Clear Correct Orthodontics
For many years, fixed braces were the primary method for properly aligning or straightening teeth. In recent years, however, there have been significant advances in orthodontics for patients who prefer a more esthetic, less noticeable path to their ideal smile. With this technique, a series of removable clear aligners, or trays, will progressively move teeth into their proper positions according to a predetermined treatment plan. While in place, these aligners are virtually invisible.
While the aligners are worn, they put pressure on specific areas of the teeth to produce the desired movements. For certain types of movements, engaging attachments are bonded to the teeth to allow the aligner to provide the appropriate force. Naturally, the aligners only apply the necessary stimulus to move the teeth while they are in place, so it is imperative to wear them at least 22 hours per day.
How it Works
This process only works well when patients adhere to the 22 hours per day minimum wear time. As the aligners exert the carefully directed forces on the teeth, these forces are transferred and felt by cells within the bone surrounding the teeth. After the first 48-72 hours, each aligner is worn, the cells that break down bone (also known as osteoclasts) begin to activate and create space to accommodate the future position of the tooth. As long as this process takes to begin, it only takes 4 hours to stop, after which another 48-72 hours will be required to restart the process. As the breakdown of bone on the pressure-sensing side of the tooth continues, tension on the lagging side stimulates bone-building cells (also known as osteoblasts) to lay down new bone in the space being vacated as the tooth moves. Bone building is much slower than breakdown, which is why long-term retention is critically important to stabilize the teeth in their new positions.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Patients interested in any type of orthodontics should first establish a clean, healthy environment prior to initiating this treatment. Patients with a history of gum disease or who are at high risk for development of cavities may not be ideal; however, cavities can be diagnosed and treated much easier during this process than with traditional braces. Depending on the location, existing implants may also complicate treatment since they cannot be moved. A high level of diligence towards complying with the daily time requirements is also required, so it is important to determine if you feel that you can appropriately comply.
Call us to schedule a free consultation today for Clear Correct in our Montville, NJ office!