Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are a popular alternative to traditional braces for straightening teeth. They work by applying gentle and constant pressure to the teeth, which gradually shifts them into their desired position. In this blog post, we will discuss the process, biology, and physics of how clear aligners move teeth.
The process of getting clear aligners starts with a consultation with Dr Bloom, your local orthodontist. During this consultation, our team will take impressions of your teeth and create a treatment plan. The treatment plan involves using a series of clear aligners that are custom-made to fit your teeth. Each aligner in the series is worn for about two weeks before being replaced with the next one.
The aligners are made of a clear, plastic material that fits snugly over the teeth. They are designed to apply pressure to specific areas of the teeth, gradually shifting them into the desired position. The aligners are removable, so they can be taken out when eating or brushing teeth, but they must be worn for at least 22 hours per day to be effective.
The process of moving teeth with clear aligners is based on the principles of bone remodeling. When pressure is applied to a tooth, it causes the bone around the tooth to break down. This creates a space that the tooth can move into. As the tooth moves, new bone is formed around it to fill in the space that was created.
The cells responsible for bone remodeling are called osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are responsible for forming new bone, while osteoclasts are responsible for breaking down old bone. When pressure is applied to a tooth, it activates these cells, causing the bone to remodel.
The physics of how clear aligners move teeth is based on the principles of force and torque. Force is the push or pull applied to an object, while torque is the rotational force applied to an object.
The aligners apply force to the teeth by using a series of attachments that are bonded to the teeth. These attachments are small, tooth-colored bumps that help the aligners grip the teeth and apply pressure in specific areas. The aligners also use elastic bands to create additional force, if needed.
Torque is applied to the teeth by using a series of precision cuts in the aligners. These cuts create space for the teeth to rotate, allowing the aligners to apply torque to the teeth.
Which is better, Invisalign or braces?
Deciding whether to get Invisalign or braces depends on various factors, such as the type and severity of the orthodontic problem, personal preferences, and lifestyle considerations. Both Invisalign and braces have their pros and cons, so what is considered "better" depends on the individual's unique situation.
Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth, while traditional braces use metal brackets and wires that are attached to the teeth. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed when eating or brushing teeth, which makes them a popular option for adults or people who are self-conscious about wearing metal braces. On the other hand, braces are more effective for treating complex orthodontic issues, such as severe bite problems, and they are generally less expensive than Invisalign.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing between Invisalign and braces:
Orthodontic needs: Invisalign is typically used to treat mild to moderate orthodontic problems, such as crowded or crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, and mild bite problems. Braces are more versatile and can treat a wider range of orthodontic issues, including severe bite problems, jaw misalignment, and more complex tooth movements.
Lifestyle considerations: Invisalign aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which makes them a popular option for people who are self-conscious about wearing braces or who have a busy lifestyle. However, they require more discipline than braces, as they must be worn for at least 22 hours a day and need to be removed before eating or drinking anything other than water. Braces, on the other hand, are fixed in place and do not require as much maintenance as Invisalign aligners.
Cost: In general, Invisalign tends to be more expensive than braces, although the cost may vary depending on the individual's orthodontic needs and the length of treatment.
Ultimately, the decision to choose Invisalign or braces depends on the individual's unique situation and preferences. It's important to consult with Dr. Bloom to discuss the options and determine the best course of treatment. Call or text us at (720) 743-0700 to schedule your free consultation at Bloom Orthodontics!