Invisible orthodontics or clear braces in W1 have become more common amongst patients in London than ever before. It’s easy to see why, or perhaps we should say not so easy! They are subtle in public situations, easy to maintain and largely effective.
Although there have been doubts about their effectiveness, studies into the use of clear aligners in orthodontics was performed by the BoS (the British Orthodontic Society), in order to settle the matter and advise government lawmakers on how dental aligners should be perceived and regulated as orthodontic tools, or considered a form of non-invasive cosmetic treatment.
The BoS came to the conclusion that the clear aligner was effective on mild-to-moderate orthodontic conditions which did not involve either the moving of the molars or altering the pallet width.This means that aligners would never be able to replace the standard brace for the breadth of conditions they could treat, but for a great deal of patients, a clear aligner would be more than suitable in meetings than all the other techniques in any far more convenient manner.
There was an interesting correlation in the ineffective use of aligners and how they were implemented. Aligners provided by regular dental clinics when used in conjunction with the advice of a local dentist followed a very similar trend in being highly effective. Whereas aligners provided via the mail used with minimal to no oversight had a wider range of effectiveness, often matching the effectiveness of aligners used in clinics but there were many instances in which they were not effective at treating orthodontic misalignments, but had actually aggravated them. This led to the British Orthodontic Society taking a stance they support, the use of the aligners in dentistry but only within a clinical setting under the guidance of a fully qualified dental practitioner.
Goals and expectations
The British Orthodontic Society concluded that the variability that was found in at home aligners was partially related to patients misusing their aligners, simply due to being misinformed. And partially due to the implementation of treatment with clear aligners with conditions that were far too complicated for them ever to realistically be able to resolve. They are an example of a medical treatment being oversold and seen simply as a consumer product rather than part of a diagnostic treatment pathway.
Conversely, aligners are only being used very conservatively in clinics in the most simple cases, with braces after being recommended where an aligner could not have met the treatment needs. This is largely because of the inertia of dentists and their familiarity with the traditional brace over than newer aligners. In turn, this resulted in less aligners being used and them having a higher percentage success rate than would be expected.
Retaining progress with a retainer
For aligners provided via the mail one of the main selling points is the treatment length; many of the patients were extremely eager to complete their treatment. Discussion over the use of the retainers was put off until treatment was completed in order to give the impression of faster treatment times and in some cases, retainers were not offered at all.