Orthodontics amongst adults is on the increase. But why are so many adults who have gone for so long with their dental misalignments suddenly considering getting orthodontic treatment? What factors have brought about this new awareness? It is probably not the idea that you can get these alignments corrected, but rather that nowadays, it can be done without braces, a literal and social price that many were unwilling to pay in the past. This comes about at the same time that many adults are willing to consider cosmetic procedures, as well as the long-term effects of misplaced teeth.
The clear aligner option
Invisible aligners are clear plastic forms that move your teeth into position through incremental steps. What started out as an apparently simple idea of using slightly different custom-made retainers as a replacement for braces turned into a surprisingly elegant orthodontic solution. Which gave birth to the first aligner brand that is now available across the world. Invisalign London by itself has helped thousands of patients correct their misalignments without extensive treatment with braces.
Unlike with traditional braces, a 3D scan is taken of your mouth before treatment starts and the sequence of aligners is generated, to take your teeth from their current position to an ideal final state.
Cost-benefit, speed vs subtle care
Assuming clear aligner treatment would be efficacious in correcting your particular misalignment, the question becomes a simple weigh up between standard metal braces versus an aligner system.
In identical cases, treatment with traditional braces is likely to be very slightly quicker due to the larger quantity of force that a brace can apply, compared to the energy that is stored as elastic deformation in an aligner. Along with the heavy lifting with archwires and brackets comes the inconvenience of cleaning and maintaining them. Post-meal brushing can be significant, requiring the use of interdental brushes and regular maintenance. Invisible aligners, however, are not worn during eating. Cleaning them before replacing can be accomplished by running them under cool water. What also significantly reduces the maintenance of an aligner is each aligner is only worn for two weeks before being replaced by the next one in the sequence. Throughout the treatment cycle, a brace is worn continuously for the entire length of the treatment and therefore must be robust and well-maintained to be clinically efficient.
Patients are generally happy to have a slightly longer treatment time for all of the advantages that come with clear aligners. Such as their subtlety in everyday interactions, as well as being completely unnoticeable during online meetings.
Starting your journey
Any partner dental clinics that will provide clear aligners with their local supervision are definitely very helpful in directing patients and giving them a local professional to liaise with in the event of complications. But there are other alternatives. Clear aligners themselves can be used well with online consultations, as the majority of the treatment can be carried out at home with regular check-ins via online video calls, rather than in a real-life dental clinic. This can be very helpful for working professionals, who see time as a premium.