Everyone wants a great smile and sometimes we need help to achieve this result. Clear aligners are an option towards achieving this goal. While braces use brackets connected to wires to encourage teeth to move, aligners use a series of tight-fitting custom made retainers that fit over the teeth. Clear orthodontic aligners are typically used for patients who have mild or moderately crowded teeth, or have minor spacing issues. Patients who have severe crowding or spacing problems -- or severe underbites, overbites, or crossbites -- may need more complex treatment.
Once one of our dentists decides how to correct your bite, they will make a plan for moving your teeth. Using clear aligners, you’ll be fitted for several versions that make slight adjustments to move your teeth over the treatment time.
Clear aligners are made from a clear plastic or acrylic material and fit tightly over the teeth, but can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. You'll get a new aligner every few weeks to continue moving the teeth into the desired position.
Treatment time with invisible teeth aligners is based on how much the teeth need to be moved or rotated. The more your bite is off or the more crooked your teeth, the longer it will take. Treatment usually takes between 10 and 24 months. But if you're an adult who had braces as a child, and your teeth shifted slightly over the years, you may need invisible teeth aligners for as little as 10 weeks.
One benefit to clear aligners versus traditional metal braces is that, unlike braces, aligners can be removed, making it easier to brush and floss well. Therefore, the patient is able to maintain better oral health.