The most obvious advantage of the treatment is cosmetic: the aligners are completely transparent, therefore far more difficult to detect than traditional wire and bracket braces. This makes the method particularly popular among adults who want to straighten their teeth without the look of traditional metal braces, which are commonly worn by children and adolescents. In addition, the aligners are marketed as being more comfortable than braces. Due to the removable nature of the device, food can be consumed without the encumbrance of metallic braces.
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Clinically, aligners avoid many of the side effects of traditional fixed appliances,for example the effects on the gums and supporting tissues. Fixed appliances are known to cause the roots of teeth to shorten for most patients,and demineralisation or tooth decay occurs in up to 50% of patients because they cannot be removed for eating and cleaning, and because they prevent accurate x-rays from being taken. Patients "graduate" to a new set of aligners in their treatment series approximately every two weeks. The aligners give less force per week and less pain than do fixed appliances (traditional metal braces). Fixed appliances are adjusted approximately every six weeks and apply greater forces.
Aligners should be removed to eat, drink, to clean the teeth, or to have them checked by the clinician. Because you remove the aligners, you are not limited to what you eat. (It is acceptable to wear aligners while drinking water.) Computerized treatment planning is compulsory as part of the Invisalign protocol. As with other forms of orthodontic treatments that incorporate a computerised plan, this allows the prospective patient to review the projected smile design, learn how long the treatment is likely to take, compare different plans, and make a more educated decision about whether or not to use Invisalign.
Invisalign treatments have been claimed to be quicker than traditional orthodontics. A large-scale study of 408 patients with traditional appliances in Indiana took an average of 35.92 months with a maximum of 96 months,while Invisalign takes between 12–18 months.
The study was considered by the authors, however, to be too small for many conclusions to be statistically significant. Furthermore, this general concept that Invisalign is faster has been challenged by the Invisalign review which points out that there are other brace appliance systems that take half the time, for example by incorporating surgery or temporary implants that insert into the patient's bone, to accelerate the procedure.
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