Are Invisalign trays actually retainers? If not, how are they different? Are they as effective as retainers? These and other questions may flood your mind as you debate the style of orthodontics to use when you correct your smile. Find out some specific similarities, differences, and benefits related to Invisalign and regular retainers.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment method which uses a series of clear aligners to slowly move teeth into new positions. Each aligner takes the treatment a step further, and patients go through multiple aligners over a period of several months or more to achieve the desired results. Since Invisalign trays actively move the teeth, they are technically not retainers, even though they may look similar.
What is a Retainer?
A retainer does what its name suggests— it “retains” your teeth in a certain fixed position. A retainer does not actively move the teeth; it just keeps them in place.
The Goal of Invisalign
Invisalign can be used to cross mild overbite or underbite issues, straighten teeth, close gaps, and resolve other orthodontic problems. Although the aligners are highly effective in many cases, they cannot fix the most severe issues. Sometimes, dentists still have to resort to fixed metal or ceramic braces or other orthodontic appliances.
The Retainer’s Purpose
During one of your first visits, your dentist will show you what your smile could look like after Invisalign. Once you have been through months of Invisalign treatment, your teeth should look very much like the 3D image that your dentist showed you at the beginning. But teeth can be tricky; they tend to move back into their former positions if left to themselves. That’s why your dentist in Singapore will give you retainers to wear on your top and bottom teeth. Put the retainers in every night and wear them all night long while you sleep, preferably for several years. The retainers will keep your teeth from shifting out of their new positions.
Similarities Between Invisalign and Retainers
Your Invisalign tray and your retainers look very much the same. They will probably be made of identical materials— durable, rigid, clear plastic, moulded to fit your teeth snugly.
If you don’t wear your retainers for a few days, and you slip them on, you might notice that they feel tight, like each new set of aligners did at first. That tightness means that your teeth are trying to move out of their perfect positions into new crooked places. If you feel this sensation, make sure you get back on a regular schedule of wearing your retainer nightly.
Just like Invisalign trays, retainers can sometimes be easy to lose. To avoid losing yours, always place it inside a hard, brightly coloured container to protect it and make it easier to spot. If you do lose your aligner or retainer, talk to your Singapore dentist about it. He can have a new one made for you, often at a reduced price.
Invisalign, Retainers, and Orthodontics in Singapore
To get started with your smile makeover, contact Orchard Scotts Dental, a top dental clinic in Singapore. We provide Invisalign, teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry services that can improve your oral health, your appearance, and your confidence.
Source: My Smile, 8 October 2015