Clear aligners have grown in popularity in recent years as patients choose them over traditional braces to achieve straighter smiles. But with this new technology comes a bit of a learning curve for orthodontists. You have the tools for regular braces, but what about instruments to adjust clear aligners?
Clear aligner instruments are essential for providing a high level of service for your patients. You may know a bit less about them than the tools you use for regular braces. With the innovation of clear aligner systems, dentists can also offer clear aligner treatments to their patients. Learn more about the orthodontic instruments required for Invisalign and other clear aligner brands below.
What Instruments Do I Need for Clear Aligners?
Orthodontic clear aligner pliers are the tools you need to give your patients the treatment they expect. These special pliers come in various shapes and sizes. Each serves a different purpose, like the other tools you use throughout your practice. But, as the name implies, clear aligner pliers are specific for clear aligners.
You’ll need several types of clear aligner pliers to properly serve your patients. The following list reveals which instruments you’ll need and why you’ll need them as you help your clients along their clear aligner journey.
Pliers for Creating Hooks
A fundamental aspect of traditional braces is the use of elastic bands to encourage the movement of specific teeth. The bands connect to hooks on two brackets, creating extra tension and force between teeth. This process helps patient’s teeth receive the extra encouragement they need to move into a straighter position.
In the early days of clear aligners, hooks and elastic bands separated traditional braces from clear aligners. Orthodontists lacked ways to use the same process for their clear aligner patients, limiting how many patients qualified for clear aligners depending on the state of their teeth. With the latest clear aligner research and the development of new instruments, hooks and bands are now a regular part of the clear aligner process.
Pliers for creating hooks use a teardrop-shaped tip to make an indentation in the plastic of a patient’s clear aligners. The shape of this indentation is perfect for receiving an elastic band and holding it in place. Patients can then experience the power of elastic bands in their orthodontic treatment with the discreet aesthetic of clear aligners. Now, even intensive teeth-straightening procedures are possible with clear aligners. And it’s all thanks to the hook-forming abilities of these special instruments.
Pliers for Making Precise or Broad Adjustments
Traditional braces often cause sensitive cheeks and gums from poking wires or abrasive brackets. Some patients expect clear aligners to avoid these issues. But they might experience slight discomfort from their plastic appliances if there’s an improper fit.
Discomfort from clear aligners comes from pieces of plastic cutting into a patient’s gingival tissue. If even a small amount of plastic is extending farther than it should, it could rub against a patient’s sensitive gums, leading to inflammation and pain. You need an accurate clear aligner instrument to adjust this section of plastic and help your patients experience relief.
Point-punch aligner pliers are the instruments you need to do this task. This type of clear aligner instrument is more accurate than blades, easier to use than clippers and keeps the aligner plastic intact. You get the control to make accurate adjustments to your patient’s aligners. Plus, some pliers can be heated on one side to help manipulate the plastic. Determine the amount of plastic you need to adjust and use the point-punch pliers to apply your custom change. It’s a simple way to adjust clear plastic aligners and should help your patient feel more comfortable wearing their current trays.
Another crucial part of clear aligner treatment is the use of buttons that apply extra pressure to certain teeth. Sometimes, it’s hard to get a patient’s aligners to fit comfortably when using these buttons. You can use a point-punch plier to make extra room over an area, allowing the aligners to snap into place with the button. The patient can then enjoy a proper fit while still receiving the necessary effects of the orthodontic buttons. Point-punch aligner pliers are an essential part of your instrument collection for that versatility.
You can also use small circle pliers or large circle pliers, depending on the task at hand. Use the large circle pliers to make significant adjustments to aligner areas against large maxillary teeth, or make indents or pocket-like adjustments with a small circle pliers. Whatever level of control you need, you’ll find that adjusting problem areas is an easier task with the right clear aligner instruments.
Clear Aligner Pliers for Manipulating Plastic
Many models of clear aligner pliers are on the market, all with their own specific use. The ultimate goal of these instruments is to manipulate the plastic of an aligner tray in a way that benefits the patient. Possible reasons for adjusting these appliances include creating hooks or manipulating problem areas. But there are other ways you may want to customize your patient’s aligners with clear aligner pliers. Sometimes, a patient’s trays may be imperfect and need some slight adjustments to get them to where they should be.
Using clear aligner pliers to add small vertical or horizontal indentations can persuade a patient’s tooth to move in a certain direction. You can use other pliers to create bumps or bubbles that adjust the fit and pressure of a patient’s aligners. You can even use point-punch aligner pliers to make a loose clear aligner tray tight again. You’ll find an aligner plier for every need so you can be ready for your patients’ unique situations.
Check out ProDentUSA’s Clear Aligner Orthodontic Instruments
At ProDentUSA, our goal is to provide you with orthodontic tools you can rely on in your dental practice for years to come. Our products come with the ProDent Promise, which means they’re designed to last and guaranteed to satisfy. And we’re proud to offer you some of the best prices in the industry. We manufacture and ship our supplies ourselves. No middleman means you save money on our high-quality orthodontic products.
Shop our clear aligner orthodontic instruments online today. And if you’re looking for more information, we’d be happy to get in touch with you. Call us at 1-888-724-5820 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you and providing you with the clear aligner pliers you need to help your customers time and time again.