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Transparent aligners: how do they work and how do they differ from braces?

December 25, 2021

Modern dentistry offers many ways to correct a bite. You will hardly surprise anyone with bracket systems now. Everyone knows them, they give good results and are even considered fashionable. However, there is a more modern alternative to fixed braces – invisible aligners made of transparent polymer. This is a great option for those who do not know how to correct a bite without braces.

Aligners are almost invisible even at close range and move teeth delicately, without strong pressure. To achieve the maximum effect, they must be worn 20-22 hours a day and removed only during meals and brushing your teeth.

Each patient receives a set of different aligners on his hands, which must be successively changed every 1-2 weeks in accordance with the individual treatment plan. So, with smooth small steps, the teeth gradually move to the desired position.

Aligners: the pros and cons of a new method for correcting malocclusion
Pros of aligners:

Almost invisible from the outside.
Comfortable to care for. The patient does not have to buy a collection of additional products (brushes, wax, an orthodontic toothbrush, a special Superfloss thread) in order to clean his teeth properly.
Made of hypoallergenic medical thermoplastic material, no metallic elements and no sharp edges.
They do not require a change in the diet (they do not interfere with eating nuts and biting off apples), since they are removed during meals.
Have a predictable virtual result. The plan and timing of treatment become known at the stage of diagnosis.
Cons of aligners:

In some cases, they are less effective – for example, with pronounced skeletal anomalies.
They require total self-control and clear self-discipline, since they do not work “on the shelf” or “in your pocket”. They must be worn at all times as recommended by your healthcare professional.
What is the difference between braces and aligners?

Of course, aligners are a new word in teeth alignment. Unlike braces, aligners are removable and can be easily washed with a brush and paste. They do not interfere with daily oral hygiene and do not significantly affect the enamel of the teeth. Braces, on the other hand, require more complex daily hygiene, as they themselves contribute to the formation of plaque in areas that are difficult to clean.

The transparent bite correction plate does not put painful pressure on the teeth. The adaptation to it is fast, and the movement of the teeth to the planned position is gradual.

When wearing aligners, the number of visits to the dentist is reduced to once every 2-3 months. While the bite correction on braces requires a visit to the orthodontist’s office every 1-1.5 months.

It is also a great advantage that transparent orthodontics has a predictable treatment result. Preliminary scanning of the oral cavity and computer 3D modeling of the treatment plan allow you to see how the position of the teeth will change during the treatment.

Aligners or braces – which is better? Both are tools in the hands of an orthodontist. Each has its own pros and cons.