Clear aligners can help many patients straighten their teeth invisibly.
Many adult orthodontic patients once dreamed of having a beautiful, straight smile. For one reason or another, they were never able to commit to orthodontic treatment as kids. Maybe their parents couldn’t afford braces when they were younger, or perhaps they did have braces as a child but didn’t keep up with their retainer (hey, we’re not judging). Sometimes just the thought of feeling self-conscious while enduring two years in metal brackets is too overwhelming.
Regardless of the reason, adults are flocking to orthodontics like never before. In fact, over 25% of patients in orthodontic treatment are adults! Straight, bright-white teeth are a symbol of youth and vitality. Thanks to advances in science and technology, many people can now get these results in a fraction of the time compared to traditional metal braces. Granted, there are still many cases where metal braces and a two-year treatment commitment are the best solutions, but clear aligners can help many adults have the smile of their dreams in a few simple steps.
Clear aligners have many brand names like Invisalign and Clear Correct. They are made of similar materials (a clear, thermoplastic tray that patients wear for up to 22 hours a day). Each brand has its benefits, but they are mostly the same. They are removed only when you eat, drink anything other than water, or when you clean your teeth.
After an exam, x-rays, and digital scans, your dentist or a lab will fabricate an entire set of trays. The trays have small “buttons” where the plastic is built up. These put pressure on specific teeth and encourage them to shift into position. Each set is worn for a couple of weeks. When the teeth have moved to the point that no pressure is felt on any single tooth, the next set is inserted and worn for another two weeks. This cycle continues until the teeth are moved into their ideal place. Like traditional braces, a retainer is worn after your active treatment phase is over.
Clear aligners are great for adults and some mature teens but are not recommended for children because they can be easily removed and lost.
A brief consultation and exam with your dentist can help determine if clear aligners are right for you. Sometimes your dentist can even show what your smile will look like when treatment is complete!
Whether you have always dreamed of a beautiful, straight smile or just recently given it some thought, give us a call to see if clear aligners can work for you!