A bit of clarity on clear aligners

So you’ve heard about clear aligners? If so, it was probably from a TV advert or maybe an online banner? The irony is the oldest and most trusted clear aligners provider only operates through dental clinics. Invisalign in Clapham has been a part of our practice for more than 5 years. So let’s talk about what they are and how they work.

What are clear aligners?invisalign-clapham

The clear aligners are a very cleverly shaped thin plastic mouth guard, like a very thin transpiration gum shield. Its simplicity hides a lot of designers work and showcases a progressive approach to orthodontics.

The organising or alining of teeth is achieved by pressure exerted on the tooth surface by the aligner, under tension. This constant mild pressure is far less intrusive than a traditional brace, which is far from subtle in form or function.

Aligners are used in succession, with each one achieving a small milestone on the route to an overall straighter smile.

How we use aligners in our clinic

Before you can get too excited about getting aligners, it’s important to have a level headed conversation with our dentists. This is where Invisalign in Clapham diverges from an online mail-order aligner, who will happily send out home dental mould kits with little or no exploration of your needs or suitability.

Aligners are suitable for minor or cosmetic orthodontic issues. They could be used at the end of treatment using other orthodontic tools, like metal braces or a palate block if required. Alignment is only recommended for healthy teeth without cavities or decay, requiring treatment and resolution before fitting of aligners can start.

Once you receive your aligners, you will have to wear them as much as possible; 22 hours a day is recommended. The only time you would remove them is when eating. It is recommended that when using aligners, you brush your teeth after eating before placing your clear aligners over your teeth. The aligners restrict the flow of saliva over your teeth, and trapped food under the aligner can quickly cause cavities

In general, we find most of our patients are very happy with the daily ease of using an aligner, with most of the time the aligners going completely unnoticed by others and becoming a small aspect of their daily routine.

Clear aligners in the mail

The mail-order aligner providers have been condemned for their business model by the BOS British Orthodontic Society and we would not be involved with any manufacturers who operate without a dentists supervision, due to risks of damage caused by inappropriate use. This can be magnified in nervous patients who are much less inclined to attend an appointment with our dentists and may feel more at ease with online services. Unfortunately, nervous patients tend to have multiple or complex dental conditions at the same time, due to a lack of early intervention. We are always considerate of the needs of our patients and would strongly recommend you contact us before pursuing Invisalign in Clapham or any orthodontic treatment.