Clear aligners like Invisalign, Clear Correct, and Simpli5 are designed and manufactured to blend in with the natural color of the patient’s teeth. They are typically favored by teens who are self-conscious and do not want to have the look associated with traditional orthodontic braces.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Clear aligners are increasingly popular in the orthodontics space as they allow patients to discreetly shift their teeth to a more aesthetically pleasing smile. While some clear aligner systems require going to the office of a medical professional, other treatment plans can be started at home with mail in teeth molds and trays. Clear aligners work similarly to traditional braces as they both use gradual force to guide teeth into a new position. The aligners are made of a strong, clear, plastic material that are customized to the patient's teeth. Aligners are typically worn for at least 20 hours a day, only being removed for eating or brushing the teeth. A series of the clear trays will be needed to eventually move the teeth into place, however the length of treatment and number of trays will vary from person to person. Typically, aligner treatment can be as short as three weeks or as long as six months. Overall, aligners offer a much shorter treatment than traditional braces. Once the teeth are sufficiently straightened, a retainer should be worn to maintain results.
The goal of clear aligners are to improve a number of dental imperfections such as crowding, too much space between teeth, overbite, crossbite, openbite, and overjet.
What to Expect
Clear aligners are designed to blend in with the natural color of the patient’s teeth while straightening crooked smiles. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after clear aligners.
- Digital scan to take 3D images of teeth
- Molds and x-rays taken to create unique trays
Trays changed every two weeks until teeth have shifted into their final positions. Aligners are typically worn for at least 20 hours a day, only being removed for eating or brushing the teeth.
Once the aligners are in place, there is typically minimal irritation and discomfort associated with this teeth straightening system. No recovery time is needed.
The ideal candidates for clear aligners are those whose teeth are in good general health who wish to improve dental imperfections such as mildly crooked teeth, protruding teeth, serious malocclusion, mild overbites, mild underbites, wide gaps in teeth, overcrowding of teeth, open bites, crossbites and excessive overjets.
Not Recommended For
Clear aligners are not recommended for children as their mouths are still growing. Children usually do not have the dedication to finish the program. Patients with severe orthodontic issues are not candidates because the jaw needs to be shifted.
Common side effects of clear aligners include impediments or hindrance to proper and comfortable speech. Patients may also experience bad breath or dry mouth.