Teeth malalignment can cause risk of cavities, uneven tooth attrition and periodontal disease which damages the supporting structures of teeth. Hence, teeth aligners come into action – they are aesthetic and comfortable for orthodontic treatment specifically in adults. Teeth aligners are used for several functions – usually made up of thermoplastic materials with high strength and high modulus of elasticity, teeth aligners are strong as well as flexible. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr Pankaj Bansal, Director- Dentistry, Accord Super Speciality Hospital, Faridabad said, “The latest generation of aligners are made from trimethyl orthosilicate. They are prone to rapid technological improvements in terms of material and production techniques. They are custom made for each patient by using digital models.” He further added, “A series of clear aligners are given for a specific period of time till the desired movement is achieved. Aligners have to be replaced with a new set from the series after every 2- 3 week with teeth progressively moving into place. Aligners should be worn for 22 hours daily and a retainer is required after completion of treatment as with normal braces.”
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Dr. Apoorva Sahajwani, Senior Consultant, Department of Dentistry, Fortis Hospital, Noida, further pointed out the advantages of using teeth aligners:
Aesthetic benefits of aligners:
1) Straightening: Teeth aligners help in straightening of crooked teeth
2) Facial profile: It also helps in movement of protruded teeth inward, hence correcting facial profile.
3) Invisible: Almost invisible nature of the treatment, hence doesnot create distractions in the appearance.
4) Smile: It also helps in treatment of gummy smile.
Functional benefits of aligners:
1) Cavities: Correction of crowded teeth with aligners prevents cavities.
2) Alignment: Teeth aligners aid in better biting and chewing alignment.
3) Infection: It prevents gum infection caused by fixed braces.
4) Food lodging: Teeth aligners also prevent food lodgment.
Psychological benefits of aligners:
1) Smile: Teeth aligners help in bringing confidence with beautiful smile.
2) Maintenance: Teeth aligners are extremely low maintenance, hence are ideal for working professionals who have no time.
3) Self-esteem: Teeth aligners help in creating straight smile, which can increase self-esteem.
However, teeth aligners come with a set of disadvantages as well. Dr Pankaj Bansal stated the disadvantages as follows:
1) Expensive: Teeth aligners are expensive in production.
2) Malocclusions: Even though teeth aligners help in bringing alignment, certain malocclusions cannot be treated with it.