Why Clear Aligners?
- Low Cost
- Less Thickness
- No Regular Check-Ups
- Retainers Included
Orthodontic Braces and Invisalign / Clear Aligners
Advantages of Aligners over Traditional Braces:
Irregularly placed teeth, crowded/crooked teeth, Spacing or gaps between teeth:
Any of these issues will not only make you feel over conscious about the way you look but also restrain you from giving a beautiful smile or to laugh freely in public.
Apart from these esthetic issues, the irregular alignment of teeth will become a hindrance to the average maintenance of one’s oral hygiene. The spaces, overlapping of teeth, rotation of certain teeth make it impossible for the tooth brush bristles to clean all the surfaces of the teeth. This improper hygiene in turn will result in food deposition, eventually causing gum disease and tooth decay.
To summarize, the ideal alignment of teeth in the jaws is very important to not only to have great aesthetics, but also to maintain the health and function of the teeth.
So What is the solution for my crooked teeth?
When the teeth are in a completely healthy state, except for their alignment, your dentists will advise you to get dental braces done.
What are dental braces?
Dental braces are wire based appliances, which are used by the Orthodontist to correct misaligned teeth.
What problems can be addressed with dental braces?
Crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, misaligned teeth, rotated teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and many other malocclusions can be corrected with the help of dental braces.
What to expect from dental braces?
Dental braces are targeted to straighten the teeth according to the jaw, so that the teeth are well placed to maintain their function and appearance. During this orthodontic treatment, brackets are fixed onto the teeth. A metal wire is then used to apply forces in certain particular directions so that the teeth are moved in specific, desired position. This active phase is followed by giving some retainers, which will help to stabilize the teeth in the new position. By the end of the treatment, one can expect their teeth to be positioned in an ideal way.
Types of dental braces
Traditional braces include placing metal brackets on the teeth. A metal wire is then fixed onto these brackets with the help of elastics. Although this technique is being used since ages, it can be cumbersome to have elastics on each tooth. It also complicates the ease of maintaining oral hygiene, as they incorporate many parts like brackets, wire, elastics.
Self-ligating braces like Damon are a new and advanced technology, wherein, the brackets have a self-ligating slot, into which the wire is fixed. This self-incorporating wire, not only eliminates the use of elastics on each tooth, but also allows the free movement of the tooth in the desired direction.
Why Damon braces are better than traditional braces?
- No elastics on each tooth (reduced friction and free tooth movement)
- Faster treatment than traditional braces because of reduced friction
- Smaller in size and less irritating to the lips
- Self-ligating brackets use sliding mechanism
Damon Metal and Damon Ceramic Brackets
The brackets can either be made of a metal or ceramic. Metal brackets might feel un-esthetic to few patients. In such conditions, one can go for ceramic brackets which are transparent and are similar to the tooth color.
Lingual braces are same as the regular metal braces. The only difference is the position where the metal brackets are attached to the tooth. In lingual braces, the brackets are placed on the inner side of the teeth making them almost invisible. But their disadvantages outrun their use, discomfort, inability to correct severe cases, longer duration of treatment, and disturbance in the speech being the most important ones.
Are there any alternatives to braces for my teeth?
Sometimes, few patients prefer to not have fixed dental braces on their teeth. They can either be very much concerned about the appearance of metal brackets or may think that they are older to get braces done. In such instances, there is an advanced option to get your orthodontic treatment done, with the help of clear aligners or Invisalign.
Clear aligners are a set of clear trays, made of a certain material which is used to straighten the teeth little by little over a period of time without the use of metal brackets.
What are the different types of aligners?
Invisalign, clear correct, illusion, etc… Although, every aligner is targeted at straightening the teeth, there are several names based on the manufacturers.
Why clear aligners?
Aesthetics has become a major priority in this present day life. Not every individual is opting to get metal braces done to correct crooked teeth. So majority of the patients are choosing clear aligners now.
Are clear aligners only for adults?
No. Anyone can undergo braces treatment with the help of clear aligners. The major advantage of clear aligners is that you don’t need regular orthodontic check-ups to get the treatment activated. So in cases where the parents cannot get their children to the dentist every month, this can be the best alternative. Instances where you are travelling a lot and cannot visit the dentist, or when you don’t want to wear the metal braces, these aligners will be the perfect choice to get your teeth well aligned.
