What are Clear Aligners?
If you are looking for an orthodontic correction of your teeth for getting that beautiful smile, but you don’t want to wear those metallic braces then clear aligners or invisible aligners as they call it might be the ideal solution for you.
Clear liners are custom-made transparent trays made from a special material that work exactly like traditional metal braces. Because the aligner trays are made with a transparent material, they are practically invisible.
The trays are not hard fixed to your teeth and can be removed any time during the day. Since the trays can be removed at your convenience, it becomes easier for brushing, flossing and during meal times. Normally each tray is to be worn for a period of 15 days as it allows steady movement of the teeth to be shaped correctly.
The duration of the treatment using clear aligners can vary from person to person, depending on the condition of your teeth and on the amount of the work to be done. Ideally it takes less than a year to complete the treatment.
How do Clear Aligners Work?
Clear aligners work like any other orthodontic appliance—they apply pressure that gradually moves the teeth and reshapes the supporting bone. The process is fairly simple: First, the dentist captures the shape of the patient’s teeth by taking impressions or 3D scans.
The dentist then prescribes how the teeth should be straightened. Based on the dentist’s instructions, a series of virtual models of the teeth, progressing from crooked to straight are created.
These models are printed on a 3D printer, and used to create clear plastic trays called aligners. The patient snaps the aligners onto their teeth and wears them all day and all night, taking them out only to eat, drink, and brush their teeth.
The aligners are transparent, so most people don’t even notice them. Each aligner applies light pressure to certain teeth, pushing them closer to the desired position.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how this works.
Each tooth is surrounded by a periodontal ligament. This ligament is surrounded by fluid and tiny fibers that connect the teeth to the surrounding bone. As soon as the aligner is put on, it immediately starts applying pressure to the targeted teeth.
The fluid in the periodontal ligament prevents the tooth from moving at first, but within a few seconds, the fluid is expressed from the area, and the tooth moves to its new
position. The ligament is only about a quarter of a millimeter thick, so the teeth can only move a tiny distance at a time.
The pressure from the aligner compresses the blood vessels on one side of the ligament and dilates them on the other. After 4-6 hours of sustained pressure, the compressed ligament responds to this stress by producing enzymes and chemical messengers.
After a day or two of pressure, those chemicals begin to stimulate the production of bone cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Osteoclasts break down the bone near the compressed ligament. Meanwhile, osteoblasts build new bone on the opposite side of the tooth, preventing it from becoming too loose.
If the pressure of the aligners is interrupted for any significant length of time, the process has to start over from scratch. That’s why it’s critical to wear the aligners at least 22 hours per day, especially for the first few days of a new step.
If the bone doesn’t get reshaped, the teeth won’t stay straight. When the bone around the tooth finishes rebuilding, it’s time to take out the old aligners and move on to the next step. This rate of rebuilding can vary considerably between individuals—it usually takes longer for adults than it does for children and adolescents.
Each aligner moves the teeth a little bit further until the patient gets to the last step and the treatment is completed.
How much do clear aligners cost?
Clear aligners or invisible braces as they are called are now widely used to straighten the teeth as compared to metal braces and as such have become the modern alternative. Correction of teeth using invisible braces is a very pain-free and comfortable way of treatment and the pre-process is much simpler. However, the treatment cost using invisible aligners is on the higher side as compared to the traditional metal braces.
Teeth correction treatment using clear aligners can start as low as Rs. 50,000 and can go as high as Rs.400,000 depending upon your dentist and the brand of aligners used.
Some of the widely used brands of clear aligners are Invisalign, Toothsi, 3M and Aligner Factari.
So ready for clear aligners? Schedule a consultation with our Aligner Factari team and get invisible braces near you!