Most people would like to have a nicer smile, straighter teeth. Traditionally, the only way to reach this goal is using something that is fixed on teeth, braces. It doesn’t matter whether its metal, clear or something hidden behind teeth, it’s a tried and tested approach and gives patients beautiful results when treated by an orthodontist.
With advancements in technology, new techniques and methods are created and the newest kid on the block in the world of teeth moving is using something removable and discreet, more specifically: clear aligners.
Invisalign is one of the most well-known brands in this area of orthodontics although many others do exist such as Spark, SmileStyler, Angelalign and Suresmile just to name a few. All these clear aligner systems work on the principle that as the series of custom-made clear plastic trays are worn, teeth are guided into position, slowly straightening teeth.
Although not always as efficient as its “fixed” counterpart, in the right hands, these wireless options can also achieve great results. Teeth are inherently dumb. They have no idea whether braces and wires or removable plates are used to apply a force to move them. Each technique requires a very special skill set and a good understanding of tooth movement is crucial to achieving a great result.
The harsh reality however, is that not all doctors are created equal, some are simply better or more experienced than others. The problem with this boom in clear aligner therapy is that most non-specialist dentists can complete a weekend crash course and start treating patients with very little or no knowledge on how teeth actually move.
An even more worrying trend for me at the moment is these online do-it-yourself aligner products such as Smile Direct Club, WonderSmile and Ezysmiles just to give a few examples. It allows consumers to treat themselves at home with very little or no doctor interaction at all.
It is certainly cheaper than seeing a specialist orthodontist or dentist. All it takes is sending a mould or model of your teeth to them, and a series of aligners will arrive at your doorstep.
“Buyers beware!” rings true here. In the best-case scenario, some may see some improvement or none at all. In the worst-case scenario, they will see side effects such as gum recession, joint pains, inability to bite properly or even tooth loss.
The human body is a very complex system and needs to be treated as such. Even the most experienced of us runs into problems sometimes. There is no such thing as one size fits all and no one single technique of moving teeth is applicable to everyone.
Go see a doctor that you trust and verify that they are a specialist. Discuss the best way to straighten your teeth that suits your lifestyle and meets your needs and wants. This way you can be sure that you are in the hands of an expert and you are in the best care possible.