Breaking Common Myths About Aligner Treatments
Clear aligners have become the go-to choice when the goal is getting an aesthetic and more comfortable option for teeth alignment. This concealed and discreet way of treating malocclusion is more than an aesthetic treatment that’s all about comfort. They are certainly more comfortable than traditional braces, without the pains and pricks associated with the latter. However, are they as effective?
In an alignment treatment, the notion that pain equates to effectiveness is often considered true. But it doesn’t have to be. And aligners are proof of that. The technology that is used to create aligners emphasizes defining outcomes just as much as comfort, thereby giving doctors better, highly predictable results while providing patients with a comfortable aligner experience.
The stereotype of aligners just being taken on for aesthetic reasons without any tangible or permanent results is based on a myth. Let’s debunk it today.
Myth 1: Aligners must be painful to be effective.
Fact: Aligners cause minimal pain and discomfort yet are very effective.
Aligners make alignment treatments a seamless experience for patients because they are built for comfort. Considering that aligners bring a major change in your body by realigning your teeth, there will be some pain and discomfort, but nothing that would stop your patients from going about their daily lives.
The slight pain that the patients do experience is more of tenderness or pressure. There are two major reasons for pain in an aligner treatment.
- First is the force. The polymers used in aligners are designed to fit the patient’s mouth like a glove and apply optimal force to all the teeth together. With an adequate amount of force being applied, the pain is minimal, and that too, only during the first day of wearing a new tray. However, a patient would experience more pain and discomfort if the aligners exert sudden bouts of excessive force. Ideally, this should not happen.
- In a different scenario, the positioning of an aligner can sometimes rub against the patients’ cheeks, tongue or gums, causing irritation and discomfort. Since the mouth has extremely soft tissues, the irritation can persist. A simple trimming or smoothening of the edges can solve the problem easily.
In both cases, the pain doesn’t have an effect on the outcome of aligners. Its presence or absence does not define the technology’s effectiveness. Optimal force is necessary for optimal outcomes, while slight abrasion is just a minor inconvenience in an otherwise seamless experience.
Myth 2: Treatment outcomes for aligner treatments cannot be predicted.
Fact: With continuous optimal force, aligners deliver extremely predictable outcomes.
Apart from adding to comfort and convenience, the delivery of continuous optimal force throughout the aligner wear also ensures that the teeth move as expected.
Unfortunately, not all aligners are able to exert optimal force continuously. Usually, day 1 of the aligner wear would have 8-12 times more pressure exerted than required, and by day 7, the force would be non-existent. This initially causes extreme discomfort to the patient while leading to no movement in the latter part of the wear.
With an optimal force technology, you will get better and more predictable outcomes. There won’t be any unexpected delays.
When the movement is adequate, you can even track the treatment progress more discerningly. Not only that, but you also get a 3D monitoring system that gives you more control over treatment outcomes, as you can keep track of the movement anytime and anywhere.
Myth 3: Aligners require constant refinements, thus longer treatment time.
Fact: Aligners are faster than traditional alignment treatments because of fewer corrections.
It is true that 8 out of 10 patients getting an orthodontic treatment require some unplanned correction or even recourse. However, when optimal force is in the equation, outcomes become predictable, and refinements automatically become fewer.
Considering each refinement adds up to 8 weeks of treatment time, lesser refinements will make the treatment go on faster, and patients would get their desired smiles faster.
Myth 4: You have to limit your food and beverage choices with aligners to avoid stains.
Fact: You can eat to your heart’s content without worrying about stains.
A softer diet with more liquids owing to a sore mouth is not something aligners patients have to deal with. There will not be a ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ list of foods. Your patients will appreciate you for that.
The worry with aligners is more related to staining. Since they are transparent, certain food items can cause a brown or a yellow stain on them. Recent advancements in aligners have quelled that worry as well, making them stain-resistant. With almost negligible staining, you can drink as many cups of coffee and eat as many bowls of curry as you want.
Staining also had an impact on the wear time. Because certain aligners are prone to staining, the patients avoided wearing them whenever they had to eat something that could possibly cause discoloring. This majorly affected the ideal wear time of 20-22 hours daily, making the treatment go off track. Moreover, when an aligner is worn after a time gap, the pressure it’ll apply will cause some pain and discomfort, much like wearing a new tray.
So, the fact aligners are stain-resistant is one to be celebrated with a hot cup of mocha.
What does debunking these myths mean for doctors?
From the effectiveness and predictability of outcomes to fewer refinements and more wear time, doctors and dental practices become more efficient in treating patients and placating their worries.
For instance, a single refinement results in the addition of 2 visits. This means records are retaken, and 7-8 weeks are further added to the treatment time, impacting the cost of the treatment for both the patient and the practice. The time spent on correcting an easily avoidable recourse could have been spent on acquiring and treating a new patient.
In a different scenario, being certain of predictable outcomes and adequate tooth movement, tracking the progress of your patients becomes more streamlined. You can do it from anywhere and anytime.
When aligners do their work correctly, the burden and responsibility on the doctors and practices become less.
FXTetra Aligners for lesser pain and better outcomes
FXTetra aligners are an effort to make alignment treatments more streamlined by removing all the inefficiencies that impede the procedure for doctors and patients.
Our advanced polymer system provides highly predictable outcomes with low refinement rates. OrthoFX practices have seen 80% of treatments completing with not more than 1 refinement, making mid-course corrections extremely minimal. With FXTetra, your patients get a pain-free experience while you get reliable outcomes every time.
Aligners are as effective as any other alignment treatment, and they are much more comfortable. If you need more convincing, you can visit orthofx.com. We’ll be happy to quell all your concerns.