If you are an adult with misaligned teeth, you have probably read about invisible aligners and will know how they have taken the adult orthodontic world by storm.
But, if you know little about them, it is well worth doing a bit of research before asking your dentist about trying them.
So, what do you need to know about Invisalign St John’s Wood before treatment? Here is a very simple, introductory guide to this aligner. Enjoy!
The aligner; how it works
The invisible aligner works by using pre-shaped plastic aligners to gently push on your teeth, moving them into the desired position.
These aligners are custom-fitted and, during your treatment, you may have to wear up to 14 different ones. They are removable, and you will be in charge of changing between them, keeping them clean and overseeing the majority of the treatment under the care of a trained dental team.
Consultation and prediction
At your consultation, your dentist will assess your suitability based on the alignment or issue you present with.
If you are deemed suitable, a set of 3D scans will be taken of your teeth to help predict the shape of the aligners you will need. These scans are then sent to an orthodontic laboratory, where a computer programme ‘realigns’ your digital teeth and predicts how many aligners will be needed as well as their shape.
These are then printed using a 3D printer and sent back to your dentist. Typically, you will need to wear each aligner for 14 days before moving on to the next one in the sequence.
Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of your dentist to decide whether you are suited or not for invisible aligners.
However, they are suited for correcting mild to moderate cases of misalignment and can be used to treat more complex cases of spacing and overcrowding. But, to be suitable for invisible aligners, you have to be over the age of 18, have good oral and physical health and also be able to follow the daily use guidelines.
If your dentist has concerns about this, they may decide to use a clear brace as an alternative.
When using an invisible aligner, follow your dentist’s recommendations for daily wear; generally, this is up to 22 hours per day.
When cleaning your aligner, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove debris and only use cold water to prevent warping. If you remove the aligner when you are at work, school or anywhere else, place it into the carry case provided to prevent it from becoming damaged.
When you wear an invisible aligner, most dentists will advise against smoking as this can cause your gums to recede and increase the risk of gum disease.
It is also advisable when wearing an invisible aligner to invest in a mini toothbrush for when you are at work or school. After you remove the aligner to eat and before you put it back in, you will need to clean your teeth to prevent plaque and bacteria from being pushed against your teeth as this could lead to cavities.