orthodontist is necessary for assessing the suitability of the clear aligners.



Prevalent Orthodontic Problems That Aligners Can Fix:


Overbite


As a relatively prevalent orthodontic problem, an overbite is a problem regarding closure of bite. In the case of an overbite, teeth on the upper side of the mouth closes in front of the teeth at the bottom side. An overbite causes aesthetic problems accompanied with functional issues to some extent, inducing a substantial decrease in the quality of life. An overbite can be treated with a clear aligner nevertheless, if the overbite is caused from an abnormality in the jaw (skeletal overbite) it's harder to treat with aligners. In such cases oral surgery might be needed to correct the position of the jaw.



Underbite


An underbite is the opposite of the overbite, where the teeth at the bottom of the teeth close in front of the upper side. Similarly, if the root of the problem is in the jawbone, sole appliance of the aligners might not be sufficient. In such cases an oral surgery might be needed to realign the position of the jawbone.



Crossbite


Crossbite is an alignment problem on the closure of the teeth, usually referred to as the "mixture" of an overbite and underbite. In case of a crossbite, some of the teeth are positioned protruded while some are retracted inside the mouth. Clear aligners can provide reliable solutions for the vast majority of the crossbite cases.



Open Bite


In the case of an open bite, front teeth cannot be able to merge in closure. This causes a significant aesthetic problem as well as some functional inadequacies. Clear aligner treatment can fix the open bite issues effectively, excluding an exceptionally small proportion of them with advanced severity.



Gaps in the Teeth


Clear aligners can be used to provide aesthetic solutions for the excessive gaps on the teeth. Accompanied with other appliances of cosmetic dentistry, clear aligners can realign the disproportionate gaps in the array of the teeth.



Crowded Teeth


Having a small jaw that cannot host a normal number of teeth, or problems regarding the thirds molars, unfallen milk teeths, or (rare) cases of hyperdontia can cause crowdedness in the teeth. After extracting the "excess" tooth (or teeth) that caused crowdedness, a set of clear aligners can be used to restore the aesthetic array of the teeth.



Procedure


In cases of orthodontic treatments, an orthodontist will evaluate your situation and assess your suitability for the clear aligners. As mentioned above, in some severe cases, aligners might not be able to provide efficient solutions for the patients. If your orthodontist decides to move on with the aligner treatment, a treatment plan will be crafted to satisfy the patients aesthetic desires, as well as to improve and protect their oral health. Then an orthodontist will digitally scan and measure your teeth and send it to the dental laboratory to prepare the clear aligners.

After the patient receives the aligners, the treatment process is virtually started. Aligners should be worn with regard to instructions of the orthodontist for utmost efficiency and a shorter treatment procedure. Clear aligners need to be changed in fixed intervals, usually between 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the necessities of the treatment. Attending regular orthodontic checkups, enabling the orthodontist to closely overwatch and evaluate the course of the treatment, is a must for a successful clear aligner therapy. When the treatment is completed, you will need to wear orthodontic retainers to protect the newly acquired form of your teeth.