All for a smile

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Be it the first day at your dream job, your first presentation to the board of directors or your first award receiving ceremony from the global CEO — your smile is the foremost feature that people notice. For those who dread wearing braces and they need to be kept on at least for 12 months or more, there is a new choice now available in the form of clear aligners, which are  made from elastic thermoplastic material and are biocompatible.

Underling the effectiveness of clear aligners, Dr Ashish Gupta, an orthodontist from Panchkula, Haryana says, “Fixing the alignment of your teeth will not only give you a gorgeous smile, but will also reduce the appearance of the ageing lines around your cheeks and lower lips, giving you a youthful appearance.” This is possible, he says, with one simple treatment — “clear aligners, which are the virtually invisible, comfortable and removable alternative to braces, to help you get a winning smile.” Today his orthodontic practice has at least 50 per cent people wanting clear aligners.

These are manufactured by several companies in the US and depending on the brand, the cost varies between Rs 1.5–4.5 lakh. They are estimated to have been tried by over four million people globally, he says. They are now being manufactured in India too, but in his practice, he uses only the FDA- approved international brands.

Dr Gupta says that today, with the application of advanced technology, clear aligners are able to treat a broader range of teeth straightening issues with greater precision. They can be used for crooked or protruding teeth, crowding, serious malocclusion, overbite, or underbite, using both non-extraction and extraction approaches.

However, a good section of dentists and orthodontists don’t agree with this point of view, and believe that clear aligners are not as effective as the good old dental braces and do not give results as good as the traditional braces.

Dr Gupta says not many people know that a “deep bite can actually make you look older and by correcting that, you can arrest ageing of the facial lines around your cheeks and lower lips.” He believes clear aligners can correct such complex deep bite cases.

A popular alignment option globally, the clear aligners are now available in India. Invisible, removable, and easy to use, clean and maintain, these aligners are custom designed and manufactured for individual patients. Over time, the trays slowly shift your teeth in the direction prescribed by the orthodontist.

There are no dietary restrictions or changes in one’s cleaning and flossing routine, he adds.

Dr Gupta says the best thing about this therapy is that “the patient need not see us for two to three months, as we give the fabricated aligners to her and she can change them herself every two or three weeks as prescribed.”

Ideally, such aligners have to be worn for at least 20–22 hours a day, and the patient has to remove them while having a meal.

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