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The main objection that people seem to have against braces is that they look, well, terrible. So is there a way of straightening the teeth without getting braces or is that just too good to be true? We have the answer!

One of the most common questions that dentists get asked is if it’s possible to straighten your teeth without braces. Well, the short answer is yes, although the long answer is a lot more complicated than that.

"Crooked teeth" — or rather an incorrect occlusion — wildly vary in severity, translating to many different treatment options.The severity of the patient's crooked  teeth should be taken into account before deciding on a treatment plan. After all, touching pristine unaffected teeth and then loading them with artificial prostheses might not be the best option for something that could be treated much more conservatively as well.

So, let us take at a look at the various ways in which teeth can be straightened without braces.

What Are Aligners — And Are They An Option For You?

Aligners are one of the newer technologies used to straighten teeth. When a patient walks in and asks for "invisible braces" or "straightening without braces", this is what they are usually referring to. Fast becoming more affordable than ever before, they are probably the treatment option suitable for the widest range of patients, short of having braces put in. These aligners function in a way similar to braces, as they apply forces over a long period of time and move the teeth into the desired position. The treatment time, though slightly shorter in most cases, will still take several months

Aligners: What You Need To Know About The Process

The process of getting these aligners is pretty simple. Your doctor will clinically examine your teeth and ascertain whether your case is treatable with this method or not. The advances in this technology and fine-tuning of techniques has meant that a lot more cases are now treatable with the use of aligners than ever before.

It was earlier thought that orthodontic cases which needed extractions were not treatable by aligners, however that is no longer the case.

After the clinical evaluation, the next step involves making diagnostic casts and taking photographs of the patient. These are then sent to the company making aligners for a pre-treatment evaluation and tentative outcomes. This is done so that the patent has an idea of what the endpoint of the treatment is likely to be and to make sure that any unrealistic expectations are squashed right in the beginning.

Once the patient has signed off and agreed to the treatment, the company will deliver the aligners to the doctor. These are clear acrylic aligners that are almost impossible to notice after wearing. They are Removable and while they should be worn for as long as possible throughout the day, they can be taken out while in a public setting.

The company will deliver a whole set of aligners, the exact number of which will vary according to the kind of malocclusion that the patient started out with. 

There is a set sequence as to how long each set of aligners has to be worn for and which aligner has to follow the previous one. This is because aligners arecreated with the assistance of a computer model predicting where the teeth will have moved to after wearing the previous set for a certain amount of time. 

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