The advent of clear aligners has added a new dimension to orthodontics and has taken this field of dentistry to the next level. These discreet thermoplastic trays have already been instrumental in the correction of several cases of malaligned teeth. Just like any other procedure, there are many myths associated with this new clear aligner technology.
The 5 Greatest Myths
Clear aligners can correct almost any orthodontic issue
Even though the aligner companies may emphasize on the fact that clear aligners can be used to rectify almost every case, it is the expertise of the clinician that acts as a game-changer. As a dental practitioner, one should be skilled enough to determine the right treatment plan and help the patient in making the right choice. In some cases, a combination of conventional braces and clear aligners may be the best solution.
This is a very common myth with regards to the age of the patient. It can be used in patients of all age groups provided the orthodontic issue is such that it can be addressed with clear aligners successfully and the patient will be compliant with wearing the aligners as directed.
Only an orthodontist can do clear aligners
Success rate with clear aligners depends on the case selection, patient compliance and primarily the correct plan. Planning correctly requires extensive knowledge of aligner biomechanics, the correct staging of movements, the type, position and size of the attachment for various movements, the overcorrections required for different objectives and a realistic understanding of movements that can be achieved. For case selection, the clinician should have both the experience and the expertise to analyse the case and make the right diagnosis and treatment plan. General dental practitioners can always perform clear aligner treatment after attaining the necessary training. After all, empowering oneself with specific clear aligner courses is always better than losing patients due to lack of knowledge about clear aligners.
With clear aligners the treatment will be completed within a few months
The duration of the treatment is governed by factors like the complexity of the orthodontic issue and the compliancy of the patient. At times, the treatment duration may be quite like that in conventional braces whereas in some cases, the time-period might even go beyond eighteen to twenty-four months.
There is no need to visit a dentist once I receive my clear aligners
Even though clear aligners have been designed to be used with minimal supervision of the dentist, routine check-ups at the end of 6 to 8 weeks is significant in keeping a track of the tooth movement that has occurred to date. It should be explained to patients the relevance of these visits and they should be encouraged to make them whenever possible. Any lags in the treatment or unusual discrepancies can be found out and corrected accordingly. Patients who keep moving places due to their personal or professional commitment should attempt to visit the dentist who completed the prescription for clear aligners at least once every three or four months as a minimum . This is essential to attain the actual final treatment goal of the patient.
To deliver a better experience to patients it is mandatory for the clinician to learn about clear aligners in detail through courses, seminars or workshops. Only a confident dental practitioner would be in the position to “bust” any myth associated with clear aligners!!