Clear, or invisible aligners are an alternative to braces made of strong plastic material that are customized for each patient’s mouth and fitted over the teeth like a mouthpiece. Often called “invisible braces” or “clear braces”, they work similarly to braces in that they guide and move teeth in small increments to produce the final results. However, invisible or clear braces technically refer to dental braces that have clear brackets (and in some cases clear wires) that are less visible than traditional braces and are distinct from invisible aligners.
In order to begin treatment, a thorough evaluation should be made by your orthodontist or dental specialist to determine a diagnosis and strategy. This process may involve X-rays, impressions, photographs, and digital scans. A series of clear plastic or acrylic teeth aligners are then produced based on the final goal, with each aligner being worn for one to several weeks before moving onto the next set of aligners for incremental shifting of your teeth. Aligners should generally be worn for around 22 hours a day and can be removed for eating and cleaning purposes. Treatment time varies for each patient, but generally takes between 6 to 12 months.
As an alternative to braces, the purpose of the aligners is not only to correct the appearance of crooked teeth, but also to treat a variety of other malocclusion issues including crowded teeth and misaligned jaw problems, and to promote overall oral health.
As a comprehensive family dentistry provider, we also have a dental specialist who is trained and equipped in orthodontics. We offer several different brands of clear teeth aligners at our dental office, with Invisalign and ClearCorrect being two of our most popular choices.
Invisalign braces are currently the most popular and largest producer of clear aligners, boasting 8 million smile makeovers to date. They utilize state-of-the-art 3D printing technology to produce each set of custom Invisalign braces or aligners for each patient and employ weekly aligner changes to straighten teeth up to 50% faster.
In business for over 12 years, ClearCorrect has treated hundreds of thousands of patients to straighten their teeth for a more confident smile. Their aligners are made from an ultra-thin durable material that has been streamlined for pressure maintenance and clarity while being stain and crack resistant.
Are clear aligners right for you?
Clear aligners work best for teens and adults with mild to moderately crowded teeth or slight positioning issues. Orthodontics for children can be a little more complicated due their continuing growth and development, so traditional dental braces are usually recommended for children with malocclusion issues. Likewise, teens and adults who have very crowded and crooked teeth or a severely misaligned jaw may not be a good candidate for invisible aligners.
As a family dentistry specialist, we are dedicated to servicing all demographics with a wide range of dental needs including various types of braces and aligners so you can receive all of your dentistry treatments in one place without having to visit a separate orthodontist.
What are the advantages of clear aligners?
Some of the advantages of invisible aligners over other types of braces is fairly clear, not least of these being their appearance. Even invisible braces with their clear brackets and in some cases clear wires are much more visible than clear aligners. Another key benefit is that they are removable. This means that there are no food or drink restrictions and it is much easier to maintain good oral health with thorough brushing and flossing as there are no wires getting in the way. Most people also report that aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces which can be irritating on the soft tissues of your cheeks.