What is an Invisible Brace?
Invisible braces are devices that are used to straighten crooked teeth using clear plastic aligners to place the teeth in the desired position gradually. These braces are not completely invisible but they cannot be seen at a first glance and sometimes have to be pointed out to them.
These braces are normally used to treat different tooth alignment issues that include:
- Overcrowded Teeth
- Crooked Teeth
- Teeth gaps
Dentists also suggest invisible braces for patients who had their teeth move back to the desired position after a orthodontic treatment.
Why Invisible Braces?
Invisible Braces have been a favourite for both patients as well as dentists for the following reasons:
- It helps the patient get a better smile after the treatment bringing an aesthetic reason for having it.
- Treating the misaligned teeth can help in reducing further dental issues in the future. Thus making it a future investment to a better oral health.
- Its invisibility factor makes it a better choice for patients to carry out their normal routine without being uncomfortable at being stared at. It helps them to be less self-conscious.
How does Invisible Braces work?
The dentist will initially take a mould of the patient’s teeth by creating a digital scan. This scan is performed to plan out a treatment for the patient and also to help manufacture aligners of the right size.
The dentist will then perform the teeth filing process to create small gaps to allow the teeth to move and also to get rid of any imperfections.
The aligner is then customized to fit the teeth of the patient and then shaped to provide pressure at the right spots to help in slowly shifting to align them. The dentist will check the progress of the treatment every 4-6 weeks and might recommend a new set of teeth aligners if the need arises.
The whole treatment might take around 9 – 18 months depending on the complexity of the teeth. In normal cases, the treatment will take just over a year.
The invisible braces are more expensive when compared to other teeth straightening methods due to the regular use of teeth aligner trays.
Invisible Braces Types
The different types of Invisible Braces are:
These braces are made of weaker composite materials that are brittle and weaker than metal braces. These are larger and use rubber bands or ligatures to hold them to the arch wire. These ligatures are white making them susceptible to stain but they are replaced frequently. These are costlier than metal braces too.
These braces are connected to the back of the teeth and are hidden from view. These braces are more appealing and a more popular choice among patients because of its least visibility nature. These braces cannot be removed so they cannot be lost unlike other removable braces. It is actually more expensive among the braces. It does also pose problems while talking and maintaining correct dental hygiene.
These aligners, as the name suggests, consists of clear and removable aligners that are custom-fit to the teeth to provide a treatment with least irritation and minimal adjustment. These aligners are nearly invisible and resistant to clouding while wearing making it attractive to most patients. They can also be removed while eating, sleeping, drinking, cleaning etc. Invisalign is a popular brand of Clear Aligners.
Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore