Clear aligners and all that…

Invisalign, Smile Direct, Clear Correct are all companies that use aligners to move your teeth.

It is a technique that has been used for years now but in the age of digital scanning and printing we can offer far more than just pushing the odd tooth.

That said, there are still downsides to aligners so here are the things to think about before you fork out your money:

Will you wear your aligners?

Aligners are removable.  Its why some people like them. BUT ask yourself, if they are removable, and you are having them because you like the idea of removing them, how are they going to work?

To move teeth, you need to apply a constant, low-grade pressure on teeth.  Therefore, for aligners to work you need to wear them for 22 hours a day.  Minimum.  This is a massive commitment and one you need to think about before starting treatment.

Will aligners work for you?

Certain movements are just not easy to achieve with Aligners.  Remember, aligners are pieces of plastic that can only exert pressure on your teeth if they can get leverage.  This is sometimes very difficult to achieve.  Here are two such examples.

Over erupted teeth:

When your front teeth don’t touch they can over erupt – in this case the lower teeth have erupted up past the upper front teeth.

Squashing them back in with aligners is VERY difficult. Where does the aligner get enough leverage to push the teeth back down?

Large rotations:

Teeth that are heavily rotated cannot be straightened easily with aligners.  Think.  How is the plastic going to rotate those teeth?

Sometimes dentists need to glue handles to the teeth in order to move them.

Who is doing the Aligners?

There are a whole range of providers that you can buy your aligners from:

Direct to your door

Direct providers such as Smile Direct provide aligners straight to you with very little input from dentists.

The upsides are clear, it’s cheaper than seeing a dentist BUT only if it works.

The downsides, well they are a bit more subtle.  I can think of two main ones:

  • Who is responsible for your treatment? If it doesn’t work, who do you talk to?  Read through the Trustpilot reviews and see what you think.
  • Aligners rarely work on their own. You need a combination of attachments (small blocks glued to your teeth) and IPR ( polishing in between the teeth to make room) for the treatment to be a success.

 

Dentists

There are many skilled clinicians that offer great treatment using aligners, but they tend to know their limits.  They also tend to have been trained to a high level and offer other forms of brace treatment.

There are also some clinicians that have done a 2-to-6-day course with the aligner company themselves and start offering aligners.

You need to be aware though that Aligner companies motivate dentists to do more and more cases.  The more you do, the greater the discount you get from the company.

Orthodontists

Some, but not all orthodontists offer aligner treatment.  Those that do tend to offer a very good service, planned out to a high level and if anything goes awry can also move you onto fixed braces if you need them.

Still not sure?

DO NOT HAVE ALIGNERS – If you are not sure of your commitment to wearing them 22 hours a day.  Don’t waste your money and get fixed braces.

If you think you will wear aligners 22 hours a day but are unsure if you are suitable, then get in touch via email or WhatsApp. Send a video of your teeth following this format here and I’ll give you an opinion.

I hope this has been of use to you in learning more about what we do and why we do it.

Got any questions or want to get in touch?  Just email me.

Take care all

Stuart

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