Most people are familiar with the use of clear aligners to straighten teeth instead of braces. Invisalign and Clear Correct are well known providers of the technology. Over the years, the use of the clear aligners technology has continued to grow in terms of the number of orthodontic patients whose cases can be treated using the technology.
Prior to 2000, if a patient required orthodontic treatment, metal brackets were the only option. Metal brackets work perfectly fine to straighten teeth, however, they require a few lifestyle adjustments.
Since they are made of metal, they are inherently uncomfortable in the mouth. Most orthodontic patients develop some tolerance to the discomfort during treatment, but there is always a chance of a bracket or wire poking into the mouth tissue.
Since the metal brackets are glued on to the teeth, and attached to wires, orthodontic treatment of this type is not removable. Imagine how difficult it can be to remove food particles from the brackets and wires. Because of this, it is imperative to improve and maintain oral hygiene while wearing metal braces.
Lastly, most patients do not like the overall change to their appearance while wearing metal braces. This is especially true for teen and adult orthodontic patients.
The use of clear aligners eliminates all of these disadvantages. The aligners are much more comfortable than metal braces, they are removable, which means the patient can continue with their normal oral hygiene, and they are invisible, so they do not change the patient’s overall appearance.
Initially, clear aligners were only recommended for simple orthodontic cases. For more complex cases, brackets were still the only option. However, the clear aligner industry has made further developments over time, allowing for the use of clear aligners in a wide range of orthodontic cases. As with traditional metal braces, many insurances contribute towards the cost of clear aligners.
Isn’t it great to have options in life? Ask your dentist if clear aligners might be an option for you or someone in your family!