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WHAT ARE ALIGNERS OR INVISIBLE BRACES?
Aligners are the instruments that align your teeth. They are a set of plastic teeth-shaped trays that resemble night guards. The teeth aligners are used at home and help in teeth straightening.
HOW ARE CLEAR ALIGNERS MADE?
On the first day of your treatment, your dentist may take a 3D scan of your teeth. After the scan, your dentist might send the scan to concerned ortho labs like INVISALIGN.
In the lab, an orthodontist will verify your model. In the software, he prepares the entire treatment plan.
A 3D printer prints these 3D virtual models into real models. The lab technician fabricates an aligner on each 3D model and sends it to your dentist.
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This virtual treatment plan contains steps in moving tooth to the required position. A unique 3D model of your teeth will be generated for each level.
DOES A SOFTWARE DICTATES THE ENTIRE TREATMENT PROCESS?
No! Software is a part of manufacturing aligners like INVISALIGN. It is a misconception that a software dictates the entire treatment process. An orthodontist is a crucial person who plans your treatment.
The orthodontist will dictate the amount of pressure to be applied to your teeth and the period of treatment.
Your orthodontist will design the entire treatment. The software provides the models according to the orthodontist recommendations.
HOW MANY TEETH ALIGNERS ARE SUFFICIENT FOR MY TREATMENT?
It depends! Usually, your treatment may require a series of aligners ranging from a mere 10 to 80 aligners or even more.
The number varies from patient to patient. It is dependent on the result your dentist wishes to achieve.
Your dentist may advise to use each aligner for a span to 10 to 15 days and shift to the next one.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ALIGNER TO USE NEXT?
Each aligner comes with a number at the back. Check for the number on the present aligner. After its use, go for the next number.
ARE ALIGNERS BETTER THAN BRACES?
Aligners are not miracle makers. They too, come with few lapses. Aligners are more aesthetic when compared to metal braces. They are almost invisible.
But the amount of force exerted by aligners is a bit less when compared to braces. Moreover, aligners are patient sensitive.
The treatment with aligners requires 100% cooperation from the patient. Let me explain in simple words. The patient has to wear these aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. He can remove them only during brushing and eating.
But, what happens if you miss them, or if you fail to use them regularly? You may end up prolonging your treatment time or may not get the expected result.
On the other hand, braces are fixed to teeth. There is nothing, the patient can do in this regard, except carrying them.
Each type of treatment has an advantage and disadvantage.
HOW ARE ALIGNERS DIFFERENT FROM BRACES?
Both aligners and braces try to move the teeth to the required position.
Braces use brackets that your dentist might cement onto the teeth. Stainless steel or Ni-Ti wire is used to apply the required force on the teeth.
On the other hand, aligners use attachments, which are small tooth-coloured dots on teeth, made of bonding material. They provide grip to the appliance and serve as anchor points to apply the desired pressure on teeth.
After obtaining the required position, your dentist might remove these attachments.
DOES THE DENTIST CUT MY TEETH DURING THE TREATMENT?
No! But some patients might require space to align the crowded teeth. In such a case, your dentist might opt for something called proximal stripping.
Proximal stripping is a procedure where your dentist reshapes the interproximal margins of teeth. It creates a gap between teeth and aid in creating space for teeth alignment.
It is a safe procedure and does not carry any side-effects. On the other hand, excess stripping may cause nonvital teeth which may require a root canal.
READ MORE: HOW MUCH DOES A ROOT CANAL COST?
HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD I USE EACH ALIGNER?
It depends on your treatment plan and your orthodontist who plans it. Usually, an aligner requires 10 to 20 days of time frame.
HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I VISIT MY DENTIST DURING MY TREATMENT?
This is a common question that many of my patients ask. Many of you might think aligners as a single visit treatment, as all the aligners set are given on the first day itself.
But some times an orthodontic revision may be advisable, and a MID COURSE REVISION MAY BE ADVISED. It means that the aligner set may be revised and a new set of aligners might come in the middle of the treatment.
It depends on your dentist. If he thinks that the necessary correction is not obtained, he might opt for a “MID COURSE REVISION.”
Hence orthodontist visit is a must even after you start aligner treatment or you have all set of aligners. AND WE RECOMMEND A MONTHLY VISIT TO ALL OUR PATIENTS WHO ARE ON ALIGNERS.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE LOSE THE ALIGNER?
There can be situations where you may lose your aligner. In such a condition, your dentist will review the situation. If he is satisfied with the tooth movement, he may advise to move on to the next aligner or he may recommend a new aligner.
Aligners are the most aesthetic way of straightening your teeth.
Any doubt! Kindly comment below to get a valid answer.
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