Realigning teeth

The neat pearly whites of the successful and affluent seem so effortless, but a lot goes into them, not that you could tell from the carefree smiles. High quality orthodontic work doesn’t have to be expensive or include using awkward, albeit effective, metal braces. With Invisalign St John’s Wood a new option in affordable, convenient, orthodontic care has been created, allowing patients to rearrange their teeth and straighten their smile in comfort, with ease. But how does it work and is it suitable for you?

How do clear aligners work?

Clear aligners work by consistently placing pressure on your teeth in order to encourage them to adopt new positions. This is much the same as any other orthodontic tool. The inventive thing about aligners is that they contain all of the necessary adjustments that would occur throughout the course of treatment with a metal brace, already integrated into the sequence of plastic aligners.

This is achieved using a simulation of the patient’s mouth. A high fidelity replica of the human mouth has been designed and is operated inside ClinCheck software. Once this has been calibrated for the patient in question, the entire orthodontic procedure can be replicated in the software, realigning, and rotating teeth and checking for a well-fitting effective bite.

With the patient’s treatment having been carried out, at least in a digital theoretical sort of way, the aligners which can carry out that treatment in real life can be reverse engineered. This leads to a series of aligners that, if used in the order prescribed, will alter tooth position as shown in the simulation. In a typical set, there may be 14 to16 aligners.

What is it like to use clear aligners?

One of the drawbacks with traditional braces is how visually obvious they are and how they feel in a patient’s mouth. This is one of the things that put adults off engaging with orthodontic care and the reason why there are so many flocking to use clear aligners.

Their lightweight profile and translucent appearance makes them easy to put in and forget about and they are almost completely invisible in social situations. This allows orthodontic treatment to become fully compatible with business meetings, both live and online, as well as big personal events like weddings or birthdays.

Another big move forwards is the convenience which clear aligners have created, with flexibility in installing and uninstalling at will. It is certainly the case that without consistent wear they would be ineffective treatment. 20 hours a day is strongly recommended to achieve your aesthetic goals, but by allowing patients to remove their orthodontic device to eat, this streamlines the cleaning and maintenance process. It also removes the biggest risk to them becoming damaged when attempting to chew hard foods.

Unlike a brace, clear aligners do completely cover the surface of the teeth and disrupt the flow of natural saliva, making it still important to brush after meals before replacing the aligner, but not for the same reason as braces. With braces the action of brushing is focussed on removing food particles from between the brackets of the tooth and the archwire, a tedious process that often has to be carried out with interdental brushes.