Imagine yourself attending a grand wedding or a party. You are well dressed and you get ready to pose for a photo you smile wide. Oops..! You have got metal braces on your teeth..! You look good even with braces, but you might wish nobody saw that you are wearing braces. That is why you should know about clear aligners.
What are clear aligners?
As the name suggests, clear aligners are clear/transparent trays that are custom-made to align/straighten your teeth without others noticing that you have it on your teeth.They are removable and comfortable to wear, unlike conventional braces, which are fixed and may not be very comfortable for you. These are made of plastic and can be easily inserted and removed by yourself
How do aligners work?
Your Dentist will scan your mouth to create 3-D models of your teeth, based on which a set of clear aligners are made by the lab. These aligners are given with instructions about how and when to wear each set. Once the first set is worn, it applies a required force to the teeth and moves them to the desired position. Once it reaches a predetermined position, the next set is worn to move the tooth further and the process is repeated.
How effective are clear aligners?
Clear aligners can be used for correcting many cases, but it cannot be used in all situations. Because, there are some cases where you need braces and other appliances or even implants or surgeries to align your teeth. Braces can be used in complex cases, while aligners are mostly used for comparatively simpler corrections.
In addition to that, it needs good patient co-operation. Since it is removable, chances are high that the person who wears it may not wear it for the required amount of time, i.e., around 22 hours per day.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of clear aligners? What makes it different from conventional treatment with braces?
- The major advantage, as mentioned earlier, is its transparent appearance, which deceives people into thinking that you are not undergoing any orthodontic treatment. Braces can be completely metallic or with ceramic/tooth colored brackets. If you are having ceramic brackets, only single wires will be seen over upper and lower teeth (brackets will be almost undetectable unless you see it from a near distance). But even that single wire is absent in case of clear aligners.
- Second significant advantage is that you don’t have to worry about what you eat. If you’re wearing braces, you will have to compromise on your food, as the braces are fixed to your teeth always. You may not be able to chew on hard food as the wire may break, or sticky food as it will be very difficult to clean the braces. On the contrary, you have to remove clear aligners while eating (as it may get damaged) and thus you will have the freedom to eat whatever you want. But you have to make sure to clean your mouth properly as food debris shouldn’t be there between your teeth, under the clear aligner.
What is the cost for clear aligners?
Dental labs in our country offer treatment plans which are affordable compared to foreign brands like Invisalign. The total cost of treatment varies depending on the amount of correction needed for your teeth, as the number of trays will vary according to that. It’s not possible to suggest a cost of treatment without a consultation.
But, if we say an amount for you to get an idea, the average price range for clear aligners made by labs in our country may be INR 50,000 to 2 lakhs and Invisalign may cost around 3-5 lakhs (it will increase or decrease according to the correction needed for your teeth). The cost of the treatment can be finalized only by your dentist, after getting reports from the dental lab.
- Clear aligners are almost invisible, comfortable, easy-to-maintain substitute for conventional dental braces which let you smile with confidence.
- Aligners cannot be used in complex cases and are costly when compared to braces.
- Its treatment period is comparatively lesser than that of braces and the number of appointments is also less.
FAQs on clear aligners
In many cases Yes, but if your teeth’s alignment is very complicated to correct, it may not be possible to correct them with aligners
Yes, they generally can. But consult with your dentist to see if there are any underlying causes for the gap in your teeth.
Not always. They can’t be used to correct complex cases. But they are definitely good in terms of looks, comfort, lesser appointments, lesser treatment duration and easy maintenance.
Yes, they can on many cases. But you dentist has to examine and check whether you need braces treatment due to your teeth arrangement’s complexity.
Your dentist will examine your mouth and determine whether you can get clear aligner treatment, based on the complexity of your teeth’s alignment.
Yes. You can smile confidently without being conscious of braces, you can eat whatever you wish to eat, you don’t have to travel to dental clinic for monthly appointments and it’s very comfortable to wear too.