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What are Invisible Braces?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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Invisible braces are a clear type of straightening device for the teeth. The material used for invisible braces is made of clear plastic, so it is generally not visible. These braces consist of aligner trays that help to align the teeth into proper position over a period of time. An orthodontist can place an aligner tray in the patient's mouth, based upon precise measurements he takes. Most adults who need braces choose this method, as it is virtually impossible to notice without close inspection.

Setting invisible braces is a multi-step process. Every few weeks, the dentist will set a new group of aligners, also known as invisible braces, into place. The duration of treatment will depend upon several factors and be determined by the dentist. As part of routine maintenance, the patient will remove the aligner tray to brush his teeth or when eating.

One advantage of wearing this style of braces is that no other materials are involved other than the plastic aligner tray. The patient will not have to have use any special wiring or brackets that need to be adjusted. Most patients feel invisible braces are more comfortable than traditional ones.

It should be noted that not all dentists and orthodontists offer invisible braces, though as this method has become more popular more dental clinics and specialists have begun to offer this treatment. It is recommended that anyone considering this procedure speak with his orthodontist for recommendation and advice.

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Many types of invisible braces are patented under different names. They basically all work in the same way, however. Generally, invisible braces will use no metal, only clear removable plastic aligning trays.

The dentist will take impressions of the patient's teeth to obtain a model of the structure. This will provide the perfect customization uniquely created for the patient. X-rays and photos may also be taken.

The dentist will send the impressions and x-rays off to the laboratory, along with the patient's personal prescription. In many cases, a three-dimensional replica of the patient's teeth will be created in the laboratory. Plans for the aligner will typically be mapped on a computer. When everything is crafted to exact specifications, the lab will ship the aligner tray to the dentist.

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