Clear aligners have had a bit of a surge in popularity over the last few years, with more providers contacting patients daily, drawing them in with online and TV advertising. We, on the other hand, have been providing Invisalign St Albans for much longer, so why have clear aligners caused such controversy?
How do clear aligners work?
The clear aligner itself seems nothing special; a plastic mouthpiece which, depending on how it’s shaped, can be used to apply pressure to teeth altering their position over time. As with all aligners, the clever bit and the most critical is its shape.
Each aligner is worn for 2 weeks. Like the runners of a relay race, each brace has to have achieved its milestone before you can fit the next one in the sequence.
Implementing invisible braces in our clinic
In the case of an aligner, the fitting is a critical step in the clinic. If clear aligners are a suitable treatment option for you, we can start fitting one. This is done with an intraoral scanner or possibly an X-ray from the front and sides of the mouth.
This data is sent to the manufacturer server via the cloud, where with a bit of number crunching and predictive modelling, we can generate an orthodontic treatment plan and show you a digital mock-up of how your teeth will appear post-treatment.
It can take a few weeks for your aligners to be manufactured and shipped to the clinic. When they arrive we will call you, so you can come in for a quick FAQ and demonstrations of how to use them before you pick them up.
To get the most from Invisalign St Albans, you will have to wear them as often as you can, day and night, only taking breaks for eating and brushing teeth. Any time spent not wearing the aligners risks a regression back to their original position of your teeth and a prolonged period of not wearing an aligner would cause our team to restart the entire process from the beginning. Despite the need for constant use with clear aligners, most of our patients tolerate this well, with those who have experienced traditional metal braces finding them much more comfortable and easier to wear in public places.
Mail order aligners
The Invisalign St Albans we provide have never been available directly to patients and have a strict company policy of only working via dentists. The practice of providing aligners outside of a clinic has caused controversy with regulatory bodies’ expressing their concerns. The fitting method for at-home aligners is a home kit dental mould, which patients are expected to self-administer and return to the manufacturer. This introduces a source of error at the most critical step, which at best, will slow down the treatment. There is also the need to check on the progress of the aligners and this may involve making adjustments in the scheduling wearing some aligners for longer or shorter periods than the standard interval. With braces ordered online, this is not possible and once again, increases the risks of things going wrong.