The Secret to How Invisible Braces Are Made
The earliest record we have of “modern braces” can be traced all the way back to the late 1900s. But these types of braces might look very different than the ones we have now.
In the past, braces were a big deal. Aside from being expensive and painful, they are also very visible, which can have an effect on a person’s self-esteem. In fact, the stigma has grown to the extent that braces and glasses are common and very inaccurate stereotypes for nerds and losers.
Nowadays, though, we have a wide range of different types of braces available, and for a lot of people, invisible braces are a great option.
If you don’t want it to be that obvious to other people that you’re wearing aligners, these are a great option for you. But before agreeing to any type of treatment or aligner, it’s important to know how it’s made.
That way, you stay informed and have a rough idea of what to expect. So, in this article, we’re taking a deep dive into how invisible braces are made and some other pieces of information you might need to know if you’re considering invisible braces.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Are Invisible Braces?
Invisible braces are transparent and subtle alternatives to traditional wired braces that offer a discreet way for people to make slight alignment corrections in their teeth. These are ideal treatment options for older teenagers and adults, but they aren’t recommended for people who still have their baby teeth.
Additionally, invisible braces are best used for subtle corrections. These are highly recommended if you want to treat an overbite or overjet and crowded and crooked teeth. So, that means invisible braces won’t be able to treat other more severe misalignment cases and bite problems.
With that said, the only person who can determine if you are a good candidate for invisible braces is your dentist or orthodontist. If you struggle with any of the problems mentioned above, you could ask your dentist if invisible braces are the right option for you.
There are three types of invisible braces. The first is ceramic or clear braces, which work similar to traditional braces, with rubber bands. But since these braces are weaker than traditional wire braces, you have to keep them on for a longer time.
Another option to keep your braces hidden is inside braces. These braces are attached to the back of the teeth as opposed to the front. While they are a good option, not a lot of orthodontists are confident in the technique, and it can be quite costly.
The third type of invisible braces is invisible aligners. These aren’t braces you wear for the entire treatment period. Instead, you can take them on and off as needed. Some options have you wear them throughout the day, while others may only require you to wear them in the evening while you sleep.
The Process of Making Invisible Braces
Different manufacturers use different techniques to make invisible braces. For example, the Smile Direct Club offers an at-home treatment to slight misalignments and is made of PET-G thermoplastic. On the flip side, other brands like Byte specialize in all-day aligners that you have to wear for 22 hours a day and use different technology than other manufacturers.
With that said, to get the right fit and size on your invisible braces, companies usually go through the same general procedures to ensure they are tailored just right. Here are some of the usual steps that manufacturers go through when making invisible braces.
The 3D Scan
The most crucial step in making invisible braces is to get the right measurements. Companies have different methods of doing this. For example, Invisalign, one of the more popular options on the market, uses a 3D scan of the person’s teeth.
That way, they can create an accurate digital model of a person’s teeth so that they can input the right measurements to make a correction. Byte and Smile Direct Club may also use 3D scans. However, if that isn’t available, another option is to use an impression kit, which is a more traditional way of measuring one’s teeth.
After scanning, the next step is to design the braces. To do this, most companies will develop a 3D digital render of your teeth, including how much certain teeth have to move and how they will accomplish that. This allows the technician to be as accurate as possible and ensure that you get the results you want.
With that said, keep in mind that invisible braces aren’t for everyone. There are some conditions that these braces can’t handle, which means you might have to resort to using traditional wire braces.
Most invisible braces are made using a 3D printer. That way, all the exact measurements can be calibrated, and you’re ensured that the braces are accurate. Remember, invisible braces are great for making small adjustments, so precision is necessary.
How Long Do I Have to Wear Invisible Braces?
This depends on the severity of your condition and the type of invisible braces you get. For example, take a look at the Byte treatment option. This is a home aligner treatment that requires you to wear the braces for 22 hours a day. Typically, Byte treatment plans only last a few months, which is significantly shorter than wire braces.
However, if you choose inside braces or other non-visible options for more severe misalignment, then you might have to wear them longer. In fact, if you opt for clear ceramic braces, you might have to also deal with the fact that the braces are weaker, so you’ll end up wearing them much longer than traditional wire braces.
Invisible braces are a great option for anyone with minor alignment issues. On top of that, if you only need to make small adjustments, there are a bunch of different home treatment options like Byte, SDC, and more.
With that said, invisible braces aren’t for everyone. While they are made with the utmost precision and quality, they can only do so much for misaligned teeth. So, if you have severe misalignment, you may want to settle for traditional wire braces.
Keep in mind the only person who can determine if you are a good candidate for invisible braces is your doctor. So, if you’re considering the treatment option, make sure to ask your dentist or orthodontist about your options.