What is a clear aligner therapy?
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.
Did you know…
In some cases, clear aligners can provide faster results than traditional braces.
How it works: The clear aligner therapy process
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. Once this is complete, your dentist will ship the images to a special laboratory to make your first several sets of clear aligners.
Fitting and Next Steps
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.
Types of clear aligners
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.
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 trimlines for optimal comfort and movement.
Did you know…
There are no limitations to the foods you can eat while wearing clear aligners.
Have questions about clear aligner therapy? Find answers here.
How do clear aligners work?
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.
Are clear aligners safe?
Yes! All aligners are made of medical grade BPA-free clear plastic, which means that they are both safe and comfortable to wear.
Are clear aligners faster than traditional braces?
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.
What is the difference between clear alignment therapy and traditional braces?
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.
How much do clear aligners cost?
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.
Did you know…
Clear aligners are removable and easy to clean.