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Scared of Using Metal Braces? Switch To Clear Aligners For Teeth Straightening

Scared of Using Metal Braces? Switch To Clear Aligners For Teeth Straightening
Scared of Using Metal Braces? Switch To Clear Aligners For Teeth Straightening

TheHealthSite.com spoke to Dr. Kirubaharan BDS, the Director of Opal Dentistry to understand more about the braces and their alternatives.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Updated : May 13, 2022 6:31 PM IST

Metal braces have been around for decades and historically, it has been the go-to option for straightening teeth. With the advancement in technology, clear aligner therapy has emerged as the modern alternative, providing more comfort and convenience compared to metal braces. Clear aligner therapy involves using a series of customized, clear plastic aligners to gently straighten your teeth which does not interrupt your lifestyle, as the name suggests, they are almost invisible, removable, and most importantly, so convenient! TheHealthSite.com spoke to Dr. Kirubaharan BDS, MDS - Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Cosmetic/Aesthetic Dentist and the Director of Opal Dentistry to understand more about the braces and their alternatives.

How to get started?

Many prospective patients are not sure how to get started. While the technology has evolved, the underlying concepts and risks associated with the treatment remain; it's a medical procedure, after all, hence, doctor supervision for safety and best results is crucial.

So, the first step is to start the conversation with an Orthodontist of your choice. An Orthodontist is a "specialist" dentist registered in India who has received additional education and specializes in diagnosing and treating misalignments of your teeth and jaws. If clear aligners are what you prefer, then choose an Orthodontist who has been trained or has treated patients with clear aligners. Most Orthodontists would include this information on their website.

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What happens in the first consultation?

The first consultation is for you and your doctor to acquaint yourselves better. In your initial consult, your Orthodontist will ask for your chief concerns, evaluate your suitability for teeth straightening by checking your dental x-rays or scans, and check for any other underlying issues you may have like gum infection. Depending on your preferences, they will provide you with options to discuss the pros and cons of various types of treatment, reputable brands with the best efficacy for your situation, any discomfort you might experience, cost, and expected outcomes. They will also talk you through their treatment approach, final expectations, number of doctor visits, and duration of the treatment. Amazing right, yes! the Orthodontist plays a very important role in the success of your treatment. You will be in treatment for months, so this is an important aspect of your teeth straightening journey.

Any other things to know?

There are many new players in the market offering clear aligners, some sold online too without the need for an in-person appointment with an Orthodontist before starting teeth straightening! It's important you are able to choose the Orthodontist who will be involved in your treatment. Make sure to ask key questions like, who is responsible for your treatment? How will they check on your progress? Who will fit your first aligner? Who to reach out to in case of any emergencies or if you are experiencing excessive discomfort or pain?

The American Association of Orthodontists2 provides a series of questions you may want to think about when looking for orthodontic treatment. Below are a few questions you must consider:

  1. Before the treatment begins, are there any comprehensive diagnostic records like x-rays, photographs, or digital scans that will be taken?
  2. Does your treatment fee include any in-person visits to a dentist's or orthodontist's office?
  3. Is your Orthodontist's name listed on the company's website or elsewhere? Like any treatment, it helps to know who is caring for you.
  4. Who is responsible for detecting any issues that may occur during your orthodontic treatment?
  5. If a doctor is involved with your orthodontic treatment, how can you contact him or her over the course of your treatment? How can you contact him or her if an emergency arises?

Let's hear from an Orthodontist!

Dr. Kirubaharan, is a reputed orthodontist who specializes in doctor-directed clear aligner systems used by registered Orthodontists across India.

He shares his recent experience: "A young bride-to-be, in pursuit of a quick smile makeover, went through the clear aligner treatment advertised online. After months of wearing the aligners shipped to her, she didn't get the results she wanted and finally came in for a second opinion with me. After a detailed consultation, I advised her to switch products to a globally proven and well-established clear aligner system under my direct supervision. I started her treatment and, within seven weeks, she started seeing changes in her smile. The patient was thrilled and regretted not coming to see me first. Therefore, I always suggest patients do their research well before taking up any aligner treatments which are not doctor-directed because straightening teeth might seem easy but it is not so straightforward. It's important to know that some clear aligner brands claim to only provide minor to moderate teeth correction. If you have more complex issues or if a dental professional has identified a problem with your bite, it's worth doing your research to find out if your preferred aligner brand can fix your specific problem".