The Inman aligner is an orthodontic appliance that has been around for many years to treat problems with alignment of your front teeth. They have gained popularity more recently due to the media attention that they have received and their advantages over fixed metal braces.
Here at Gentle Dental Clinic, Michael McManus is our Inman aligner expert, during your consultation with Michael he will discuss with you how the Inman aligner could benefit you or if alternatives are available. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about the Inman Aligner:
Why should you use Inman Aligners?
As time goes by, your teeth may move causing your teeth to become crooked, some people have naturally crooked teeth. Most people believe that they would need fixed metal braces, however the Inman Aligner can be used to move your front teeth to an ideal position quickly and effectively in a matter of weeks. When compared to the invisible braces such as the Invisalign system, the inman aligner is also more cost effective.
- They are an alternative to Invisible Braces
- Only one appliance is required – no need to change every 2 weeks
- Results are usually faster than fixed or invisible braces
- They can be easily removed to eat and clean your teeth
This patient didn’t like the appearance of her lower front teeth. She had braces when she was a teenager which left her with perfectly straight teeth but over the years they have moved. She just wanted to have straight teeth again so the Inman aligner was used and over a short period of time the teeth brought into line.
How does it work?
The Inman Aligner has Nickel Titanium coil springs that power two aligner bows that gently oppose each other, guiding the teeth into their new position. These gentle forces are active over a very large range of movement, which is why the Inman Aligner works so quickly.
The image shows the squeeze effect of the two aligner bows on the front teeth. The inner bow pushes forwards, while the outer bow pulls back on the front teeth.
How long is the treatment with the Inman Aligner?
Most cases are completed within 6-18 weeks. Your Inman Aligner dentist will give you a realistic guide of what to expect. For suitable cases, the Inman Aligner is usually much faster than alternative orthodontic techniques.
What’s involved in Treatment with the Inman Aligner?
- Find a Certified dentist who will determine if the Inman Aligner is suitable for you.
- Impressions are needed so that the lab can fabricate your custom made Inman Aligner.
- Initial fitting of the Aligner.
- Wear the Aligner 16-20 hours a day
- Regular Inman checks every 2-3 weeks.
- As with other orthodontic treatment, after treatment is completed with the Inman Aligner, retention is recommended for life to prevent relapse. Retention can come in the form of a lingually bonded retainer or an Essix retainer.
Is the Inman Aligner new?
The inman aligner has been used for the last 8 years to treat orthodontic problems, it is a very popular treatment in the US and is rapidly gaining popularity here in the UK.
Is the Inman Aligner comparable to Invisalign?
Invisalign is made of a specialised plastic hence the forces are low and the treatment slower. Inman Aligner incorporates tiny Nickel Titanium springs that are able to maintain a higher constant tension. It is used for treating the top and bottom front teeth only. Invisalign can treat full arches (all your teeth). When the back teeth need treatment ie the arch width is too narrow we can use a pre-treatment to expand the arches and follow with Inman Aligner. The treatment time is usually faster than clear braces.
Will treatment with the Inman Aligner be uncomfortable?
No. Due to the gentle but steady orthodontic forces generated, the appliances are easily tolerated. We suggest that you take some mild pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol for the first few days of treatment if you encounter any discomfort.
Will the Inman Aligner affect my speech?
Yes. The Inman Aligner will affect your speech for a week or two. You will however acclimate to the appliances over time and be able to speak fine with them in place.
Will I need to visit the practice frequently for adjustments?
The Inman Aligners are pre-programmed to reduce the need numerous visits to the practice, unlike other orthodontic treatments. We will prescribe a treatment tailored to your individual needs. The Inman Aligner utilises a lingual coil spring that puts pressure on the teeth that need repositioning and a labial bar that reverses the same pressure. These components work together to “squeeze” teeth together by pushing and pulling them into alignment (see the animation above).
How long will it take to get used to the Inman Aligner?
It will take about one week of wearing the Inman Aligner to become acclimated. Like anything foreign to your mouth, it may cause you to salivate more than usual for 24 to 48 hours and could affect your speech for 7 to 10 days, this would be the same for invisalign treatment or any orther orthodontic appliance.
How long do I need to wear the Inman Aligner for?
You have the option of not wearing the appliance, however, the longer you wear the Inman Aligner the quicker the results. It is recommended that you wear the appliance for at least 16 to 20 hours a day.
Won’t my teeth move back after my treatment is completed?
Retention (using or wearing an orthodontic retainer) is a very important part of any orthodontic treatment as your teeth have a natural tendancy to move back to their natural position over time. At Gentle Dental Clinic we give you the choice of a removable or fixed retainer. A removable retainer is worn overnight for 4-5 nights a week and then phased down over time to 2-3 nights a week. A fixed retainer can be bonded to the back of the front teeth to retain the result. This orthodontic wire is very thin and cannot be seen from the front.