If you don’t like how the traditional braces with brackets look, clear aligners are your choice for your orthodontic treatment. They are made of clear, flexible material that is somewhat more comfortable compared to the traditional braces and less visible. The clear aligners are definitely the choice if you had braces before and if they relapsed and if you want to correct them again. Clear aligners can treat almost all orthodontic work that the traditional braces can do, however, from our experience, there are cons and pros for the aligners and you would definitely consult your dentist to see whether that would be better to go with traditional braces or aligners.
Typically, there are two major brands of clear aligners, Invisalign and ClearCorrect. People are more familiar with Invisalign due to their heavy marketing but in the end, they are exactly the same but ClearCorrect has lower price tag since they are not investing too heavily on marketing. At Mi Dental, to lower the patient fee schedule, we have chosen ClearCorrect instead of Invisalign.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
The first step would be consulting your dentist to see whether you would be fitting to the case, not to mention, you would want to clear any dental issues such as cavities prior to even starting the orthodontic treatment. If you have a significant periodontal issue, not only the clear aligners but any type of orthodontic treatment would be contraindicated since the orthodontic work can cause more mobility of your teeth and bone loss around teeth.
The second step would be taking an impression. Once the impression is taken by impression material or CAD machine, it will be sent to either Invisalign or ClearCorrect lab to have a 3D image of each step how teeth are going to move, from which you will be able to see the end result of how your teeth are going to
be. Once you check and verify the end result, the lab sends back a series of trays that you will be wearing every 2 weeks. It comes with a series of custom-made aligner trays that gradually shift your teeth. It is very important to wear each tray for at least 22 hours for the optimal outcome. You would want to only take your aligners are only when you eat and brushing.
Each time you start a tray among the series of trays, you may feel pressure since the pressure is what moving your teeth, especially during the first two days. This is very common and normal for all type of orthodontic treatment. However, compared to the traditional braces, soreness and pain can be significantly less. Some cases, the aligners don’t do what they are supposed to be doing and some revision along the way may be needed. In the end, you have your beautiful smile!
How long is the treatment time?
Typically, it takes anytime between 3-16 months. If the case is simple enough to just correct a minor orthodontic relapse, it can be very short treatment. At the time of 3D image approval, you will be given the exact time of how long it will be. But keep in mind, it can possibly delay longer if any revision gets in the way.