If your teeth are misaligned, you may be considering several orthodontic applications to straighten them. Many people are interested in using clear plastic aligners instead of traditional braces.
Here are a few of the advantages that aligners offer.
Shorter Treatment Times
People with clear plastic aligners often enjoy shorter treatment times than patients who wear traditional braces. Traditional braces straighten the teeth using brackets, elastic ligatures, and archwires. The elastic bands connect the brackets of the braces to the archwire. Due to the positioning of the bands, they produce friction as they rub against the wires and brackets. This friction counteracts the intentional aligning pressure from the archwire. As a result, the friction slows down the treatment process.
With clear plastic aligners, the aligning trays don't produce counterproductive friction. Each tray is designed to apply the appropriate amount of aligning force for a couple of weeks. After that time has passed, the positioning of the teeth should have conformed to the tray. Thus, the patient moves on to the next tray in the treatment plan.
Since each tray is a single component and does not interact with other devices, the alignment process takes place unhindered by friction. Consequently, the trays can straighten the teeth faster than traditional braces.
Fewer Orthodontic Visits
With traditional braces, the patient must visit the orthodontist regularly for archwire adjustments. These adjustments are needed to ensure that the proper amount of aligning force is applied throughout the course of treatment.
With clear aligners, fewer orthodontic visits are required because there is no need to adjust the trays. The trays are designed from the exact measurements and contours of the patient's mouth. Thus, each aligner is customized for a single unique patient. Still, an orthodontist may schedule periodic visits to assess your progress.
Teens and adults who undergo orthodontic treatment often desire a discreet treatment option. It can be difficult to hide the wires and brackets of traditional metal braces. However, aligners are made of transparent plastic. Thus, when in place, they are not easily visible in the mouth.
In addition, the aligners can be removed to allow you to eat comfortably. As a result, you don't have to be concerned about bits of food becoming trapped in your orthodontic appliance. Patients can eat unencumbered as they did prior to the start of their treatment.
To learn more about clear plastic aligners, schedule a consultation with a dental provider in your local area, such as Oak Ridge Dental Arts.