Clear Aligners - Invisalign

Harrison Dental Care

Clear Aligners -  Invisalign

Clear aligner treatment is a form of orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth, close the gaps between the teeth or to improve the appearance.  This procedure involves the use of sequential plastic trays that gently guide the teeth into new position.  These plastic trays are also known as aligners and when worn correctly are almost invisible for a casual observer.  As a result, the clear aligner treatment is gaining popularity.

Invisalign is just one brand of clear aligner and is very popular among general public.  However, there are many other brands like Clear Correct, SureSmile, etc that are also popular.

How does it work?

Your dentist will take photos, X-rays and an impression or scans of the teeth and send all this information with a prescription to the clear aligner laboratory. The dentist and the lab jointly create a computer-generated three-dimensional model of the mouth with a treatment plan for the desired teeth movement. The aligners are then printed or fabricated by the lab and sent to dentist’s office. The aligners are then custom fitted in the patient’s mouth and each sequential aligner will apply a targeted pressure to the teeth, slowly moving them into alignment. The dentist monitors the progress periodically and inserts new set of aligners. The treatment period varies from a few months to over a year. Clear aligner treatment can be used to treat crowding, spacing, overjet and overbite etc. Often, the treatment includes placement of small tooth coloured attachments over your teeth to achieve desired tooth movement. Those attachments are easily removed after the treatment.

How long should I wear aligner and how do take care of them?

Aligners are worn at least 22 hours a day and they are taken out when brushing, eating, drinking hot coffee etc. Patients should brush their teeth normally and also brush their aligners under tap water to keep them hygienic. Not everyone is a good candidate for clear aligners and some complex orthodontic cases need fixed orthodontics. Your dentist will determine this during the initial consultation.