Primarily, this was originally invented for adults. They are made of a plastic shell that would fit perfectly on the entire teeth of a single jaw (upper and lower). Its original design is that it would leave no place for any teeth that may erupt during the whole treatment. This is the reason why the devices weren’t used in young patients whose teeth were still erupting.
However, after becoming so popular thanks to its array of advantages, compared to the standard braces (especially with regards to aesthetic appeal), a need was felt to create the same product for younger patients. Thus, giving birth to the teen version. This version has tabs that are left in places where a tooth is expected to erupt. At the time when a tooth would erupt, the tab is broken, thus allowing the tooth to break out and grow. With this, the unique advantage of the original version is retained, while allowing the development of new teeth which is beneficial to growing children. Read about other orthodontic treatments available.
For those who are thinking of getting these, in general, it’s actually a lot easier than getting traditional braces. This is all thanks to the addition of CAD/CAM software and equipment.
With the use of modern technology and advanced dental techniques, fitting them may be done all in one day. Below are the following steps:
- Consultation Stage – the initial dental consultation involves a two-way process. The dentist will first examine the patient and determine whether it would be the best choice for you. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about anything that troubles you or you’re curious about. For example, how long it will take or the price. Moreover, you can also ask your dentist for a simulation of how your or your child’s smile would look like after the series is complete.
- Record Evaluations – the entire procedure starts with collecting data about the patient’s dental records. The following data will be taken:
- Making Dental Impressions – the dentist will take an accurate impression of the patient’s teeth before the treatment. This will be done by using an impression putty and then using advanced technology, it will be digitized into the computer using a software. If there are other tools available, it will be read off the 3-D optical data directly from the patient’s mouth into the computer.
- Bite Registration – afterwards, the dentist will create a record of the patient’s bite pattern. For example, how his or her teeth in the lower and upper jaw meet with each other.
- Dental X-rays – these x-rays will provide your oral surgeons with enough data to evaluate the jaw bone and the tooth roots. Furthermore, this includes jawbone health as well as its current root positioning. A panoramic x-ray or a full-mouth series, or possibly both, may also be taken.
- Photographs – the dentist would require the patient to take several pictures of his or her facial feature. This includes front and side photos, front and side close-up of closed teeth, and close-up pictures of upper and lower dental arches. All these, along with any comments from the dentist, will be sent to the manufacturer.
- Simulation – after receiving all the data, they will then generate a simulation that shows the different stages of patient’s teeth through the entire realignment session. This simulation will be given back to our dentist for any further suggestions or a final “GO” signal. The patient can also see this simulation through the screen inside the clinic. Just ask your doctor about it.
- Manufacturing and Delivery – once our doctor has developed a plan, the aligners will then be created using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Afterwards, those will be delivered here and given to you during your final consultation with our dentist.
- How long do you need to wear them? – The entire duration of treatment depends on how severe the patient’s case is. Overall, it can be expected to take over a year to finish. Also, each set must be worn constantly for 2 weeks straight, as many hours in a day (and night) as possible.