Clear aligner therapy, or CAT, is a custom-made clear dental appliance that gradually straightens a patient’s smile by applying gentle, consistent pressure to the teeth. Patients struggling with crowded or gapped teeth may be suitable candidates for clear aligner therapy. Because the aligners are made of clear thermoplastic material, CAT is a great solution for patients looking to discreetly align their smile. Call us today to learn more from our Marysville dentist!
In some cases, clear aligners can provide faster results than traditional braces.
At your consultation, your dentist will determine if clear aligner therapy is right for you. First, your dentist will examine your gum health and teeth to check for gaps and crowding. They will also discuss your smile goals and develop a treatment plan made just for you.
Your dentist will then take a series of digital images of your mouth as well as a mold of your teeth, known as an impression. Your dentist may make adjustments to ensure your teeth are properly aligning on the mold. Once this is complete, your dentist will ship the images and impressions to a special laboratory to make your first several sets of clear aligners.
Once your aligners are complete, your dentist will check them to ensure proper fit and alignment. You’ll wear each set per the dentist’s instructions, usually for 20-22 hours each day, and switch them out every 2 weeks. Every 6 weeks, you’ll stop by our office to pick up your next few sets of aligners and so the doctor can check your teeth to make sure they’re tracking.
Invisalign aligners are made from a thick, clear, patented plastic material called SmartTrack. Patients that lead an active lifestyle may appreciate Invisalign’s sturdy material and durability. Invisalign offers a wide variety of aligners, which can treat mild to severe misalignment cases. Many patients opt for Invisalign as it is the original clear alignment therapy treatment with a long history in discreetly aligning beautiful smiles.
ClearCorrect aligners are made from medical-grade thermoplastic, and are significantly thinner than Invisalign aligners. Some patients prefer this thinner option, as it can cause the aligners to appear less visible. ClearCorrect offers a variety of aligners that are suitable for mild misalignments. Depending on the severity of your misalignment, ClearCorrect can sometimes be a more affordable option compared to Invisalign.
For patients struggling with crowded teeth, spaces and over/underbites, SureSmile Aligners can discreetly straighten your teeth to dramatically improve your smile over time. As an aesthetically pleasing alternative to braces, teens and adults can benefit from their nearly invisible appearance and durable quality. Created with industry-leading dental plastics, SureSmile aligners offer variable gum line trims for optimal comfort and movement.
Reveal aligners offer superior aesthetics with a truly transparent clear aligner made of ClearWear material. Not only are they clearer than other clear aligners, but they also don’t stain and require minimal to no attachments. This means you won’t have to wear any unsightly bumps over your teeth to help anchor your aligners. This aligner system can treat minor to complex orthodontic cases thanks to a state-of-the-art design that creates a precision fit with fewer attachments.
There are no limitations to the foods you can eat while wearing clear aligners.
Clear aligners gradually straighten your teeth over an extensive period of time. Each aligner tray is custom made to ensure your teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Trays are replaced every two weeks until your smile has reached its optimal result. For most cases, it can take up to a year to correct your smile.
Yes! All aligners are made of medical grade BPA-free clear plastic, which means that they are both safe and comfortable to wear.
While time frames vary based on each individual patient’s needs, clear aligner therapy is known to provide quicker results than traditional braces. This is because aligners gently push on all teeth as a whole, whereas braces pull each tooth individually. In order to achieve the results you are looking for, it is crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions for wearing your custom-made clear aligners.
Unlike traditional metal braces, clear aligners gently and discreetly shift your teeth without any noticeable or uncomfortable metal brackets and wires. Clear aligners are also minimally invasive, so most patients find them far more comfortable than traditional braces. Since clear aligners are easily removable, you can quickly take them out for photos and functions and place them back in at any time. However, clear aligners are not suited for everyone. If you are struggling with issues such as a malpositioned jaw or a severely misaligned bite, braces will offer a more versatile and powerful orthodontic treatment.
The cost of clear aligners is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your clear aligner therapy include the aligner brand, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for clear aligner therapy is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
This depends on the complexity of your case and how well you comply with treatment. On average, people complete clear aligner treatment in 12 to 18 months. However, if you have a very minor aesthetic issue such as small gaps or a few slightly crooked teeth, this can be corrected in months.
Others with severe bite issues may take longer than average to correct these problems. You will be given an accurate estimate of the length of treatment during your consultation.
Through digital mapping, we can plan your entire treatment using a digital 3D model of your teeth, which will show you exactly how your teeth will move, how long it will take, and what your final alignment will look like.
The best thing you can do to ensure you’re completing your treatment as fast as possible is to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day. Otherwise, you may find that your next set of aligners doesn’t fit and you have to backtrack to the previous set which will extend the length of treatment.
This ultimately depends on your priorities and the specifics of your orthodontic case. If your top priority is aesthetics and ensuring that your aligners don’t interfere with the cosmetic appearance of your teeth, you might prefer Reveal Aligners.
However, if you have a more complex alignment and want to ensure you’re using the best and most reputable brand in the market, then you should go with Invisalign. If you want a treatment that is comparable to Invisalign but a little more affordable and offers variable trim lines on aligners, then ClearCorrect or Suresmile could be for you.
If you’re looking for a recommendation on clear aligner brands, Dr. Montgomery can advise you on which brand is best suited for your orthodontic case during your consultation.
- Brush your aligners with a soft bristle toothbrush and denture cleaner
- Soak your aligners in denture cleaner for 15 minutes a day
- Rinse your aligners every time you take them out and before putting them back in
- Remove your aligners before eating or drinking flavored or hot beverages
- Do not rinse your aligners under hot water
- After eating, brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back on
Clear aligners are removable and easy to clean.