Table of contents
- Why you have to wear a cheek retractor
- Why we’re taking photos of your mouth
- How patient photos are taken
- Start your teeth straightening journey today
Helping you achieve the beautiful straight smile that you deserve is the primary objective of the ALIGNERCO clear aligners treatment. In order to ensure this, enough prep work needs to be done. If there are any mistakes in how we prepare your aligners, it can result in your treatment plan going off course.
One of the ways that we have to prepare your treatment is by taking pictures of your mouth using what is called a cheek retractor. Though it shouldn’t cause any real discomfort, some patients do wonder why it’s necessary in the first place when we’re taking photos. Here, we’re going to explain what the cheek retractor is, why we’re taking photos, and why it’s so essential to your treatment
Why you have to wear a cheek retractor
The cheek retractor i is a device that your doctor will fit inside your mouth, pulling the soft tissue such as the lips and cheeks away. As such, this can expose the teeth much more effectively than if they had had simply asked you to open your mouth and looked around with a light. Furthermore, in order to take the necessary pictures for your treatment, your doctor needs to make sure that the tissue remains out of the way for a slightly longer time.
Cheek retractors are a very common tool for dental procedures, often used during fillings, crown preparation, sealant application, and much more. Your doctor will make sure that you’re as comfortable as you can be when wearing a cheek retractor. They might cause your mouth to feel dry after a while, but your doctor can make sure that you get some water to rinse and restore the natural levels of moisture after the retractor comes out.
Why we’re taking photos of your mouth
Though we can get an idea of the alignment of your teeth, and any issues related to their alignment, through an in-depth examination, taking patient photos can be essential for being able to diagnose the issue much more specifically. Your doctor can learn the angle of each tooth and the occlusion (i.e., the level of contact between each tooth), and how they might be affecting your alignment as time goes on.
Regardless of how many teeth are out of alignment and how they are moving, getting to know that articulation is essential. The patient pictures that your doctor takes are used alongside the dental impressions they take in order to make a thorough treatment plan over time. If your doctor doesn’t get a good idea of the articulation and occlusion of your smile, then it can result in a treatment plan that doesn’t really suit your needs. This could result in an incorrect realignment over time, meaning the treatment might have to be set back.
How patient photos are taken
By repositioning your head and using the cheek retractors to ensure that your mouth stays open, your doctor will take multiple photos from at least six positions to make sure that they are able to get a full 3D view of the position and occlusion of the teeth. This is usually done with a simple digital camera. Aside from the cheek retractors, it is not likely they will need much else to do this treatment than intraoral mirrors, some lighting, and a vertically adjustable stool.
Photos are taken from the following angles:
- Right Side
- Left Side
- Open Down
- Open Up
- Mouth Clenched Shut
The cheek retractors will be used in each position to better expose your teeth to the camera, allowing your doctor to snap pictures that give an accurate picture of your teeth, their occlusion and their alignment.
Aside from allowing your doctor to get a better idea of what kind of treatment plan to put in place with your clear aligners from , these patient photos can also serve as part of a “before and after” set, allowing you to look back and see just how much a realignment treatment has helped.
Start your teeth straightening journey today
Taking patient photos with cheek retractors does not cause any real discomfort and is an essential step of preparing any journey using clear aligners like those from . They make sure that each aligner you put on has been accurately designed to help you achieve your aims of having a straight, beautiful smile. Get in touch with your doctor about ALIGNERCO today so you can make your first appointment and begin laying out the path of your own treatment.