More and more adults are realizing the importance of getting their bite and facial esthetics improved. However, their major deterrent to orthodontic treatment is the visibility of the orthodontic appliance, which often makes them choose less ideal alternative treatment options (not involving orthodontics).
Clear Removable Aligners
- One of the recent developments in orthodontic treatment is the use of clear removable aligners. These aligners are removable appliances which are transparent and hence almost invisible when fitted over teeth. Being removable, the patient can also take them off on socially sensitive occasions (though very occasionally). Patients are provided a series of aligners which have to be progressively changed every 1-3 weeks. These gradually move the teeth to their desired position. These aligners are comfortable and require minimal adjustment. Appointments are usually of short duration as most of the work is done in the labs in the absence of the patient. In indicated cases, transparent removable aligners are increasingly popular treatment options in our practice. Though initially used to correct only minor problems in adults, with ongoing technological advances, clear aligners are now being used to correct a wide variety of increasingly complex orthodontic problems in both teenagers and adults. Among the various clear aligner systems, we offer is “Invisalign”, the most advanced and popular clear aligner system in the world.
- Invisalign is the most advanced and widely used clear aligner system in the world, with over six million cases treated globally. It is the most researched clear aligner treatment system, with over 20 years of development, research and innovations. It holds more than 450 patents and is the worlds largest user of 3D printing technology.
The advantages of clear aligners include
- Nearly Invisible – Clear aligners are much less visible compared to traditional fixed appliances, where the brackets and wires can be easily seen. Hence, they are a more esthetic alternative to labial fixed appliances.
- Less Diet Restrictions – Unlike fixed appliance (braces), Clear aligners are removable. The patient removes them from eating and drinking. Hence there are far fewer diet restrictions with aligners compared to fixed braces and the patient can eat most of their favorite foods during treatment with clear aligners.
- Easier Hygiene Maintenance – As these aligners are removed for brushing and flossing, it is easier to maintain oral hygiene as compared to braces.
- Lesser Treatment Appointments – Since most of the treatment planning and appliance fabrication is done by computer simulation outside the mouth, the patient is seen every 6-8 weeks with clear aligners while for fixed appliances appointments are more frequent and numerous. The total duration of appointments is also usually lesser with aligners.
- More Comfortable And Less Emergency Visits – The absence of brackets and wires normally leads to less lip, cheek and tongue irritation. Emergency appointments are also much less with aligners as there are no wires, brackets etc. which can come loose.
A 43-year-old man with spacing between teeth treated with clear aligners
Limitations of Aligners
- In our opinion, the gold standard of orthodontic treatment as far as versatility in treatment planning and final treatment results are concerned still remains labial (outside) fixed appliances for most cases. However, because of the above-listed advantages, Clear aligners (especially Invisalign) can be a suitable and preferred treatment option for many patients.
- We offer world-class lingual orthodontics, wherein braces are bonded on the inside (lingual) surface of teeth making orthodontic treatment ‘invisible’.
- Compared to traditional braces placed on the outer surface of teeth, treatment with lingual braces has certain disadvantages and limitations. As they are placed on the inside surface of teeth, they can initially be irritating to the tongue. However, this usually settles down within a week’s time. Accessibility being more on the outside surface of teeth compared to the inside, appointments take a longer duration of time with lingual braces as compared to traditional (outside or labial) braces. The total no of sittings needed for lingual treatment is the same or slightly more than labial treatment. The higher cost of the appliance and greater demands on the doctor’s professional skill and time makes lingual orthodontics more costly than labial orthodontics.
- However, Lingual braces being virtually invisible throughout the treatment, their extreme esthetic advantage compared to outside braces (both metal and tooth-colored) makes them the preferred treatment option for many late teenagers and adults.
- At our clinic, for the last several years we have been using fully customized lingual appliance systems with brackets and wires manufactured to suit the need of each individual patient. This makes lingual orthodontic treatment extremely efficient, predictable and comfortable for the patient.
- Among the various customized lingual options we offer our patients is “Incognito”, arguably the most highly rated customized lingual orthodontic appliance system globally.
A 23 year old girl with rotated and proclined upper front teeth treated with lingual orthodontics