Your dentist might ask you to wear your clear aligners for two weeks before switching to another set. But you might not know why you have to wear them for this length of time. It can be tempting to try to speed up the treatment time by putting the new set in sooner. You might…
Is It Possible to Make Invisalign Clear Aligners Work Faster?
The very first model of Invisalign® clear aligners launched more than 20 years ago. A lot has happened since then. The company that makes Invisalign® continues to refine the design processes as well as the aligners themselves.
With time, clear aligners have become tougher, more flexible and easier to use. Wearing and taking off Invisalign® dental trays now only takes a minute. As the company improves the processes that guide Invisalign® treatment plans, does it also seek ways to make the clear aligners work faster?
What determines the speed of orthodontic treatment with clear aligners?
Clear aligners work similarly to traditional braces. They apply steady but gentle pressure on the teeth, pushing them into optimal positions. With braces, a patient sees their dentist when the braces start to feel ‘comfortable.’ The dentist proceeds to tighten the braces, applying renewed pressure to the teeth, which causes continued movement.
With clear aligners, a patient simply swaps one set of dental trays for the next set in the series. This effectively applies renewed pressure to the teeth, causing them to continue their movement to optimal positions. The patient goes for periodic dental checkups, during which the dentist observes the progress of the teeth. Where necessary, the dentist will make adjustments to the patient’s treatment plan.
To speed up the alignment of the teeth, the dentist must increase the pressure that an orthodontic appliance exerts on individual teeth. With braces, the dentist will tighten the frame. With clear aligners, the dentist will make teeth trays that have a larger variance from the current alignment of the patient’s teeth. Why would a dentist increase the rate at which the teeth shift?
Could a dentist make orthodontic appliances like Invisalign® work faster?
To answer this question, start by learning about how dentists space successive stages of orthodontic treatment. A skilled dentist will design aligners that apply the exact amount of pressure necessary to reposition the teeth as fast as possible without causing injury to the tooth roots.
The pressure that orthodontics apply to the teeth should be gentle enough to protect said teeth from injury but high enough to realign them at a steady clip. Dentists who want good long-term results for their patients will always take care to strike this balance.
Invisalign® sets itself apart in the way that it aligns the teeth. Clear aligners can align several teeth at the same time, a feat that regular braces do not always achieve. This translates into time savings. Another way that Invisalign® can yield faster results is with devices that apply a pulse to the teeth, stimulating faster movement.
How can patients ensure their clear aligners work as fast as possible?
The most obvious way is to wear the aligners for as long as the dentist specifies. A patient who often forgets to wear their aligners after meals will take longer to realize good results.
Patients who take care to protect the structure of their aligners will also experience faster results. Clear aligners require a tight fit to apply sufficient pressure to the teeth. Eating while wearing Invisalign® can loosen the aligners. So can chewing gum and teeth grinding, as does drinking hot fluids that could affect the shape and fit of the aligners.
Regular checkups can also speed up the action of Invisalign®. If a dentist notices that a patient’s teeth are aligning faster than expected, they will reduce the time it takes to swap one set of aligners for another.
Want to learn more about Invisalign®?
Our dentist is happy to share information gained from years of experience of working with Invisalign® clear aligners. So call us to schedule a consultation. Your talk with the dentist will provide all the information you need to make a decision about orthodontic treatment.
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