How Teeth Alignment Works using Invisalign®
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on teeth alignment procedures. While the consequence of straightened teeth is a beautiful smile, a cosmetic appeal is not the foundation of orthodontics. However, the field majors on restorative procedures to straighten teeth and improve their functionality.
In orthodontics, different appliances are used to accomplish teeth alignment goals. A dentist will, therefore, use dental appliances like traditional braces and other metal braces to straighten teeth.
What Is Invisalign?
It is a special type of teeth aligners that uses controlled pressure to cause a shifting of teeth. This treatment is different from other teeth aligners in the following ways:
- It is removable – you can remove and wear them back at your convenience. This allows you to eat the foods you want, without any restrictions because of the aligners.
- It is clear – the aligners have even been termed invisible teeth aligners. They feature a transparent, plastic-like material. This makes them a cosmetic option for patients who want the procedure without the conspicuous metal brackets.
More about Invisible Aligners
Other than the distinctive features of the clear aligners, there is more information you must learn, especially if you seek to travel with Invisalign. Some underlying facts include:
- 20 hours minimum wear time – even while they are removable, clear aligners must be worn for a period between 20-22 hours each day. This is just enough time for the aligners to cause a shifting of the teeth.
- They are changeable – usually, other types of braces are adjusted for a tighter fit using the metal wires. With the invisible aligners, it is different. Every couple of weeks, you get a new set of aligners. The new set is already adjusted by your orthodontist for a tighter fit. This process will continue throughout, as according to your treatment plan.
- They are suited for mild misalignment problems – unfortunately, invisible braces are not for everyone. They are developed to handle mild cases of mispositioning. If your case is complex, you may be referred to other types of braces.
How Does the Process Work?
When you talk to an orthodontist, a treatment plan is developed for you. The plan is necessary to help estimate the amount of time you will be needing clear teeth aligners. It also determines which intervals you will have the teeth aligners changed.
In your first visit, all that your dentist will do is examine your teeth and recommend the most suitable procedure. After you have opted for the clear aligners, your orthodontist will take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will act as the measurements for creating the ideal clear teeth aligners for your teeth. The aligners will then be manufactured, and you can wear them on your next visit.
Overall, the aligners work by exerting controlled pressure on your teeth. The movement does not happen one-off. It is a gradual process that involves shifting the crown as well as the roots of teeth. The process also relies on bone regeneration while teeth are moving. All these, combine for a successful realignment procedure. The duration of the treatment lasts as long as your customized realignment plan covers. Besides, other factors affect how quickly your teeth move, including:
- Discipline in wearing the aligners throughout the recommended hours.
- Your body’s unique healing ability.
- The health of your bones – healthy bones regenerates more effectively than those that aren’t.
Who Needs Clear Aligners?
Like with other orthodontic appliances, you only get invisible aligners when you need them. Different teeth conditions can benefit from clear braces, including the following:
- Overlapping teeth – this happens when teeth are sitting on each other in the arcs of the mouth. In this case, teeth are too close together.
- Crowded mouth – sometimes the jawbone is too small to hold all the teeth in proper alignment. For other patients, they have multiple teeth where one should be. This happens when some baby teeth are too stubborn to loosen from the roots. Thereby, the adult teeth grow side by side, causing a crowded mouth.
- Spaces between teeth – they are not caused by losing teeth. On the contrary, the gaps are a result of teeth growing apart. This could because of the bone structure. This causes teeth to grow apart from each other.