One of the primary concerns people often have about dental braces is the aesthetic impact of the metalwork on their smile. Especially for adults, the prospect of wearing unattractive metal braces for long periods of time can be very discouraging. Clear aligners offer an almost invisible aligning system that straightens teeth fast and contains no metal.
Treatment consists of a series of custom-made aligning trays. The dentist changes the trays every several weeks to fit the new tooth configuration. In addition to the reduced visual impact, clear aligning trays can be temporarily removed for important occasions – meaning that treatment duration is patient-controlled. A great number of people report complete satisfaction with both the treatment and the stunning results.
What kind of bite problems can clear aligners correct?
Clear aligners corrects the same dental problems as traditional metal braces; the only difference is that the trays are almost invisible to the naked eye, and can be removed at will.
Here are some problems that are commonly corrected with clear aligners:
- Overcrowding – This occurs when there is too little space for the teeth to align normally in the mouth. Overcrowding can cause tooth decay and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
- Large gaps between teeth – This can sometimes occur because teeth are missing or because the jaw continues to grow abnormally.
- Crossbite – This common dental problem occurs when one or multiple upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. As a consequence, uneven wear can lead to bone erosion and gum disease.
- Overbite – This problem occurs when the upper teeth project further than, or completely cover, the lower teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ may occur.
- Underbite – This is the inverse of the overbite; the lower teeth project further than, or completely cover, the upper teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ can occur.
What advantages do clear aligners offer over traditional braces and veneers?
Traditional dental braces, clear aligning trays, and dental veneers are three different ways to perfect the alignment of the teeth. There are many different considerations to make when deciding which treatment will be best, and each of these options works better in certain situations.
Clear aligners differ from traditional braces in that the aligning trays are fully removable. This means that more discipline and commitment is required from the patient. This is not usually a problem since the trays are comfortable and nearly invisible. Almost identical results can be obtained by using either treatment.
Clear aligners are preferable to veneers in many cases because unlike veneers, clear aligners actually straighten the teeth. Veneers are thin covers that the dentist permanently affixes to the teeth. Teeth must be etched beforehand, meaning that to remove dental veneers, an alternative covering must be constructed. In addition to being somewhat expensive, veneers can break and often last for less than 20 years.
What are some considerations when wearing clear aligners?
Life with the clear trays may take several weeks to get used to. The trays should be worn constantly, except when eating and drinking. It is important to remove the trays when consuming food or drink because food can become trapped between the tray and the teeth, causing tooth decay.
Usually, new trays are necessary every two weeks, and progress between appointments can be seen with the naked eye. There is no doubt that clear aligners have revolutionized orthodontics.
If you have questions about clear aligners, please contact our office.