It seems so simple on paper.
You have a minor misalignment as an adult. You go to your dentist and they prescribe a simple orthodontic intervention with a clear or invisible aligner.
You place the aligner in your mouth, wear it for 22 hours each day, and attend check-ups and your teeth straighten perfectly. Sadly, but rarely, there are some instances where it is not that straightforward. Due to either an error with the patient, the printing of the aligners, or the dentist themselves, there are some instances where an invisible aligner fails to work and another orthodontic tool is needed.
So, what are some of the signs that your Invisalign Chelsea is not going quite according to plan?
Tight fitting aligners
A key sign that invisible aligners are working is that after about 2 weeks of wearing each aligner, it begins to feel loose.
So, you switch to the next aligner in the series which will feel tighter. Simple! But if your aligners feel tight across the 2 week period and do not loosen, then this is a sign that they are struggling at this stage in the process. This may be due to a lack of space to move the teeth or another complication.
Either way, if you have stuck to the 22-hours-per-day rule and your aligner has not loosened after 2 weeks, then you must contact your dentist.
Okay, so clear aligners work because they are moulded to the shape of your teeth and thus, they can move your teeth into the desired positions.
But sometimes, due to an issue with the 3D printing process, you may get a set of aligners that do not track correctly. That is, they do not fit and may feel loose or leave gaps around your teeth. Should this happen, talk to your dentist immediately and show them the issue you are having with the aligner. If they agree, then they will send off for a replacement aligner and you will need to have a minor delay in the orthodontic process.
Gaps are widening and other orthodontic issues
As your aligners move your teeth, you would ideally expect any gaps you have to close and your teeth to move into the correct alignment.
Sometimes, this does not happen and you may notice a gap become larger in your mouth or that a tooth is moving out of line.
As before, if this is the case, seek help from your dentist promptly as they can assess the cause and treat the issue with either a different type of brace or orthodontic treatment.
Teeth not moving
And what happens if your teeth do not appear to be moving at all?
This is more common in complex cases of misalignment or in instances where there is insufficient room for the teeth to move. Should this be the case, you will once again need to seek help from your dental team and you may need to either have an extraction or begin using a different type of brace.