Invisible retainer or clear aligner treatment is becoming an increasingly popular treatment option to move teeth. It was first developed in 1997 and uses CAD/CAM imaging and 3D printing to design clear retainers that move teeth, just like traditional braces, over 6-18 month period.
This type of orthodontics has its limitations and not every patient is a candidate. However, for relapse cases (patients who had braces as kids but didn’t wear their retainers) they are perfect! An evaluation with our dentist will determine if you are a good candidate.
Traditional braces are still the gold standard in transitional dentition and adult dentition orthodontics. When large movements and/or rotations need to be completed (more than 3mm of movement or greater than 15-20 degrees rotation) we will offer a referral to one of our local orthodontists who specialize in this type of treatment planning.
TADs are another relatively new tool that we have to use as dentist and orthodontist. TAD stands for temporary anchoring device and is used in orthodontics (braces) to allow our dentist to put additional forces on a tooth to move in a way that cannot be accomplished with just wires and brackets alone.
An example for this would be a patient who had a lower tooth extracted and, over time, the opposing (tooth directly above it) tooth has super-erupted (moved) into the extracted site. In this example, we would need to move the upper ‘super-erupted’ tooth back into its original position (intrusion) before completing restorative treatment on the lower such as implant or bridge.
Many times it will be necessary to consider preprosthetic orthodontic treatment prior to getting cosmetic dental treatment completed. Putting teeth into an appropriate position prior to prepping for veneers and/or crowns will conserve a considerable amount of tooth structure and decrease the need for root canals and recontouring gingiva (gums). Also, we can account for occlusal interferences.
This means we can find and correct areas where teeth might hit prematurely and decrease the life expectancy of a veneer. With proper planning we can expect our veneers to last a very long time.
Clear retainers are fabricated after orthodontics, or if a retainer is lost, to help retain the position of your teeth. Impressions are taken and your dental models are poured up in stone cast. We then use that mold to make custom thermoplastic retainer.
A traditional Hawley retainer may also be made if the patient so desires. This retainer is the classic retainer with a wire that runs across the front teeth.