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Plastic Aligners versus Regular Braces

Posted on October 31, 2018 with 0 comments

Is There a Difference in Treatment Outcomes Between Plastic Aligners and Regular Braces?

  • No. Teeth move because gentle forces are applied to them. These forces are applied in a specific way to achieve the desirable movement to guide the teeth to their correct and final position.
  • Forces can be applied to the tooth via either metal wires or plastics:
  • With plastics :
    • Tooth colored attachments are placed on the teeth to aid in creating the right forces to change the position of the teeth.
    • As the braces are removed at the end of treatment, so will the tooth colored attachments.
    • Retainers will still be needed, regardless of the mode of treatment with wires or plastic.

What is “Clear Aligner” Treatment?

  • Clear aligners are a type of plastic aligner that can also be used for tooth movement in most cases, with a few exceptions.
  • Clear aligners are usually referred to as “Invisalign” by most people. However, there are several other providers of clear aligners besides the “Invisalign” company.
  • Advantages of clear aligner treatment are:
    • Next to invisible;
    • Clear aligners can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing, as well as for major social events such as a party;
    • The follow up visits to the orthodontist office are less frequent; and
  • The above advantages, especially being almost invisible, are the main reasons why clear aligners are preferred by both adults and teenagers.

Describe the Clear Aligner Treatment Process

  • Your orthodontist will first determine the optimum treatment plan for you using clear aligners. To do this:
    • X-rays, photos and impressions (or a scan) of your teeth will be obtained;
    • This information is entered into a computer software program (developed by the clear aligner provider), which will design a treatment plan to best achieve a perfect smile (as well as a healthy bite).
  • After review by your orthodontist, the treatment plan is sent to the clear aligner provider. The clear aligner provider will make a series of plastic aligners, and send them to your orthodontist’s office.
  • You will receive a set of clear aligners from your orthodontist at each scheduled visit:
    • You will wear each set for 10 to 14 days, before you move on to the next set;
    • You must wear each set for 22 hours a day in order for your teeth to move gently to the correct position.
    • The number of aligners you will receive at each visit is based on your individual needs, and the goal to achieve the outcome desired.
  • Just remember that clear aligners will not work unless they are in the mouth for the recommended wear time!

Dr. Maria O'Reilly

Dr. Maria O'Reilly

Orthodontist Doctor

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