Aligners are the type of orthodontic treatment that corrects malaligned teeth. They are  invisible and removable alternative to braces designed around convenience and flexibility.

Aligners are typically used for patients who have mild or moderately crowded teeth or have minor spacing issues.

They are also indicated for patients who have experienced a relapse after fixed orthodontic treatment. Aligner treatment requires an orthodontist or dentist, or with home-based systems, the person themselves, takes the measurement of the patient’s teeth, which is used to create a digital tooth scan. The computerized model suggests stages between the current and desired teeth positions, and aligners are created for each stage. These slowly move the teeth into the position agreed between the orthodontist or dentist and the patient.  Treatment begins with taking x-ray and photographs for diagnostic purposes, followed by capturing the patient’s bite, teeth, and gums via a bite registration  by an intra-oral digital scanner.  Technicians move the teeth to the desired location with the program, which creates the stages between the current and desired teeth positions. Anywhere from six to forty-eight aligners may be needed. A computer graphic representation of the projected teeth movements, created in the software program  is provided to the doctor and patient for approval or modification before aligners are manufactured. The aligners are modeled using CAD-CAM (computer-aided-design and computer-aided-manufacturing) software. The molds for the aligners are built in layers using a photo-sensitive liquid resin that cures into a hard plastic when exposed to a laser. The aligners are made from an elastic thermoplastic material that applies pressure to the teeth to move into the aligner’s position. Patients that need a tooth rotated or pulled down may have a small, tooth-coloredcomposite attachment bonded onto certain teeth. Since the form-fitted plastic used in clear aligners is not as rigid as the metal used in traditional braces, sometimes the flexibility in the materials need to be compensated in the areas that require movement. Alternatively, attachments may be used to facilitate movement by changing the shape of the tooth.  Reproximation, (also called interproximal reduction or IPR and colloquially, filing or drilling), is sometimes used at the contacts between teeth to allow for a better fit. The aligner is removed for brushing, flossing and eating. As clear aligners are made from plastic, they can be warped by hot liquids. While undergoing treatment you should limit your intake of hot liquids to protect the shape of your aligners and stop them from becoming stained. Once the treatment period has concluded, the patient is advised to continue wearing a retainer at night for the foreseeable future. There by creating the perfect smile with their teeth straight .

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