Invisible aligners, also known as clear aligners, are an orthodontic treatment that takes the place of braces to correct misaligned or crooked teeth. The clear aligners are virtually invisible and removable, offering the convenience and flexibility of a brace without affecting appearance. Orthodontists will make an individual aligner tray based on each patient’s degree of tooth misalignment (malocclusion). Invisalign are clear aligners that can be used to treat a wide range of dental problems such as:
- An overlapping set of teeth is known as crowding
- The upper front tooth overlaps the lower front tooth when its overbites
- Having upper and lower teeth overlap in the mouth is called an underbites
- Dental diastema means the teeth are spaced out, whether they are small or large
- There is a very rare type of malocclusion where the upper and lower front teeth slope outward in a closed mouth but do not touch
- Phase I orthodontic treatment can use clear aligners to move baby teeth into place so that permanent teeth can grow in. Children aged 6 – 10 can use clear aligners during phase I orthodontic treatment to make room for natural baby teeth
The clear aligners may be selected from two types:
The Invisalign system has been around for more than 50 years, making them the most popular. Invisalign aligners must be prescribed by a licensed doctor who practices Invisalign, and the procedure is more involved. Direct-to-consumer aligners, or at-home aligners, are generally less expensive than in-office ones. We provide treatment remotely, so you needn’t visit a dentist or an orthodontist for preventative care. Clear, medical-grade, BPA-free plastic is used for both in-office and at-home aligners. Your gums may not even touch some aligners. Scalloped edges make them less irritating and almost invisible, as they sit along your gum line.
Aligners other than those manufactured by at-home providers are not trimmed along the gum line. The results would be that your gums would partially be covered, which could cause more irritation early on. But it’s usually only mild discomfort. An orthodontic consultation will be your first step. Dental consultations involve a dental examination and a digital scan of your mouth that is taken by a dentist. Once the treatment plan has been established, the procedure can begin. Before your aligners are made, an electronic preview of your new smile will be provided to you. Even though patients can mail in molds of their teeth using a “goopy putty”, some brands of clear aligners also allow patients to visit an orthodontist for consultation via mail.