WHAT ARE ALIGNERS?
Aligners have rapidly gained popularity in the last decade as a more aesthetic alternative for conventional braces especially among teenagers and young adults. Clear Aligners are transparent orthodontic appliances that are used to correct teeth positioning. They use gentle constant force to align the teeth. They are essentially a plastic form of orthodontic braces. The big brand names in the Invisalign industry are Invisalign, Toothsie, Orthoclear, ClearCorrect etc.
WHO ARE ALIGNERS FOR?
They are popularly used for treating minor cases with tooth rotation, crowding or proclination . They are generally ineffective at treating major orthodontic cases, however a trained orthodontist might use them in addition to other methods as a treatment plan. Aligners are also not recommended to be used in children. In some instances aligners can prove to be a better choice of treatment, especially for teenagers, who tend to avoid braces for minor corrections as they fear bullying or being made fun of by their peers for wearing metallic braces. Also, the more crooked or misaligned the teeth, the longer it will take for treatment to be completed. Treatment usually takes between 10 and 24 months.
WHY ARE ALIGNERS BETTER?
The primary benefit of clear aligners is their aesthetic value and the invisibility of the appliance. They are also easily removable making it comfortable for the patient to remove and wear the appliance as they please. This allows lesser limitations and maintenance as compared to regular braces for the patients. It is also easier to brush and floss for the patient. Adolescents and teenagers become free to enjoy their favourite food and not feel left out among their peers. Furthermore, the direct to consumer model for aligners is slowing gaining popularity wherein the patients receive consultation and delivery of their aligners at the comfort of their home. They then monitor the treatment over digital platforms, saving time and travel costs of frequent visits for the patient.