Invisible aligners, clear braces or invisible braces, whatever you choose to call them, are in essence the same product; they use a clearer form like a thin lightweight gum shield which is placed over the teeth and pushes them into new positions. You use a whole series of these devices in order to make up a treatment schedule.
The point of clear aligners is to provide a similar function to a traditional metal brace, but without the friction or the disruption to your everyday life. And they are so subtle that they can be worn in public without being noticed.
This makes them very popular among adult orthodontic patients who want the advantage of straightening their teeth, but do not have the luxury of using such invasive treatments as a full brace. The second biggest advantage of clear aligners over the standard brace is that they can be removed and reinserted by the patient at any time. This allows them to be removed for eating or for critical events like a wedding or public speaking. Unfortunately this does put a degree of emphasis on the patient’s compliance when it comes to wearing their aligners, unlike a traditional brace which is fixed in place for the entire length of the treatment.
Also, the fitting for clear aligners is significantly more straightforward than the initial fitting of metal braces which take almost an hour to apply, with each bracket being glued to the teeth. In contrast the fitting process for an aligner involves taking extremely accurate measurements of the patient’s mouth. This is often done using a dental mould but in newer clinics, intra-oral scanners are used, whilst also creating a 3D model directly and immediately uploading it to cloud based software.
Do invisible aligners work?
Invisalign Dublin aligners have an extremely high success rate, but this does not mean that all clear aligners do. Some at-home kits seem to have sacrificed quality for quantity in that they focus on selling the largest number of kits rather than the success of each case. This is very much the opposite of how Invisalign braces operate, by using local partners and only allowing their products to be provided by a fully licensed dentists, they ensure their product is always used with medical oversight, dramatically increasing its effectiveness and also ensuring that it is not mis-sold to patients who require a different form of orthodontic treatment or no treatment at all.
Unfortunately, public attention has been drawn by the legal cases against less reputable aligner providers making promises that they simply could never deliver. So if you are looking to get aligners, it is really recommended that you try to find a local dentist to get them through rather than following some click bait ad or or YouTube pre-video.
There has been a big uptake in people using at home kits and tele-dentistry in general. This is when a dentist communicates with their patients via the internet rather than having them in the clinic, this was heavily spurred on by the recent lockdowns. However there should always be interaction with a fully qualified dental practitioner.