How does the amount of force impact the outcome of your aligner treatment?
How much force is good force for your aligner treatment to actually work? Is it a notch much or a bit too less? What does it really take for aligners to move and give your patients the desired results?
These questions seem so essential, and yet not often asked.
In orthodontic treatments, teeth had always moved with an optimal force until aligners came into the picture. With traditional options like braces, the doctors control the force of the movements. With aligners, that’s not the case. The manufacturer decides the force levels, creating an inconsistency in the applied force common during the entire duration of the aligner treatment.
Most leading brands apply a force that is either excessive or non-existent, which actually has a more detrimental effect on the treatment outcome while also causing severe discomfort to the patients.
Let’s understand the dynamics of force in aligner treatments and why it needs to be consistently optimal.
How do aligner treatments work?
Aligners can treat wide-ranging oral malocclusion problems. As long as there isn’t a need for oral surgery for protrusion or over-rotated teeth, invisible aligners will be able to fix your misaligned teeth. They are high-grade polymer trays designed to be molded to your patients’ teeth to exert a generous amount of force that enables gradual movement. Over one treatment course, a patient goes through a number of these polymer trays, each of which will work to achieve a small movement progression every couple of weeks, approximately 0.2mm for translations and 3◦ for rotations, if all goes as planned.
From aligner thickness to the material properties, from the amount of activation to the attachments used, all influence its biochemical properties affecting the effectiveness of outcomes. But most of all, it’s the exerted force that translates into accurate outcomes for aligners. A consistent amount of force that remains optimal throughout the aligner wear is the reason for aligners to overshadow their predecessors in orthodontic treatments.
How inconsistent force leads to inefficiency in treatments?
Leading brands in the aligner industry today apply inconsistent force throughout the aligner treatment. On day 1, the applied force is 8 to 12 times more than needed, and by day 7 of the tray, barely any force is exerted. The inconsistencies in force have a detrimental effect on the treatment outcomes and patient experience, making aligners more about pain and discomfort and less about the effectiveness of results.
- In the initial days of wearing a new tray, patients experience extreme discomfort because of excessive force. It exerts too much pressure, making the teeth move faster than they should. While the patient experiences pain, you lose control over the movement.
- During the last days, the non-existent force essentially stops all movement, sometimes causing regression in progress achieved in the former days.
- When a new tray is worn, the teeth placement is often not in sync with the intended plans, and designed trays become ineffective.
- The patients will have experienced discomfort for no reason, and for you as a doctor, it would mean unnecessary refinements, which will add to the treatment time.
Aligners can be extremely accurate in the outcomes they deliver. However, that depends on the amount of force the aligners are designed to exert. The force can’t be inconsistent, it can’t be excessive, and it can’t be minimal. It has to be optimal and consistent.
What does optimal force mean for the aligner experience?
Making a patient go through severe discomfort and not even get the desired results is not ideal when it comes to the aligner experience. If we replace sudden excessive force with continuous optimal force, the problem will be solved.
Here are three reasons optimal force is the way to go for the optimal experience.
- More predictable outcomes
The kind of outcomes you can expect from aligner treatments are directly proportional to the kind of force applied by them. If it is continuously at an optimal level, you will be able to predict the movements more accurately. Treatments will become unpredictable if there is a variation in force, and the expectations you set in the beginning will become difficult to meet. Optimal force streamlines the planning process by giving you control over the movements. Knowing what will happen will allow you to predict outcomes more accurately and avoid unnecessary delays.
- Desired treatment results
When you have adequate teeth movement, the results will always be satisfactory. With optimal force, you will give your patients the smile they always wanted in a time period that is convenient for you and them. Getting straighter teeth is not difficult with aligners, but getting them in the desired position without many refinements and discomfort often is. Consistent applied force increases the likelihood of results being better and faster as it makes treatment planning and execution more efficient.
- Better patient experience
Today, patients expect more, and aligners have to give it to them. A certain sense of discomfort and pain will always be present with an alignment treatment, given that it brings a change in the human body. It’s when the pain becomes severe that problems arise, and excessive force is the leading cause of the pain problem. You can’t let aligner treatments become more about the pain and less about the results. You need to give your patients the ultimate treatment experience without discomfort.
Why go for OrthoFX’s optimal force technology?
We believe optimal force should be a priority in aligner treatments as much as the quality of polymers. From the first day of wear to the very last, the applied force must remain consistent to ensure that movements carry on as seamlessly as planned by you while keeping your patients comfortable throughout the wear time. That was the thought process behind our FXTetra aligners.
FXTetra aligners make alignment treatments more efficient. The advanced polymer system of the aligners is designed to exert continuous optimal force, making treatment outcomes highly predictable and minimizing off-track cases. 8 out of 10 of our treatments complete with not more than 1 refinement.
Our optimal force technology also adds to a more comfortable aligner experience that is less painful and uncomfortable, keeping your patients happy. We took the convenience of aligner wear to the next level by making them more stain-resistant.
If you have more questions about aligners, optimal force, and their effectiveness, please contact us at orthofx.com or call 415-936-0006. We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.