They are thermoformed plastic caps that are placed on the teeth for a few hours each day. They are changed every one or two weeks to progressively produce small movements through a previous digital planning, and that directs the teeth towards the desired final position. It is a type of orthodontics different from the classic brackets, but with the same objectives.
When and in which people would they be indicated?
Today, anyone who wants to undergo orthodontic treatment is a candidate to do so with aligners.
What types of aligners are there?
Depending on the chemical composition of the plastic, there are different physical and mechanical properties, although to be really effective they must be within a certain range of elasticity, hardness, rigidity, flexibility and stability that allows orthodontic movement with the appropriate forces.
What are invisible or transparent aligners?
All aligner systems use thermoformable plastic, which is transparent to a greater or lesser degree. This makes them much more discreet than braces, although the greatest advantage is in the comfort of use: they are removable, they are removed to eat; this, in addition, facilitates hygiene, eliminates emergencies and reduces discomfort caused by the friction of wires and brackets.
What should I know before starting a treatment with invisible aligners?
Treatment with transparent aligners is still an orthodontic treatment, with what all this entails: prior study, planning and regular check-ups by the orthodontist. Likewise, it requires the collaboration of the patient, following the guidelines of time of use, hygiene, auxiliary elements… indicated by the orthodontist.
What dangers does the fashion of acquiring this type of aligners over the Internet entail?
The lack of direct supervision by a qualified professional greatly conditions the quality of the results and the objectives of the treatment… not to mention the risks to the tissues that this may entail and that a person who is not well trained will surely be unable to detect. And of which the companies take great care to sign their disclaimer. The predictability of digital planning is far from absolute, so only light treatments with certain very small movements can be achieved without any hiccups.
On the other hand, the response of each person is individual, the appearance of incidents is common, the adoption of auxiliary measures is necessary and habitual, and this requires a totally individualized follow-up. And that increases with the complexity of the case.
Is the result of the treatment the same with invisible aligners as with conventional braces?
A good orthodontist controls very well the technique with which he works. Just as there are different techniques within fixed orthodontics (MBT, Roth, self-ligating, lingual,…), invisible orthodontics is just another technique, and in the hands of a good orthodontist the result will be the same. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, but with the correct handling of the technique the result will be very similar. The important thing is to advise patients to use one technique and others another, depending on the case to be treated.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of aligners compared to fixed orthodontic multibrackets?
They provide greater comfort to the patient, especially because they can eat anything; In addition, visits to the specialist are shorter, the possibility of emergencies is reduced and oral hygiene is easier.
The only limitation is the need for the patient to be more committed to the treatment. If the patient does not put on the aligners that are removable, he will be preventing the correct treatment. But that also happens with braces: if the brace patient is not careful, eats carelessly and pulls braces or does not put on intermaxillary elastics, he will be preventing the correct treatment. It’s common sense.