Clear Aligners CATEGORY DESCRIPTION
Orthodontic tooth movement with clear aligners employs a series of incrementally different, nearly invisible aligners that shift teeth gradually over a period of up to 2 years. Aligners are typically changed every 2 to 4 weeks, with patients requiring anywhere from fewer than 5 to more than 20 aligners in total. Acrylic buttons may be temporarily attached to teeth to add force to movement in intrusion and extrusion cases.
Prior to treatment, 3D models of the patient’s present and projected dentition are made. Laboratory requirements for clear aligner fabrication generally include upper and lower PVS impressions and PVS bite registration (or digital scans), full-mouth or panoramic X-rays, facial and intraoral photographs, and information regarding the number of aligners needed and any IPR recommendations.
Because they are nearly invisible and removable for brushing and eating, clear aligners enhance patient compliance, which is essential for successful outcomes. However, because aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day, some manufacturers provide built-in checkpoints at predetermined intervals to enable mid-treatment corrections and refinements if compliance falters.
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