Now that your treatment is almost complete you should notice that your teeth are almost perfectly aligned, and you should see a big difference between how you looked at the beginning of the treatment and now!
Not only that, but you should also feel that it is easier to take your aligners on and off because the teeth that were previously crooked are now nicely aligned.
It is important to arrange a final appointment with your dentist to check your progress against the treatment objectives that were agreed at the beginning of your plan.
The dentist will also ask for your feedback and whether your personal treatment goals have been achieved or not. It is important that you communicate any areas that you believe require improvements also known as “refinements”.
Refinements happen at the end of many clear aligner treatments because of the complexities of modelling the biomechanics of the teeth, gums, and jaw. Despite our computer modelling software, over long treatments, there might be slight variance This variance is simply corrected as a ‘refinement’.
To make the ‘refinement’ your dentist will take a new impression of your teeth, which will guide the planning team to make their assessments. You have control over whether you want to proceed with a refinement or not and can expect this to take typically 1 to 2 months of additional treatment.
At DDC we give one free refinement with each of our cases. If you require additional refinements these may be chargeable.Once you have reached your objectives and desired results, you can remove your aligners.
If you have had ‘attachments’, then your dentist will now remove these little tooth coloured blobs of composite and leave your teeth in exactly the same condition as they were at the start of the treatment.
The dentist will also take some photos documenting your progress and the results that were achieved. Now you can stop wearing your aligners for 20 hours per day!
The next step after your aligner treatment finishes is the retainers!
Retainers are really important to maintain and sustain the new position of your teeth. It can take nine to twelve months for the bone and gum to adjust and memorise the new position of your teeth. During this time, your teeth will want to move back into their old position. For that reason, it is really essential to keep wearing your retainers during this phase after the treatment.
With each DDC clear aligner treatment we provide one free set of retainers which can be worn every night to maintain the position of your teeth. Our DDC retainers are invisible and made from the same material as your clear aligners, however the thickness and strength is greater so it acts rigidly to maintain the correct tooth position.
Other forms of retainer are also available and can be purchased from your dentist.
We really recommend a lingual wire, which is a small metal wire attached to the back of your teeth. It is extremely hard to see, but because it is permanent and strong, it really keeps your teeth in the correct position. If you don’t want to have a metal wire in your mouth you can also consider asking your dentist to place composite at the back of your teeth to bond them into the correct final position. Both lingual wires and composite are great retainer solutions because they are permanent and cannot be removed or forgotten.