What Are Clear Aligners And How Do They Work?

Clear bracesTeeth straightening has come a long way in recent years. There are now several different ways to straighten the teeth that do not involved traditional, ‘train-track’ style braces. One of these is clear aligners like Invisalign in West Malling.

Many practitioners, like One Smile Oral Care, offer several different methods through their clinic. A patient needs to be assessed to see what methods are suitable for correcting their issues. After their first consultation, they will find out if they can work with a method like Invisalign in West Malling.

How do clear aligners work?

Clear aligners, like Invisalign in West Malling, fundamentally work in the same way as any other teeth straightening method. They apply pressure to the teeth consistently over a period over time. After about 72 hours of pressure, the teeth begin to respond by attempting to move out of the way. Once they have adjusted their positions sufficiently, the movement would stop if no further pressure was applied. Orthodontic treatment is designed to continue to apply gentle force in some way until the teeth move to completely new positions.

Treatment with clear aligners, like Invisalign, involves the patient having a series of trays that fit over the tops of the teeth. They work their way through the set. The inside of each tray is contoured in order to apply pressure to the teeth. Once one aligner has moved the teeth as far as it can, the next aligner is employed to take care of the next stage. This process continues until the last aligner moves the teeth into their final positions.

A patient needs to wear a retainer for a while after treatment with clear aligners is finished. This is common to all teeth straightening methods.

What are the advantages of clear aligners?

Clear aligners are:

  • Comfortable – they are smooth on the outside and so they do not irritate the lining of the cheek;
  • Easy to fit – the patient is measured for the set using scans and imprints and then their aligners are made for them. All they have to do at that point is pick them up;
  • Aesthetically low-impact – the aligners are see-through, which means that they appear to be invisible to the casual observer.