Posted on May 2nd, 2018
When it comes to innovation, clear aligners have done for teeth straightening what dental implants have done for missing teeth replacement. Both have presented radical alternatives to traditional treatments and a few decades on, the results kind of speak for themselves.
According to sources, over 7 million implants have been placed since their inception and that figure is growing by around 450,000 per year, and when it comes to clear aligners for teeth – well… that is growing even faster.
Nowadays, of course, the availability of invisible teeth aligners means that adults seeking straighter teeth no longer have to rely on ‘train track’ style braces. So if you’re wondering what clear braces treatment is really like and what you can expect, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in and take a look at the top 5 questions about clear teeth aligners.
A series of custom-made aligners are made from state-of-the art 3D printing technology. These are designed to fit over your teeth — just like a clear gumshield. Each clear aligner is worn for around 2 weeks and is designed to apply natural but gentle force to move teeth fractionally (about 0.5mm). Over a period of time and anywhere between 12 and 48 aligners later, you’ll have a straighter smile that you can be proud of.
When it comes to teeth straightening, then sure — great aesthetics are one thing, but can they actually ‘walk the walk’? The answer is yes…
Over the years, clear brace aligners have fixed a wide number of mild to moderate orthodontic issues including:
This makes clear aligners for teeth a viable option for many of your smile problems.
They are hard to spot but they aren’t totally invisible. If you squint really hard, tilt your head the right way, and know what to look for, then you may be able to notice someone wearing them.
For instance, the plastic surface of your aligner can make teeth look extra shiny and while this isn’t normally a problem, it may be slightly more noticeable if you’re hanging around bright lights.
On other occasions, if you have a relatively high smile line, it is possible that clear aligners may cover most – but not all – of your teeth. For this reason, it may be possible to detect a slight line where the aligner starts, depending upon how close a person is to you of course:-)
Also, any attachments used to help the process along may be raised slightly from the teeth, so these too can become noticeable.
That said when it comes to unobtrusive treatment and you don’t fancy lingual braces, then clear aligners really are the next best thing!
Times vary from case to case depending upon the severity of the problem. With proper care and attention, some treatments can take six months or less using just 12 aligners, others can take 2 years and use 48-50 aligners.
One of the advantages of clear aligners is that they’re designed to be fully and easily removable by the patient. However, to get the best results, aligners need to be worn for somewhere between 20 and 22 hours a day on average. So, if you’re not a stickler for rules and don’t comply, then chances are it’s going to extend the length of your treatment time further.
Of course, the cost is a big deal when deciding what orthodontic treatment to choose so it’s only right that it’s mentioned here. Typically the price for clear aligner treatments is on par with other conventional brace systems. In some cases, it may be more, but it’s unlikely to cost as much as lingual braces which are fitted behind the teeth. There are also some clear aligner treatments that cost only a few hundred dollars. Those are typically do-it-yourself teeth straightening systems that don’t have an orthodontist overseeing your process.
So there you have it — your top 5 questions about clear aligners for teeth answered!