Clear aligners are a cosmetic alternative to the more traditional braces. Invisalign treatment involves the use of sequential clear aligners to align the teeth and correct the bite. The aligners are changed weekly or as prescribed by your orthodontist.
Invisalign is probably the most well known system. The Invisalign company has been around since the late 1990’s, but the underlying concept of using clear aligners to move teeth has been around much longer (since at least the 1950’s). In the last 20 years, there are now over 6 million patients that have been treated with Invisalign worldwide. Other clear aligner systems include SPARKTM and Clarity alignersTM.
Patients interested in clear aligners will need to have digital scans (moulds) of their teeth taken first. These scans are uploaded to a digital software platform. Your orthodontist then checks and modifies the digital plan on the computer. When he or she is satisfied with the proposed treatment, the plan is approved and the sequential aligners are fabricated. The aligners are all slightly different, and are staged to move the teeth up to 0.2 mm per aligner or up to 1 degree of rotation. Sometimes additional aligners are required, but this is generally included in the original treatment cost too.
Clear aligners are fast gaining in popularity, but there are still some cases where clear aligner treatment is either not suitable or less efficient than the more conventional braces. Your orthodontist can best advise you if clear aligner treatment is a suitable treatment option for your bite.