Invisalign vs. Clear Aligners
Invisalign has been a pioneer in aligners. Thankfully there are several affordable alternatives for invisalign. Clear aligners are as effective as Invisalign and are the preferred aligner in India.
The chief goal of both the aligners is to straighten the teeth, but there are certain differences between the two which are discussed below.
Cost of Invisalign/Clear Aligners: The price of Invisalign is always a major concern for many patients and clear aligners is definitely the best known cheaper alternative. The major cutoff in the price is attributed to the lab and orthodontist charges, which are very much less in clear aligners when compared to Invisalign.
Material Thickness: Invisalign is made of a thick plastic which is durable and less prone to damage. Whereas clear aligners are relatively thinner, making them less visible and easier to maintain
Visits to the Dentist: Invisalign clear trays are delivered in regular intervals of 4-6 weeks. So the patient is called for an appointment, once in every 30-40 days. Clear Aligner trays on the other hand, are delivered to the patient in a single appointment including retainers, thereby providing a single visit orthodontic treatment in India.
Duration: The total duration of the treatment again depends on the complexity of the treatment. Mild cases can be corrected in duration of 6-8 months. Moderate cases might require 12-14 months and a more complex case might require 14-18 months of duration. There is however no much difference between Invisalign and clear aligners in total duration of the treatment.
Advantages of aligners over traditional braces
Invisible: The aligners are invisible and are difficult to make out unless very keenly observed. Traditional braces have metal brackets which are very prominent and are clearly visible.
Dental Visits: No need of regular check-ups to the orthodontist. All the aligners are given to the patient so that they don’t need to come for regular check-ups.
Predictable Outcome: The final outcome of the treatment can be visualized beforehand. So the patient knows how the aligners will alter the position of the teeth, and hoe they will look after.
Removable: the clear trays are removable and can easily be cleaned from time to time. They are easily removed while chewing, or during some important social gatherings when you don’t want anyone to notice the trays.
Easy Maintainenance: Since the aligners are removable, they allow adequate brushing in all the areas. This greatly reduces plaque accumulation and gum disease, which is commonly seen in patients with metal braces.
Customized: The aligners are customized for each patient and therefore provide customized effects and results for each patient.
No Dietary Restrictions: With metal braces, you are advised to restrain from hard and sticky food. Whereas with clear aligners, there are no such dietary restrictions.
Although the choice of clear aligners over metal braces has become very popular in the recent times, it certainly does have few disadvantages which can be overcome with take certain precautions.
No Regular Check-Ups: Since the aligners are with the patient, the outcome solely depends on strict use by the patient. Any ignorance in wearing the aligners for the suggested time frame might distort the entire treatment plan.
Initial Discomfort: Patients take some time to get adjusted to wearing and removing the trays. There might also be some speaking difficulty in the initial stages which can be overcome with practice.
Cost: No doubts, traditional braces are cheaper than aligners, but the price difference is very less.
Difficult to Treat Complex Cases: Clear aligners give effective results in cases of mild to moderate orthodontic correction. In Severe or extreme complex cases, it might be a little difficult and might need more time and more number of trays to achieve the intended goal.
Procedure of Clear Aligners
When you want to get aligners done, we will first take the impressions and photographs of your teeth. The teeth / impressions are then scanned to get the exact replication. After evaluating the size, shape, position of your teeth, the treatment plan is given by the orthodontist. The trays are then customized according to the treatment, considering all the finer corrections. A complete set of 3D models of your teeth, and trays, throughout the treatment process are fabricated. A video of entire treatment is shown to the patients before starting the treatment. In the video, expected teeth movements, duration of the treatment, number of trays required and the cost of the treatment is finalized.
Attachments on the teeth for implying force in the desired direction
Once the entire procedure is done, we will place few attachments on your teeth which will guide you in wearing the aligners in correct direction. These attachments, aid in applying force in the intended direction on the teeth and also assists you in knowing the trays are properly seated.
After giving the attachments, the patient is made to get habituated to the use of aligners. All the instructions will be given along with the complete set of trays.
Attachments on the teeth for implying force in the desired direction
During the first visit - We will get your complete oral prophylaxis done followed by taking your impressions or scanning of the teeth, full mouth X-Rays and photographs.
