Innovations That Improve the Effectiveness of Clear Aligners

Posted on: 14 July 2021


Any person who has worn clear aligners for several months understands the benefits pretty well. Since clear aligners are invisible, you can wear them anywhere without worrying about looking awkward. Clear aligners are also convenient because you can remove them whenever you want to eat or drink, unlike metal aligners that stay permanently in place during treatment. Another advantage of clear aligners is that they need fewer adjustment sessions. Innovation is vital in the design and development of efficient aligners. This article highlights some of the technologies that have improved the effectiveness of clear aligners over the years.

Aligner Attachments -- Dentists see many patients with complex teeth alignment issues that take a long time to correct. In many cases, dentists recommend metal braces. However, treatment takes long when using metal braces, which can be frustrating to a patient. Through technology, dentists have engineered tiny aligner attachments that are installed on specific teeth that require alignment. The tiny, tooth-coloured attachments act as handles or anchor points, providing aligners with something to push on during the treatment process. Once in place, the attachments or aligner handles allow clear aligners to apply the right amount of force in the desired direction, making complex tooth movements possible.  

Orthodontic Chewing Gum -- Although clear aligners are designed for a custom fit, they might still feel strange in your mouth for the first few weeks. Therefore, many patients prefer to chew gum to get used to the aligners in their mouths. Unfortunately, regular chewing gum can stick to clear aligners and dislodge them from your teeth. Additionally, sugary gums promote bacteria buildup inside aligners. These two drawbacks make regular chewing gum incompatible with clear aligners. Thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, you can now find orthodontic chewing gum. The gums are engineered with clear aligners in mind and are sugarless and non-sticky. Moreover, orthodontic chewing gum does not accelerate the wear of clear braces like regular gums do.  

Real-Time Digital Scanning -- For a device you will be wearing for up to 22 hours a day, comfort is of utmost importance. In the past, a dentist would take a mould of your teeth to create custom-fitting aligners. However, you would have to wait a couple of days for aligners to be ready. Fortunately, real-time digital scanning technology has cut the wait time down significantly. A dentist scans your teeth from jaw to jaw to create a 3D image of your teeth using a handheld scanning machine. Then, they feed the image to a 3D printing machine for faster aligner development.

Contact an orthodontist to learn more about options like Invisalign.