Perfectly aligned, runway smiles are few and far between. Fortunately, the journey to an attractive smile no longer includes awkward, uncomfortable metal braces and headgear. Now orthodontists can offer their patients a treatment option that’s not only nearly invisible but also often expedites the treatment timeline.
In this blog, Dr. Marcano shares his insights on oral aligners and the common problems that this discreet option can address.
Oral aligners explained
Let’s start unpacking this discussion by first discussing oral aligners and how they ultimately get you the smile you’ve always wanted. Oral aligners, often referred to as clear aligners, is a game-changing orthodontics treatment that gently realigns teeth by using a series of custom-made clear trays or aligners.
Here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we are specially trained in the ClearCorrect aligner system. This FDA-approved orthodontic treatment option has helped hundreds of thousands of patients get straighter and more esthetically pleasing smiles – without the muss and fuss of traditional metal braces.
Although a treatment plan differs from patient to patient depending on the issue being corrected, the process starts with an initial appointment where we do a dental history and thorough examination and find out more about your esthetic goals. During this appointment, we take X-rays if needed. If you’re a good candidate, we take a digital impression with an intraoral scanner.
We upload this information to a computer-aided design program that designs a personalized treatment plan that lays out a step-by-step guide for optimal teeth movement. We send this treatment plan to a dental laboratory, which fabricates the series of oral aligners and your treatment plan. Once the aligners come back from the lab, you’ll return to our office for your first set. Every few weeks, you’ll return to our office so that we can track your progress and transition you to a new set of aligners. Generally, the timeline from beginning to end takes about six to 12 months.
Although being nearly invisible is a big plus, oral aligners are exceptionally versatile, enabling patients to address a wide range of teeth alignment issues.
1. Crooked, misaligned teeth
Patients seek orthodontic treatment mostly because of misaligned teeth or crooked teeth. Crooked teeth may cause bite issues, which may lead to excessive strain and wear on teeth and your jaw muscles.
Not having enough space for all your teeth to properly emerge is another common issue that aligners can address. Crowding isn’t just about physical appearance, though. Crowding issues can make it particularly challenging to properly clean your teeth, increasing your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease.
3. Gaps and spacing issues
Another space-related issue that oral aligners can correct is having too much space or gaps between teeth. For some patients, this issue happens because the teeth are oddly shaped, or the size of the teeth are different. In other cases, the jaw size is the problem, or a combination of both issues.
Patients with bite problems related to how the upper and lower teeth are positioned may also benefit from oral aligners. Underbites and crossbites are two-bite scenarios that can be corrected using oral aligners. With an underbite, also known as a Class III malocclusion, your lower teeth overlap your upper teeth.
Adversely, with a crossbite, one or more upper teeth rest inside your lower teeth. Crossbites are sometimes caused by bone misalignment or baby teeth. Like underbites, if left untreated, a crossbite can lead to a variety of conditions such as excessive wear on teeth enamel as well as jaw pain or TMJ.
An overjet, sometimes nicknamed “buck teeth,” is another condition that oral aligners can address. Overjets are sometimes mixed up with open bites, which are similar but different misalignment issues. With an overjet, the patient’s upper teeth push forward like a horizontal misalignment. In the case of an open bite, the misalignment keeps the top and bottom teeth from meeting, leaving the mouth stuck in an open position.
If you’re ready to capture the smile you’ve always dreamed about and want to know if oral aligners are right for you, contact Orlando Center For Cosmetic Dentistry for a consultation. Schedule your appointment by clicking the online booking tool or calling the office today at 407-270-1053.