Clear Aligners Not Tracking? Here’s Why, And Here’s How to Fix That

Person Wearing Clear Aligners Tracking

If Your Invisalign Treatment

Isn't Progressing Like It Should, Here's What You Can Do

Clear aligners offer the unique advantage of visibly tracking your teeth's alignment progress, bringing joy as you see your smile transform. However, this can also lead to frustration if results aren't as expected. While millions have benefited from clear aligners, backed by over two decades of advancements, they're not a guaranteed solution for every orthodontic case. When it comes to Invisalign treatment progress issues, it's important to recognize that individual experiences may vary. The treatment planning and treatment process are carefully designed to achieve optimal results, but there can be factors that influence the outcome. It's essential to maintain realistic expectations and work closely with your orthodontic provider to address any concerns along the way.

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Complications may arise that impede, negate, or negatively disrupt progress. As many as over 40% of all patients using the most popular aligner brand could run into these road bumps on their smile journey, according to  BMC Oral Health . Fortunately, these factors are, more often than not, reversible. Find out what may cause such orthodontic complications, and what you may need to do about them.
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Fit Issues

If your aligners are not tracking, this could indicate an issue with their proper fit. Clear aligner fit problems might be the cause behind this concern. In such cases, it's important to address the problem promptly to ensure effective treatment.

Aligners not tracking? It could be a sign of poor fit, potentially related to clear aligner fit problems. In this situation, addressing the issue is essential for effective treatment.

If you're experiencing any problems with your braces, don't hesitate to seek assistance. Noticeable signs of improper fit include:

  • Visible gaps and air bubbles between the teeth and aligner
  • Failing to cover the gingival above 0-2mm
  • A seamless fit on one side of the dental arch, but not the other

You can often fix these gaps by yourself. If you see any gaps, just press the aligner onto your teeth by biting down on a bite stick, aligner chewies, or safe mint products designed for orthodontics.

Fixing these gaps is simple. When you notice gaps, use a bite stick, aligner chewies, or orthodontic-safe mint products to press the aligner onto your teeth. This helps you achieve a beautiful smile and straighten your teeth, whether you're using traditional metal braces or Invisalign chewies.

Additional Treatment Time

If those other two points are apparent though, and improper fit persists, don’t be afraid to consult an experienced licensed orthodontist about getting refitted.  Clear aligner refinements  are necessary to ensure treatment is completed and your teeth are properly aligned, so be sure to listen to your orthodontist if refinements are prescribed.

Sometimes, your teeth may not align properly on schedule, causing them to lag behind in their alignment. In such cases, your orthodontist may prescribe refinement trays. These are additional aligners designed to complete and fine-tune the necessary adjustments for your teeth.

Refinement trays help ensure your teeth move effectively to their desired positions. They play a crucial role in optimizing aligner wear time. Your orthodontist may recommend these trays for final smile adjustments..

These trays assist in moving your teeth and can be important for achieving a perfect smile. They work by enhancing aligner wear time. Your orthodontist may suggest them to fine-tune your results.

To maintain good oral hygiene during treatment, remember to continue brushing and flossing regularly. This helps ensure the best outcome for your smile.

This addition to your treatment plan will extend the duration by a few months, but it remains well worth it. Consult an experienced licensed orthodontist to assess whether you're falling behind the treatment schedule or if you could benefit from additional refinement trays.

When it comes to aligner compliance and treatment delays, seeking professional guidance from a dentist or orthodontist is crucial. Refinement trays, such as Invisalign trays, can play a pivotal role in ensuring your treatment progresses as intended. Make an informed decision with the help of a qualified expert to achieve the best results for your dental health.

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Compliance Issues

May Come to Light

Clear aligners, like any other type of orthodontic appliance, are just a tool. To make the most out of this tool, it’s essential that you use it properly. That means  cleaning it diligently , practicing  delicate care around it  diligently, and wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. Failure to do so can impede treatment progress, as can:

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Heat can irreversibly warp or damage the aligner plastic. Moreover, while it’s among the least worrisome health hazards that it can raise, smoking can discolor the aligners, discolor your teeth, and double your risk of tooth decay according to the  CDC .

To ensure ideal treatment compliance, it’s best to abstain from smoking and other  bad habits . You can’t totally expect your results to be contingent on your appliance – how you use that appliance is equally, if not more important for your success.

You May Need to Backtrack

You May

Need to Backtrack

It may sound weird and counterintuitive, but sometimes you need to go backward to move your treatment forward. If your treatment has moved off track due to  improper aligner compliance or improper aligner fit , consult your orthodontist about the prospect of “backtracking” treatment.

Backtracking occurs when a patient is ordered to wear their previous aligner tray longer than originally scheduled. Doing this can make a meaningful difference in solving incisal gaps, incomplete tooth movements, or ill fits.

Saving your previous aligner trays as a backup can help expedite this process, but even if you don’t have them on hand, don’t worry! Your orthodontist and aligner manufacturer can make  replacement trays  remade from the last impression in your treatment sequence.

How Do You Know If You Are A Good Candidate for Invisalign Treatment

You May

Need A Treatment Revision

Clear aligners are produced with the help of high-tech, cutting-edge imaging tools like iTero scanners . These technologies can lay out a practical roadmap for your Invisalign treatment with extremely accurate precision. However, that precision should not be mistaken for a foolproof, magic crystal ball into the future.

Changes naturally occur, and they can take place during your treatment. There's no need to worry; your oral health evolves and changes continuously. Therefore, it's reasonable for your oral health treatment regimens to also adapt accordingly.

Your orthodontic treatment revision for aligners may encounter shifts in progress. This is entirely normal, as your teeth move to fit properly into their desired positions.

Your orthodontic treatment revision for aligners may encounter shifts in progress. This is entirely normal, as your teeth move to fit properly into their desired positions.

These adjustments are part of the natural evolution of your oral health journey. So, don't be concerned if changes occur during the course of your treatment. Your oral health is dynamic, and your treatment plan can flexibly adapt to these shifts.

Orthodontists are extensively trained to handle these types of changes and change course when necessary. If you suspect that you may need a treatment revision, consult your orthodontist ASAP. You may need to have new impressions taken, but that usually just entails having new impressions taken, and not much more than that.

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You May Need a Different Provider

If your orthodontist continually:

  • Fails to provide accurate fits
  • Fails to make necessary adjustments
  • Fails to provide necessary resources

Then all the above are signs that you could use a different orthodontist. Consider only seeking treatment from exemplary orthodontists, ones with accolades such as the Diamond Plus certification that prove that they’re great at what they do.

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Under  ADA guidelines , an orthodontist must respect a patient’s right to self-autonomy, and includes the right to transition to another provider if you’re dissatisfied with your current treatment provider.

Bottom line, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, and you shouldn’t be afraid to do everything in your power to set your clear aligner treatment on the right track.