About Clear Aligners
Clear Aligners are a perfect system for adults and teens who want straight smiles but don’t want to wear metallic braces. We offer both Invisalign™ and SureSmile™ systems. They are especially great for adults who have previously had braces but now want to re-straighten areas that have become crooked again. However, all ages are accepted for treatment, from teens to senior citizens. It works by providing the patient with clear plastic “aligners” that move teeth a little at a time. Each set of upper and lower aligners is worn for 2 weeks at a time, then exchanged for a new set that moves the teeth just a bit more.
Treatment times vary but can be as little as 5 months or up to 1 year. At the end of treatment, it is necessary to wear a night-time retainer to maintain the final results.
Cost & Insurance
Prices vary according to the number of aligners needed. We offer a FREE consultation to determine how many aligners you will need and what the fee will be exactly. Many insurances cover orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign and SureSmile, for young people up to the age of 18. Your insurance policy may differ and some do provide adult orthodontic coverage. Our trained staff can help determine your dental insurance coverage prior to any treatment. Payment plans are available, and special offers may be made from time to time through the Invisalign™ and SureSmile™ companies.
Advantages of Clear Aligners Over Traditional Braces
- Improved Oral Hygiene — With an orthodontic appliance that is removable, you will be able to clean your teeth much more easily than if you were wearing metal braces.
- A Discreet Look — If you consider your orthodontic treatment to be a private matter, or simply feel that metal braces don't fit with your self-image, a practically invisible form of orthodontic treatment might suit you.
- More Dietary Choices — To protect metal wires and braces, some diet modifications are necessary. With clear aligners, you can still bite into an apple or a crispy pizza crust.
- Comfort — The thin, flexible material of which Invisalign and SureSmile are made will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth, as metal wires and braces can.
- Teeth-Grinding Protection — If you have a teeth-grinding or clenching habit, clear aligners can function as thin nightguards that will protect your teeth from excessive wear.
How it Works
Specialized computer software is used to design a plan for moving your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement will be broken down into perhaps several dozen stages. For each stage, Invisalign or SureSmile will manufacture two plastic mouth “trays” or “aligners,” one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of trays for two weeks, for a minimum of 20 hours per day. You will then move on to the next set of aligners in your series to accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. You will keep doing this until your teeth are correctly aligned.
In the past several years, two features have been added to make Invisalign a more appropriate orthodontic treatment method for teenagers. Special “eruption tabs” hold the appropriate amount of space open for molars that have not fully grown in. Invisalign for teens also comes with “compliance indicators” built into the aligner material, which fade with wear. This allows parents, dentists, and the teens themselves, to make sure the trays are being worn as prescribed. Treatment with Invisalign can only be successful if this is the case.
Caring for Your Teeth During Treatment
As mentioned above, one of the main advantages of a clear aligner system is that the trays can be removed for easy cleaning. So please don't neglect to do this! You'll need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack so that food and plaque do not get trapped in the aligners, which could promote tooth decay and gum disease. Your aligners, too, will have to be cleaned regularly; you can do this by brushing them and then rinsing them with lukewarm water.
Also, please keep in mind that while wearing clear aligners is very different from wearing braces, the importance of retaining your post-treatment results is exactly the same. You'll want to be sure to wear your retainer(s) exactly as prescribed after your treatment is completed to protect your investment in a beautiful new smile.