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Clear aligners, as they are aptly named, are transparent orthodontic aligners that are made out of various plastic materials. Many adults are now opting to straighten their teeth with clear aligners as opposed to braces because they don’t want to draw attention to an area of insecurity.
With clear aligners, you can correct issues like gaps, misalignment, overcrowding, and bite problems in secrecy. Rather than bonding metal brackets to your teeth, we take precise impressions of your teeth which are used as a mold for your custom-made aligners that fit over your teeth.
Aligners exert gentle but effective pressure on your teeth to efficiently move them without significant discomfort. Clear aligners are best suited for adults because they need to be worn all the time except when you’re eating or cleaning your teeth.
Clear aligner treatment takes less time on average to complete than metal braces.
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Clearcorrect are fabricated from impressions taken of your teeth and gradually shift them over time by wearing the aligners for 22 hours per day. With Clearcorrect, you have 3 options to choose from – limited 6, limited 12, or unlimited.
ClearCorrect aligners are fabricated out of ClearQuartz tri-layer material. This makes them more transparent but the aligners are cut straight across rather than scalloped to the contours of each tooth.
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Because the aligners are clear, they blend in with your natural teeth and go unnoticed. This gives patients who don’t want to attract attention peace of mind. Older patients may feel insecure about undergoing orthodontic treatment as an adult and this alleviates that stigma.
Being able to remove your aligners provides patients with 24/7 convenience. Traditional braces are bonded to the teeth and can never be taken off except by the dentist. This removability allows you to eat anything you want at any time, thoroughly clean your teeth, improve oral hygiene, and avoid discoloration from brackets covering your teeth for long periods. It also makes it easier to keep your aligners clean.
Plastic aligners cushion your teeth instead of pressing against them with hard metals. This also eliminates the risk of oral injury or damage to your oral tissues. When braces break or become damaged, sharp edges can cut the insides of your mouth. Aligners are made of soft materials that won’t hurt you and they even move your teeth less forcefully.
Dr. Birch will assess the complexity of your case through an oral exam and will rule out oral health problems with digital scans. You need to have healthy teeth to undergo clear aligner treatment and you will need to be willing to comply with the demands of treatment, including wearing your aligners for 22 hours a day and keeping them clean.
We will take digital scans, photographs, and impressions of your teeth and forward them to the dental lab. We will also send instructions on how we want your teeth or jaws to move. A lab technician uses this information to create a highly accurate 3D model of your teeth.
They can digitally plan tooth movements on this model and we will have access to the software on our computers at the office. You can see how your teeth will move throughout treatment and what they will look like at the end.
After we approve everything or make some adjustments, the lab technician will fabricate your aligners using your impressions and according to your digital treatment plan, you will receive new aligners that move your teeth accordingly.
Some patients will need to receive attachments or engagers. These are tooth buttons made of composite resin that are bonded to the teeth. Their purpose is to anchor the aligners and help them perform more complex tooth movements. They come in various shapes and sizes but are matched to the natural shade of your teeth. Not all patients will need attachments.
Once your aligners have been created, you will pick them up from our office.
Once you have your aligners, you will put them on and wear them for 22 hours a day. You will need to return for periodic checkups to receive more aligners.
At the end of treatment, we will take a new impression of your teeth to create your retainer. You will need to wear this for a certain amount of time to maintain your new alignment.
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That depends on how severely misaligned your teeth or jaws are. Clear aligners are not recommended for patients with severe malocclusions or severely crooked teeth. You would be better suited for braces if this is the case.
However, even if you are a good candidate for clear aligners, there’s no way to know how long you will need to wear your aligners without evaluating your bite during a consultation. Most patients can expect to wear their aligners anywhere from 12 to 18 months but some patients may wear them shorter or longer than that.