What is Invisible Orthodontic Care?



Have you heard about Invisalign Weybridge? With its capacity to correct misaligned teeth with minimal fuss, in a way that will go completely unnoticed? Read on to take a look at clear aligners and see exactly how they work and what they could do for you. 

How clear aligners started 
Clear aligners are an orthodontic tool whose job is to move teeth from their current location to a new permanent one. It might sound challenging but teeth are surprisingly dynamic, always in a state of motion, shuffling about in accordance with the forces put on them each and every day. Without this feature, teeth would be quite brittle; bamboo that does not blow in the wind snaps so they say! With a bit of careful planning, this movement can be used to change tooth position. If force is consistently applied in the same direction over a long enough period of time, teeth will adjust in order to compensate for it. Orthodontic tools are a means of applying force consistently to the teeth. Clear aligners are no different but what leads them to stand out from braces is that they don't! Stand out that is! Being entirely transparent, they often go unnoticed. The first experiments started out in the 1970s with dental splints. These strips were individually crafted for the patient and although these early trial studies showed them to be effective, there was no way to economically implement a treatment that required so much custom fitting for a device used for such a short period of time. 

Pushing the boundaries 
What brought invisible aligners to dental clinics across the country was the innovative use of CAD cam design and 3D scanning, mixed with 3D printing, in order to cover the extreme level of tailoring each aligner needs to go through to be effective. This started in the 1990s and was tested with many different dental technologies to see if it was viable.

What is clear aligner treatment like? 
The first stage of treatment with aligners is the fitting, although it is quite different to how braces are fitted; aligners are temporary and nothing is affixed to the patient's teeth. A fitting session for clear aligners is a detailed 3D oral scan allowing a model to be constructed of the patient's mouth in high resolution. This 3D scan is used as a basis and is fed into an anatomical model, which is used to create the set of aligners. When paired with the powerful ClinCheck software which links clinics but is run on a central server, patients can see in real-time how their future treatment will pan out. This gives excellent clarity and a practical method of making an informed decision, before meeting the financial and time commitment to the orthodontic treatment. Treatment schedules vary, but 4 to 11 months is common, with treatment focussing on the most visually significant front teeth and aligners are usually used for cosmetic rather than major alterations. Unlike braces that apply force to take an arch wire, clear aligners store that tension in the elastic formation of the material itself; this reduces the maximum force and the maximum distance that they can apply that over. They get similar results to a brace; a whole sequence of aligners that are used one after another, each one for about 2 weeks for the entire length of the treatment schedule.

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