Invisible alignment splints
This category consists of appliances that the patient can put and remove from his mouth on his own. Some examples of this category are:
This technique (www.invisalign.com) was invented in U.S.A in the early 2000s and is now widespread all over the world.
Treatment with this technique is as follows: the patient uses a series of invisible membranes which are made after high precision impressions are taken. These initial impressions (along with the treatment plan) are sent to Invisalign laboratories for scanning. After a few days, the 3D picture –the so called ClinCheck-is sent electronically. In this 3D picture we can see the future movements of the teeth. In this way, the patient knows before the start of the treatment the final position of his/her teeth. After the orthodontist and the patient agree on the treatment plan, the aligners’ construction begins. The customized membranes must be worn 20-22 hours a day and be changed every two weeks until the teeth are moved to their final positions. The number of aligners needed for each patient is different, depending on the complexity of the case, but usually ranges from 9-18 months for easier cases to 18-36 months for more demanding cases.
Alternative to the invisible membranes Invisalign, our practice uses the Clear aligners (www.clear-aligners.eu) according to the clinical indications. These aligners are transparent aligners that look like the Invisalign ones, but differ in their way of construction. In this technique, more than one impression is taken, one each month. The impressions are sent to a specialized orthodontic laboratory in Athens, F.N orthodontics (fnorthodontics.blogspot.com), which is certified for this technique. The company’s software utilizes these impressions to create a set-up, which takes about five days’ time. The set-up consists of three aligners of gradual hardness (soft, medium, hard). The three aligners will treat each of the three arches. The patient uses the aligners 20-22 hours a day for ten days. Most recently, thanks to computerization, the orthodontist can take in the beginning of the treatment only one impression, instead of multiple monthly impressions, from which all the necessary aligners for each specific case can be fabricated.
The invisible aligners Orthocaps (www.orthocaps.com) used in our practice belong to the category of transparent aligners. For their construction the orthodontist takes a high precision impression in the first appointment that is sent to Hamm in Germany, along with the patient’s photos, x-rays, and the treatment plan. After two weeks, the orthodontist receives electronically the teeth’s 3-D illustration(i-set-up) in which the future movements of the teeth can be seen. It takes about 10-15 days for the i-setup to arrive from Germany after the orthodontist’s approval. These aligners are known as ‘double aligner,’ because in the orthocaps system the patient in each therapeutic stage receives one pair of aligners (from a different material) for each arch. The patient wears the hard aligners that are completely transparent during the daytime (10-12 hours), while during the rest of the day when one is usually less active the patient uses the soft ones. Each stage lasts three weeks, upon which time the aligners are substituted by other ones. The membranes are worn according to the orthodontist’s instructions, about 20-22 hours a day. The orthocaps system can also be used even by younger patients who are in mixed dentition (that means that they have both primary and permanent teeth in their mouth), but at night only