The minor movement aligner is an important part of keeping your teeth straight after they’ve already been aligned. One of the most common misconceptions about teeth is that once they have been set in proper alignment, they no longer change position. On the contrary, teeth are always shifting and moving—albeit in slow motion. Over time, such movement can lead to noticeable misalignments in your teeth.
Such misalignments negatively impact your dental aesthetics while also potentially causing problems with your bite. One of the most effective ways to restore ideal alignment is through the use of minor movement aligners, or MMAs for short. Unfortunately, many people still fail to understand this effective method. This article offers a useful introduction to the world of the minor movement aligner.
Minor Movement Aligners
The minor movement aligner is a type of orthodontic device involved in repositioning your teeth. Braces and regular aligners work well for treating more severe cases of misalignment. Yet for relatively minor misalignment, those devices are simply overkill. MMAs offer a much more low-impact way to correct small misalignments.
Studies have shown that minor movement aligners offer especially good results when it comes to treating a common form of misalignment known as front-teeth crowding. Likewise, MMAs prove effective at closing excessive spaces between front teeth. Rotated and tipped teeth can also be corrected with MMAs.
If you received past orthodontic treatment but were not religious about wearing your retainer, MMAs may be a great way to restore unwanted shifting. The repositioning process happens gradually, usually taking between 12 and 18 months. The actual time involve depends largely on the complexity of the desired change.
The Fitting Process
Minor movement aligners take advantage of cutting-edge technological developments in computer modeling technology. First, your orthodontist makes impressions of your teeth. These impressions are then scanned into a computer, creating a 3D model of your teeth. Special programs allow technicians to plan out the necessary alterations to ensure proper alignment.
Of course, these alterations don’t happen through the use of just one aligner. On the contrary, the modeling program will plan out a series of six or more aligners that will lead your teeth toward the desired alignment. As your teeth gradually shift, you will switch off to the next aligner in the sequence.
Once the aligners have been modeled, they are produced using a special type of photo-sensitive liquid resin. This resin turns into a hard, stable form of plastic when exposed to light from a laser. In this manner, the aligners are constructed in highly precise layers. Wearing the aligner exerts mild amounts of pressure on your teeth, causing them to conform to the desired shape.
Benefits of MMAs
Minor movement aligners offer an array of benefits. To begin with, the aligners have a highly discreet nature, thanks to the fact that they are made from clear plastic. When in place, the aligners are virtually undetectable, thus minimizing the embarrassment that comes with braces and other traditional orthodontic devices.
Another key benefit of MMAs has to do with convenience. Unlike braces and certain types of aligners, MMAs are not physically attached to your teeth in any way. In other words, you won’t have any trouble brushing and flossing your teeth. You can also remove the aligner for increased comfort when eating and drinking, meaning you don’t have to worry about any food restrictions.
Most patients also cite comfort as one of the primary attractions of MMAs, especially when compared with braces. The proprietary plastics used to construct MMAs are naturally soft and smooth, and shouldn’t irritate your lips or gums the way metal braces can. Finally, MMAs tend to be significantly cheaper than traditional orthodontic devices, thus making them a viable choice for a wide variety of dental patients.
At Reach Orthodontics, we want to help your smile be the best it can be. If you have any questions about the minor movement aligner process, or if you’d like to start the process, give us a call at (256) 772-0041 and we’ll take care of you.