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Clear Aligners: An Alternative to Braces for Adults
A few years ago, before clear aligners became the big thing, braces were the most common option available for straightening the teeth. Most adults consider traditional braces unsightly and would therefore never get them. Fortunately, clear aligners are now available for adults who want to correct mild to moderate teeth misalignment or crowding.
Unlike traditional braces which use metal brackets and wires connected to the teeth, clear aligners are made up of sequences of clear, removable dental trays for teeth straightening. The trays are custom-made for each patient and move the teeth slowly into a new, optimal position.
How clear aligners work
The clear aligners are computer-generated using the patient’s present dental records. To determine if you are a candidate for clear aligners, the dentist would need to perform a comprehensive assessment, including taking x-rays of the teeth, jaws and skull. Pictures and impressions of the teeth will also be taken to create models.
If there is no malocclusion (bite issues), then clear aligners can help you achieve the results you desire. However, if the upper and lower jaws are not correctly aligned, causing an overbite or an underbite, then you may need traditional braces to straighten the teeth and correct your bite.
Every patient has unique dental makeup. The conditions are rarely the same, but you should expect to wear the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours daily for the next six months to two years, depending on the severity of your condition. Clear aligners are removable for eating and cleaning, are they are barely noticeable.
The aligner is made from a hard plastic material that is created to fit your dentition. As the treatment continues, you will need to go for new aligners to replace the old ones. Each aligner is a bit different from the previous one to move your teeth.
The advantages of clear aligners
Oral hygiene is more comfortable with clear aligners than braces. Patients can easily remove the aligners for brushing or flossing. With braces, however, you must be more meticulous with cleaning.They are more comfortable to wear and rarely ever causes gum and cheek irritation, in contrast to metal braces.
Patients dealing with teeth grinding will also get additional protection for their teeth.
Clear aligners vs. traditional braces
With more adults seeking to align their teeth to get a better appearance, there is a need for a treatment option that is discreet, yet functional. It takes a while to get adjusted to traditional braces, and that could pose a challenge for adults. Aside from the unappealing visual appearance of traditional braces, patients are also restricted to certain diet choices and lifestyle habits.
Kids that are involved in sports and related activities may find braces impractical because of functional concerns and lifestyle restrictions. Clear aligners solve that problem since they are discreet and removable.
If you want to straighten your teeth with clear aligners, book an appointment to discuss with an orthodontist to find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
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