Clear aligners are one of the biggest innovations in the world of esthetic dentistry. They allow people to get straighter teeth from the comfort of their homes without having to go through an intrusive procedure. They also have tons of benefits over traditional dentures that make them a great option for people who were looking for a discreet way to fix their dentition. However, a lot of people might still not know if they’re the right choice for them or might have some questions about how they work.
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and are designed to help guide teeth into their proper position. Similar to braces, clear aligners use a gradual force to control tooth movement, but without metal wires or brackets. The aligners are made of a strong plastic material and are fabricated to fit each individual’s mouth. If a series of aligners are needed, each aligner moves the teeth in increments until the desired movement is achieved.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions people have about clear aligners.
How Do They Work Exactly?
Well, they work a lot like traditional braces in the sense that they both apply pressure on teeth so they can fall into place. When consistent force is applied to the tooth, bone and structural changes start to occur and teeth start to move. This is why it is not recommended for infants to suck their thumbs since the pressure can affect alignment.
The same principle applies to traditional and invisible braces. The only difference here is that invisible aligners use a polyurethane mold instead of brackets and elastics. This affects everything from how intrusive the procedure is, to how much it costs, and maintenance routine.
What Are the Benefits of Clear Aligners?
The biggest benefit of clear aligners is how discreet they are. A lot of people don’t want to get braces as they get older because they’re not a fan of the metal braces look. And having braces when you’re older could affect your image if you’re in an image-driven business.
The other benefit of clear aligners is how convenient they are. You have services like ALIGNERCO that will have your aligners ready for you without having to visit a clinic. All you have to do is order their impression kit and send it back so they can get a mold of your teeth. The experts at ALIGNERCO will then evaluate it. If you’re eligible, they will create aligners specifically for you that will be sent by mail.
Another great thing about clear aligners is that you don’t have to wear them all the time. The same company also sells aligners that you can wear at night only. These can be a great option if you don’t want to deal with the inconveniences of wearing them during the day, don’t mind waiting longer to get results.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay?
You’ll be happy to know that invisible braces will cost you a lot less than traditional braces. You can get them for as little as $1145, and in many cases, you can buy them on a payment plan. So you don’t have to pay as much when you order them online since you don’t have to actually see a dentist.
Are There Any Restrictions?
You’ll also be happy to learn that there are no food restrictions when it comes to invisible aligners. This means that you won’t have to worry about popcorn or other fibrous foods getting stuck in the brackets.
However, they do require some special care when eating. You’ll need to make sure that you remove them before every meal and thoroughly clean your teeth after you’re done. That includes if you’re going out with friends or during a business dinner. So, this is something you’ll have to be prepared for. This is because it can cause a breathing ground for bacteria if teeth still have some food particles in them when you put the aligners back on. This could also lead to breath issues. Also, while they are not forbidden, you have to be careful with acidic foods. If you’re going to be eating them, you have to make sure that the acids are neutralized by alkaline foods. You may also want to clean your trays more often if you consume a lot of acidic or staining foods.
Are They Effective?
Of course! While it’s hard to have a clear success rate on these since there are so many variables, it’s said that 85% of people who get invisible braces have successful results. Of course, it depends on what type of condition you had and the user.
If you don’t use them correctly or don’t wear them as long or often as you should, then that would be like getting a gym membership and not going. So, you have to make sure that you’re committed and disciplined. And, if wearing them all day is too much for you, you can always try night only aligners.
Can they Treat all Conditions?
Unfortunately, not. There are some cases when clear aligners won’t be recommended because the situation is too complex. For instance, any misalignment issues that have to do with the bone structure of the jaw will usually not be treatable using invisible braces. Tooth position issues can also make it impossible for invisible braces to do their work. For instance, if your molars have rotated more than 20 degrees, chances are invisible aligners won’t work in those cases.
Tooth shape can also be an issue. Also, if you have severely gapped teeth, know that invisible braces cannot close a gap wider than 6mm, so these are all things you’ll have to consider to see if you would be a good candidate.
Is There a Difference Between Going to the Clinic or Getting Your Aligners at Home?
A lot of people may think that there is a fundamental difference between the aligners that you get at home and those you get at a clinic, but both are the same. In most cases, you won’t have to see a dentist. However, in severe cases, like people with major overbites, it could be a good idea to go see an orthodontist after you’ve gotten your aligners so they can overlook the progress.
Can I Switch from My Traditional Braces to Invisible Aligners?
Yes, you can, but only in certain cases. There are cases when the situation can only be solved with traditional braces. You also need to know that treatments can cost more when you switch in the middle. However, if you feel like the improvement and convenience is worth it, speak with your orthodontist and see what they have to say.
How Long Does It Take to Get Results?
You’ll be surprised to learn how fast you can start to get results with invisible braces. Most people will start seeing improvements in about 5 to 6 months. The average treatment time for invisible braces is between 6 to 11 months.
Are Invisible Aligners Painful?
They shouldn’t be. However, some people have reported discomfort when first wearing them, but this discomfort tends to subside after a while. Pressure is good and is what will correct your dentition, so don’t be worried if you feel a little bit of pressure at first.
There are several advantages to using clear aligners
- Clear aligners are removable so it is easier for you to brush and floss after meals
- Clear aligners are easier to keep clean
- Clear aligners are comfortable and less likely to irritate your gums and cheeks
- Clear aligners can prevent tooth wear from grinding
So, if you were still on the fence about invisible braces or just needed more information about them, hopefully this has helped to clarify things for you. Make sure that you consider them, and speak with a provider today to see how they can help.