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Fixing Smiles Without Metal Braces

Fixing Smiles Without Metal Braces

Re-ranking teeth and fixing smells have too long been associated with traditional metal braces.  Braces have fixed tens of thousands of smiles and been used all over the world for over 100 years. So nobody is doubting their clinical effectiveness. But it’s unlikely that they have ever been considered a positive accessory or a plus to anyone’s aesthetics. They have associations with awkward teenage years, so undertaking them as an adult treatment is a daunting concept. But not anymore, with Invisalign Plymouth opening up new treatment options and opportunities.

Orthodontic treatment

The underlying principles of orthodontic treatment are extremely simple. Teeth respond to pressure; by moving and consistently applying pressure to a tooth in a certain direction, it will take on a new position. Unfortunately, in practice, many complexities get in the way. Firstly, appointment pressures, with you needing to see your orthodontist every 2 weeks can be tricky. Moving teeth consistently is tricky and that’s what metal braces have been doing for the last 100 years. But with crowded or over spaced teeth, there is a need to push them in multiple different directions. Sometimes, a crowded tooth will lean on its neighbours as it is being adjusted. All of these compound movements have to be manually considered and accounted for on a case by case basis. This is the role of an orthodontist. But this speciality also often increases the prices of the treatment too.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners turn the traditional orthodontic model on its head; rather than having to regularly attend clinics to have orthodontic braces adjusted building on the past progress, clear aligners carry out the orthodontic treatment before a single tooth has even moved a millimetre!

This is done by creating a simulation of your mouth; after 3D scans have been recorded, they are used to model the treatment.  An orthodontist trained in software modelling reorients your teeth into their final optimum position. Then, using heuristic algorithms, the necessary middle steps between the current tooth position and the final optimum position are worked out. This gives a set of movement paths. These movement paths also dictate and calculate an exact quantity of force on different areas of the teeth throughout the treatment schedule. It’s this pattern of forces that is used to design the aligners.

You could say the treatment has already been completed in the simulation before the very first aligner is worn by the patient.

Could this treatment be right for you?

For the vast majority of dental misalignments, an aligner based system would be appropriate. This includes overbite, underbite, crossbite and other complicated rotations. There are severe cases where clear aligners would be of limited use, as they usually involve arch extension or jaw modification.

Many misalignments were not considered severe enough to treat in childhood or are considered aesthetic. So, aligners are usually suitable and often a more economical option in these cases.

Finding a good clinic, for clear aligners

Many local clinics are partnered with aligner designers and manufacturers, in order to give the patients options beyond the standard metal brace.  For instance, some aligner providers keep a registrar of its partnered clinics, allowing you to easily find the closest one by postcode.

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