Aligner Treatment Process
Irrespective of which product is used, there are some typical stages in the orthodontic treatment procedure:
- A dental impression is taken of the patient’s teeth.
- The silicon impression or plaster model is sent to the manufacturer of the aligner (orthodontic laboratory or aligner company). The impressions are then used either to make a plaster model (manual system) or they are scanned into the computer to produce virtual 3D models and a simulated treatment process using CAD/CAM software. In the case of a computer-aided system, the 3D treatment simulation is uploaded to the orthodontist’s computer so that he can plan the treatment and advise the patient accordingly. If the treatment simulation is accepted, the case is confirmed online.
- The aligner is manufactured and despatched to the orthodontist. The intermediate model may also be sent to the orthodontist so that he can have the aligner manufactured in his own laboratory.
- The first aligner is fitted in the patient’s mouth. The patient then wears each of all the aligners produced in succession.
- If the treatment is unsuccessful a new impression is normally taken and the whole cycle begins again from step 1.