How Do Clear Aligners Work
Aligner technology has emerged as an alternative to traditional orthodontic braces. One product of this type of technology is Invisalign. Aligners are a convenient alternative because they can be removed and replaced at regular intervals of seven to 14 days. They are virtually invisible, like clear retainers or trays used for teeth cleaning. When worn regularly, the thin, clear plastic shells gently shift teeth into place. With the help of 3D computer imaging technology and a series of custom-made aligners, your teeth can gradually and incrementally move into a more desirable position.
The process might seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, our dentists, Dr. Seth Senestraro and Dr. Seth, will guide you through the process and conclude it efficiently.
How Clear Aligners Function
We will take impressions of your teeth if you decide to correct your teeth using aligners. The data from the scan will be utilized to create aligners specifically for you. In some cases, we may also place tiny, transparent attachments on your teeth to help the aligners stay in place. That way, the transparent aligners have more power to shift your teeth into place.
Think about that the next time you see someone sporting a mouth full of metal brackets and wires. Clear aligners use attachments that are the same color as your teeth, while traditional braces use metal brackets. To facilitate the trays' engagement with the teeth and the teeth's movement toward the desired direction and position, we attach specialized aligners on specific teeth.
Patients receive a set of trays to use throughout the treatment to progressively shift the teeth into place. The typical lifespan of a tray is a week or two. Patients should wear their trays for 22 hours a day, taking them out only for eating and drinking, as well as brushing and flossing their teeth. In most cases, the treatment time ranges from six months to one year. Each tray is designed to shift the teeth by a few millimeters. You may watch the tooth shift ever-so-slightly into place with each new tray over a 25-week treatment period.
Brushing and flossing are just as easy with Invisalign aligners as they were before orthodontic treatment because they are removable. However, it is crucial to remember to clean your aligner with a toothbrush on the inside and outside. While removable Invisalign aligners can be a huge benefit, it's essential to wear them for at least 22 hours per day to ensure the best results. Otherwise, your teeth may shift back to their original positions.
The severity of the misalignment will mostly determine the length of treatment with either clear aligners or braces. The treatment period for braces ranges from 12 months to 36 months, with longer times required for more severe instances. Remember that severe orthodontic difficulties are typically not appropriate for clear aligners. Brackets have a tendency to outpace other orthodontic treatments when dealing with complex cases. While traditional braces are still the gold standard for correcting most smiles, clear aligners have made great strides in recent years.
Braces must be worn at all times, while Invisalign trays need to be worn for only roughly 22 hours per day. Furthermore, teens with Invisalign treatment are expected to make a conscious effort to straighten their teeth. Your child's treatment duration will increase if they aren't responsible and regularly forget to wear their aligners for the prescribed amount of time.
The question of whether you should have metal braces or Invisalign based on how quickly it works is rarely a deciding factor. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, our dentist Dr. Seth Senestraro will guide you in the right direction. We can provide a precise estimate of how long it will take for braces or Invisalign to straighten the teeth.