Invisalign: How the Clear Aligners Actually Move Teeth

It used to be that those who wanted straighter teeth did not go through with treatment simply because they did not like the way braces look. Many thought traditional orthodontics were too bulky and painful. 1998 saw the introduction of Invisalign—an orthodontic treatment that uses custom-moulded clear, plastic trays—as an alternative to metal bands and brackets.

Weybridge orthodonticsInvisalign has grown in popularity as an alternative solution to misaligned teeth, but only a few know how the whole process actually works.

How Invisalign Moves Teeth

Let us start with the players involved. The tooth itself is made from different materials. The visible part of the teeth is covered by a material called enamel, while the root of the tooth is covered with a material called cementum.

The cementum is then connected to the surrounding tooth socket by what is called the PDL or the periodontal ligament, which is made up of many fibres of collagen. The main purpose of the PDL is to anchor the teeth to the bone socket so that they do not fall out. It also allows slight movement or ‘bounce’ to absorb the pressure from chewing.

Under normal conditions, the PDF does not allow the teeth to move. Additional pressure on the teeth (such as with aligners), however, causes cells on the side of PDL compression to start ‘eating away’ at the bone. This then causes the tooth to move into the new space. Simply put, Invisalign aligners carefully apply controlled forces to the teeth to move them into a better position.

The same process occurs with traditional metal braces. With Invisalign aligners, however, the treatment is painless, convenient, and far less embarrassing.

Light Force on the Tooth

Even placing a light force on the tooth using the tongue or a finger can cause it to move. This is why orthodontists in Weybridge like us are concerned with thumb sucking, nail biting, and tongue piercing, which can dramatically tip teeth outwards or upwards.

Invisalign has been proven to be effective in straightening teeth. If you wish to undergo Invisalign treatment, call us for a Weybridge orthodontics consultation.