Invisalign or clear aligners are orthodontic devices that are transparent, plastic form of dental braces used to adjust teeth.
They are designed as follows :
- begins with taking X-rays and photographs for diagnostic purposes.
- Capturing patient’s bite, teeth and gums via bite registration and polyvinyl siloxane impressions or an intra-oral digital camera.
- Dental impressions are scanned in order to create a digital 3D representation of teeth.
- Technicians move the teeth to desired location with program which creates stages between current and desired tooth positions. Anywhere from 6 to 48 aligners may be needed. Each aligner moves teeth from 0.25 mm to 0.33 mm.
- The aligner are moulded using CAD-CAM software.
- The aligners are made from an elastic thermoplastic material that applies pressure to the teeth to move into aligner’s position.
- Patients that need a tooth rotated or pulled down may have a small tooth, coloured composite attachment bonded onto certain tooth.
Each aligner is intended to be worn an optimal 2 hrs a day for one to two weeks. On average, the treatment process takes 13.5 months although it varies based on complexity of planned teeth movements.
Cost of clear aligners in India ranges from 1,50,000-3,50,000.
Pros of invisalign :
- Comfort – it is physically comfortable to wear. Since there are no brackets or wires, one need not worry about getting any painful nicks or cuts in the mouth. Similar to mouth guard and lacks any sharp edges.
- More attractive – since it’s clear, doesn’t leave your mouth full of metal. Most people won’t even know you are wearing them.
- Can be removed – it can be removed for eating, brushing teeth and flossing. That is not something that cannot be done with braces. It allows you to eat food you want and practice better oral hygiene, which helps to lower your risk of developing gum disease while you go through the process of straightening teeth.
- Minimal maintenance – this requires minimum maintenance. They can get dingy over time when we wear them but you can freshen them by using a toothbrush dipped in a small amount of bleach and water. Scrubbing them for a minute will eliminate any stains.
Cons of invisalign :
- Expensive – this treatment is not covered by dental insurance, which means you can expect to pay anywhere from 1Lakh-4Lakh for them.
- Attachments – More and more attachments to go along with invisalign have become norm. The attachments are usually enamel ridges that stick to your teeth in a way that is similar to brackets that are included with standard braces. The attachments are used to click into aligners so that they fit better and can more effectively shift your teeth into better position. Attachments also make invisalign much more noticeable.
- Tooth discomfort – getting new invisalign aligner trays can be uncomfortable and even painful when you get fitted for a new set.
- Material inaccuracy – since the fitted plastic used in clear aligners is not as rigid as the metal used in traditional braces, sometimes the material needs to be compensated in the areas that require movement.