What Are Clear Aligners?

If you’re looking for an alternative to braces, you may have stumbled across clear aligners. These are a newer way to straighten and align teeth without using metal brackets in the mouth. 

What are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners are a new technology that can straighten teeth without cementing metal brackets in the mouth. There are multiple types of clear aligners. The most common types of clear aligners are Invisalign, 3M clarity, and Motion View aligners. The patient wears these clear, plastic aligners that blend in with the existing teeth. These gradually apply force on the teeth to move them into the correct position. Each aligner is custom-made for the patient’s mouth to ensure the teeth move just how the orthodontist wants them to. 

Once the teeth have moved enough (generally after one to two weeks of wear for 20 to 22 hours each day), the patient will receive a new set of aligners to wear. This is because a single aligner can only move teeth about 1 mm or less. For nearly all patients, this will not be enough to achieve the smile they desire. This process will continue until the patient achieves their perfect smile.

Unlike regular braces, clear aligners are practically invisible in the month, meaning you’ll have a brace-free smile. They can also be removed whenever you need to take them out, making it easier to eat or attend important events. And best of all, they’re far more comfortable than braces, as there is no metal digging into your mouth.

You can use clear aligners to treat a number of different orthodontic issues, including:

  • Open bites, which is when the front teeth of the upper and lower jaw don’t touch when you close your mouth.
  • Overbites, which is when your upper front teeth go out over the lower front teeth.
  • Underbites, which is when your lower front teeth go out over the upper front teeth.
  • Crowded teeth, which is when your teeth overlap and don’t sit straight.
  • Diastema, which is when there are gaps in between your teeth.

Technology Used to Create Clear Aligners

There is a lot of technology involved in getting the fit and size of the aligners correct. It all begins at the initial consultation at our office. During this visit, your orthodontist will use state-of-the-art imaging technology to capture a 3D rendering of your teeth. Once this image is in the computer, the orthodontist can use it to calculate a treatment plan to get your teeth straight. 

After you approve the final product, the real work begins. Your impressions will be 3D printed and sent to a digital treatment facility. This is where your aligners will be manufactured after being reviewed by both the production technicians and your orthodontist. Specialized computer software creates a series of aligners that you’ll wear until your treatment is finished.

All in all, it’s a high-tech process that makes it easy for you to see the results you crave.

Benefits of Clear Aligners

  • So why choose clear aligners over a more traditional braces treatment? There are a number of reasons you might decide to go with clear aligners.
  • They are flexible, meaning you can remove them for special occasions.
  • They require fewer visits to the orthodontic office, and you’ll spend less time there during each appointment.
  • It’s far easier to maintain dental hygiene because you won’t be blocked from reaching certain parts of your mouth.
  • The aligners are easy to clean — just brush them with lukewarm water and a toothbrush.
  • They are more comfortable than braces because they don’t dig into your gums and cheeks.
  • They can help with tooth grinding because they add a layer of protection.
  • They are about the same cost as traditional braces treatment.

At the end of the day, clear aligners are best for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of braces. They’re also ideal for people who may have had braces in the past but have dealt with teeth shifting a bit over the years.

Here at Power and Pryse Orthodontics, we specialize in 3M clarity and Motion View aligners for our patients. We use these aligners because not only are they of excellent quality, but both companies are also based in the US. Although similar to Invisalign, we feel that the initial planning that goes into the 3M Clarity aligners results in a reliable plan that allows us to plan your treatment and tooth movement in detail. We also find a lot of success with Motion View aligners as they allow us to treat a wide range of cases from minor orthodontic issues to comprehensive and complex matters. Ultimately, the choice of which clear aligner to choose is up to you!

Ready to see if clear aligners are the best option for straightening your smile? Contact Power & Pryse Orthodontics today to schedule your free initial consultation. We’ll go over how clear aligners can benefit you personally and give you more information about what your treatment plan might look like.

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