In this day and age of high-visibility, the vast majority of orthodontic patients want an alternative to metal braces. We have them. The dentists at New Smiles Dental in Sherwood, OR are proud to offer not one option for clear braces, but several. These include Invisalign®, ClearCorrect®, and SureSmile®. If you are seeking a straighter, healthier smile, our clear aligner treatments are worth exploring.
What are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners, known by their various brand names, are orthodontic devices that are custom made to fit discreetly over the teeth. Aligners are made of medical-grade plastics that safely and gently guide teeth into a more desirable position.
What is the benefit of Clear Aligners Vs. Metal Braces?
Aligner systems offer several significant advantages over conventional braces. While the systems available today may not treat severe malocclusion, they are capable of correcting a variety of mild to moderate alignment issues. Some of the reasons patients prefer clear aligners over metal braces include:
- Clear plastic aligners are nearly invisible in the smile. With good care, and because aligners are worn only for a few weeks at a time, staining is not likely. When patients smile or speak, all people notice is their beautiful teeth, not bulky braces.
- Aligners are more comfortable than braces. While patients should expect some soreness while their aligners work to shift their teeth, these systems are much more comfortable than braces. This is because aligners fit over teeth, there is nothing protruding into the lips or cheeks. There are also no sharp corners to catch soft tissue.
- Food restrictions are minimal with clear aligners. Because aligners are removable for meals, patients can continue to eat the majority of their favorite foods. Because teeth are moving and shifting into place, patients may be advised to avoid hard foods like pretzels and hard candies during their course of treatment.
- Removable aligners make oral hygiene a breeze. One of the concerns with braces is that it can be difficult to clean around brackets and wires. Our systems foster optimal oral care. Patients simply remove their aligners, brush and floss as usual, and replace their devices as needed twice a day.
What is the difference between each aligner you offer?
Our clear aligners look similar and work in the same fashion; the custom-made aligners fit over teeth and gently force them into a new, healthier position. All systems are clear and removable. All require consistent wear about 22 hours every day and can straighten teeth in as little as 6 months depending on the amount of correction that is needed. Invisalign and ClearCorrect aligners are made without BPA and phthalates.SureSmile aligners are fabricated using Essix ACE® Plastic, an industry leader in dental plastics. Our dentists are fully trained and familiar with the nuances of each of our clear aligner systems. During your consultation, they can make an informed recommendation based on your needs.
Who is a candidate for Clear Aligners?
Many teens and adults are excellent candidates for clear aligners. This type of treatment may not be ideal for people who smoke, unless they can quit their habit for the duration of their program. As long as the patient has the dexterity to insert and remove aligners, has mild to moderate misalignment concerns, and can commit to proper wear and oral care, they should be able to straighten their smile with clear aligners.
What is the procedure for Clear Aligners? Are they painful or do they take long?
Getting clear aligners is relatively easy. First, a dentist performs a consultation to discuss the corrections that need to be made and the patient’s desired outcome. A thorough dental examination is performed, including x-rays if needed, to identify the type and extent of misalignment. If the scope of care falls within the capabilities of a clear aligner system, we can move forward with digital scans or impressions and treatment planning.
Wearing clear aligners is also easy, which is one reason why they are so popular. Patients do not describe their treatment as painful. However, teeth are being moved over the months of treatment so there is bound to be some soreness or tenderness along the way. If needed, patients may take an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage these side effects of treatment.
Clear aligners can achieve similar results to orthodontic braces in a comparable period of time. Treatment may take place over 6 months to 18 months in most cases. Because aligners do not obscure the smile or significantly affect daily life, treatment time seems to fly right on by.
What can I expect from my results?
The results achieved through clear aligner treatment can last indefinitely provided that patients stick to their post-treatment instructions. At the conclusion of the treatment program, patients receive a custom-fit retainer. Some patients use their retainers for many years after completing their teeth-straightening program. At the very least, dentists advise patients to rely on a retainer for a few years to prevent relapse. Initially, the retainer must be worn at all times. Eventually, though, it can be worn at night only.
Is there any recovery involved with Clear Aligners?
There is no recovery associated with clear aligners. When switching sets of aligners, patients may experience slight soreness and speech changes for a few days while the mouth gets used to the new devices.