These initial records are sent to the lab to get a complete treatment plan and one set of “zero aligners” - to check the fit of the final trays are provided.
In the second visit - We will check the fit of the zero aligners and inform you the final treatment plant, duration and video showing final outcome of the treatment.
In the third appointment - In this final appointment, we will give certain attachments on the teeth and give you the final complete set of trays.
This entire treatment can be completed in 7-10 working days.
For how many hours should you wear the aligners?
Aligners should be work for 20-22 hours a day. They should be removed while having food and then worn right after.
Invisalign or clear aligner Packages
The total expense of aligner treatment depends upon the complexity of the orthodontic case. If there are only mild corrections, and it is a simple case, the treatment can be done in minimum number of trays and therefore in included in simple package.
In case of moderate corrections, the number of trays will be more and also the duration. In such cases the package considered to be a moderate one and accordingly the cost.
If there are major alterations, intended to be achieved at the end of the treatment, it is included in the comprehensive package, where there are unlimited trays, according to the necessity and the duration will be according to the expected changes.
Cost of Clear Aligners
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Conditions Treated with Aligners
Most of the commonly seen disturbances in the teeth alignment like crowding, spacing, under-bite, overbite, and cross-bite can easily be corrected using aligners.
The main reason of getting orthodontic treatment is to position the teeth in an ideal way. This correct position of teeth not only gives you better esthetics, but also has a very important role in the function and general maintenance of the teeth.
Crowded / crooked teeth
Crowded or crooked teeth are nothing but very closely placed teeth, or teeth overlapped by the adjacent teeth. It can be because of two reasons:
a) Very small jaw, to accommodate the teeth (or)
b) Bigger size teeth
Crooked teeth pose a great problem in maintaining the general health of your teeth. They create many areas where the tooth brush bristles cannot reach making it impossible to brush your teeth thoroughly. In the end you will have to adopt various oral hygiene aids without much success. This will finally lead to gum disease, decay and finally periodontal issues and bone loss. Clear aligners can be used to correct this crowding of teeth so that the teeth are well aligned and are easy to maintain.
Gaps between the teeth
Few patients might have a lot of spaces between there natural teeth. This again can be because of:
a) Smaller teeth in a normal size jaw (or)
b) Normal size teeth in a bigger jaw
These gaps between the teeth will greatly affect the appearance of an individual. The spaces between the teeth will also become an ideal place for food getting stuck which eventually leads to gum disease and decay. These spaces can easily be closed with the help of aligners, which will apply intended forces on the teeth and pushing the teeth closer.
Ideal Occlusion (Bite)
Bite is the manner in which your upper teeth contact the lower teeth. There is a certain way in which the upper and lower teeth relate to each other. It is important for the efficacy of chewing. When the teeth are completely closed, the back teeth are in close approximation, which help in grinding the food. The upper front teeth however overlap the lower teeth with an ideal gap of 2-4mm in both horizontal and vertical directions. This space is important for speech, esthetics and function.
Open Bite (Under-bite)
Open-bite is a condition where your upper teeth do not completely close with the lower teeth. This results in the presence of small gap between the teeth when you are biting, compromising your ability to properly chew the food. With aligners, the teeth are pulled out to some extent with the help of attachments, making them occlude in a correct way.
Over-Bite (Deep Bite)
Over bite or deep bite is when your teeth are overly closing when clenching your teeth. That is, there is no gap between the upper and lower front teeth. This results in traumatic bite, causing the lower teeth to wear out at a very rapid rate. It will finally result in sensitivity, root canal and/or may be extraction. Clear aligners help in creating that space between upper and lower front teeth so that they are in the correct position, eliminating the deteriorating effects in the long run.
As we know, there is a certain way in which the teeth should close to help in chewing and speech. When closing the back teeth, the lower fit into the upper teeth (the upper teeth are slightly outside the lower teeth). This helps in providing better chewing efficiency and also prevents cheek biting during function. A cross-bite is when the lower teeth are outside the upper teeth. This will greatly alter the bite and masticatory value. With aligners, we can correct this by pulling the lower teeth slightly inward and/or the upper teeth outward. This depends upon the jaw and teeth alignment of the patient and differs from one person to another.