Aligners have recently appeared in the arsenal of dentists and have become a serious competitor to bracket systems. Are they so effective, or is their popularity driven more by the desire to try something new? We will tell you about the features of aligners, the pros and cons, the price and time of treatment, together with the chief physician of Dr. Minko Dental Clinic Vyacheslav Minko (@ dr.minko).
What are aligners
Aligners are a mouthguard, that is, a pad on the teeth, a removable orthodontic appliance. Aligners are made of transparent polycarbonate and put on the dentition - the design exerts constant very weak pressure on the teeth, aligning them, "building" into a perfect smile. The person does not feel any discomfort. From an aesthetic point of view, everything is also comfortable, because the aligners are invisible under the transparent polycarbonate.
What are aligners for?
For bite correction, beautiful smile and dental health. If the bite is disturbed, then this is not just an aesthetic problem - incorrectly positioned teeth can injure the oral cavity, cause inconvenience when chewing, and greatly complicate oral care. It is these problems that aligners effectively, quickly and comfortably solve. Aligners are effective and can be recommended by the dentist if the patient:
- Displacement of the lower jaw - visually it looks like a "push" of the lower jaw forward in relation to the general contour of the face.
- Abnormal incisor closure
- Displacement of one jaw relative to the other
- The situation when the upper jaw overlaps the lower
- Uneven teeth, turned around their axis, inclined to the gum at an acute angle
Pros and cons of aligners
Before the advent of aligners, braces were used to correct bite. This system has one drawback, and it is due to the fact that aligners are not suitable for all patients. For some individual characteristics of the patient, only "braces" can be recommended. There are many more advantages. Aligners are much more comfortable to use than braces. The aligners are invisible and can be removed for brushing your teeth and while eating. The patient can eat his favorite dishes, take care of his teeth and oral cavity as usual. Food does not get stuck in aligners, decay processes and the occurrence of an unpleasant odor are excluded. If we compare aligners with lingual "braces" (they are attached to the inner surface of the teeth and are not visible), then the former do not affect either diction or sensations in the oral cavity, because their thickness is less than one millimeter.But lingual braces can cause discomfort, impair pronunciation and scratch mucous membranes.
Aligner treatment process
At the beginning of correction with aligners, the patient sees his future smile on the computer - a special visualization program allows you to accurately plan the treatment and simulate the result. Aligners do not have a "habituation period", they do not bother the patient and do not force anything to change in their lifestyle. They are very tightly and reliably fixed on the teeth - loss is excluded. On the second day, most patients simply forget that they have mouth guards in their mouths. Dentists recommend wearing aligners for 20-22 hours a day. The duration of treatment (the period of wearing the aligners) is on average 4-8 weeks. This is a very fast result compared to other bite correction systems. The trays are easy to care for - they need to be cleaned with a toothbrush and paste, rinsed with water and a special product.
Aligners are not used for children and adolescents with an undeveloped jaw. Mouthguards should not be used for patients with non-erupting teeth. Temporary contraindications for the use of aligners: caries and gum disease. Sanitation of the oral cavity is a mandatory step before starting treatment with aligners. The aligners are installed on absolutely healthy teeth.
The cost of aligners depends on many nuances. The main indicator that affects the price is the condition of the teeth. The cost of aligners includes not one mouthguard for teeth, but a whole set - the maximum number of mouthguards in a set reaches 30 pieces. The number of aligners included depends on the bite. The cost of a set of aligners varies on average from 60 to 250 thousand rubles.