Clear aligners are transparent, removable trays used to correct teeth positions as an alternative to braces. The treatment is ideally rendered by an Orthodontist who is specifically trained in teeth alignment and has experience with clear aligner systems by treating a good number of cases.
Currently there are many international clear aligner companies providing their services in India, and Invisalign tops the list being the pioneer in the field of Clear aligners and technologically the most advanced of all.
PROCEDURE FOR TREATMENT
The treatment involves the following steps:
1. Consult the Invisalign specialist
During the consultation, the Orthodontist will examine your teeth and determine if Invisalign is suitable for you or not. If yes, you can discuss about the treatment, alternative options , their pros and cons as well as your payment options.
This will also be your opportunity to ask any questions or concerns about Invisalign.
2. Customisation of your Treatment Plan
Once you are ready to go ahead with the treatment, your Orthodontist creates a treatment Plan for you. He/She will take x-rays, photographs and impressions of your teeth and send them to Invisalign laboratory along with your customised treatment plan. Invisalign will use these to create ClinCheck, a software program showing digital 3-D images of your teeth movements before and after the orthodontic treatment and send it back to the Orthodontist in 7-14 days for approval.
From these images, you can view the exact movements of your teeth, the final result and the approximate length of your treatment. Since every case is unique, the treatment duration can range from as low as 3 months to greater than 2 years, directly proportional to complexity of the case.
3. Fabrication of your aligners
Back in the Invisalign laboratory, your dental impressions are scanned with CAD-CAM(computer-aided-design and computer-aided-manufacturing) software and a series of stereolithographic models are made for stages between the current and desired teeth positions. Aligners are fabricated with a BPA-free thermoplastic material. Each aligner moves teeth by 0.25 to 0.33 millimeters. So six to fifty plus aligners may be needed to bring about the desirable teeth movements.
4. Delivery of the aligners
You will receive your set of Invisalign aligners in about 4-5weeks from the Orthodontist and start wearing them as per the instructions. For promised results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day, every day. The aligner is removed for brushing, flossing and eating only.
The aligners are changed sequentially every 2 weeks.To monitor your progress, the Orthodontist may recall you every six weeks or so. You may also need filing or removal of some teeth to make space for the teeth to move, as discussed on your initial consultation. For complicated tooth movements, small, tooth-colored composite attachments are fixed temporarily onto certain teeth for better control and are removed after completion of treatment.
5. Completion of treatment
Congratulations!You have reached the end of treatment and it is time to reveal your new smile! Remember, a retainer is a must to maintain the tooth positions achieved.
IS INVISALIGN RIGHT FOR YOU?
Invisalign is effective for correcting conditions like spaced or crowded teeth, openbite,overbite, underbite or crossbite problems.They can also realign teeth in patients who have experienced relapse after previous fixed orthodontic treatment. However they cannot correct discrepancies of the jawbone.
ADVANTAGES OF CLEAR ALIGNERS
- They are virtually invisible, so much so that most people may not even notice you are wearing them.
- These aligners are smooth and comfortable, and won't prick your cheeks and gums like traditional braces.
- You can remove them to eat and brush your teeth, so there are no diet restrictions to be followed and it is easier to clean.
- If your profession involves a lot of public interaction or travelling, the aligner treatment is not only convenient, but in some cases the only practical option as the frequency of checkups can be planned ahead as per your itinerary without having to interrupt and delay treatment.
DISADVANTAGES OF CLEAR ALIGNERS
- Not all malocclusions are treatable effectively with clear aligners, for example complex or skeletal discrepancies are better treated with traditional braces or orthognathic surgery.
- The aligners will not work well if not worn as prescribed. Patient compliance is critical for treatment success.
- Compared to traditional braces and some indigenious aligners, Invisalign is made using advanced cutting-edge technology, perfected with years of research and development and hence is priced more. However since it is a customised treatment plan unique for every patient, it is offered for either upper or lower teeth or both and for simple or complex cases or for adults or teen patients, and cost varies accordingly.