There are many different well known brands of clear aligners.
The way clear aligners work is in the same way as conventional braces would work. However rather than coming in once per month to have your braces “tightened” you can just change your aligner at home to create the same effect.
Patient compliance is the most important factor in the success of clear aligner therapy. You must wear your aligner for at least 22 hours a day for a result.
For effective clear aligner therapy it is necessary for your teeth to be healthy, clean and disease free.
What do clear aligners involve?
Consultation and Impressions
- Your dentist will start by taking impressions of your teeth. These will be sent off to the lab that makes the aligners for a quote and a digital mock up.
- You will return a week or so later. By now the dentist should have more details to discuss and a computer model of what you should estimate the final outcome of treatment to look like.
- You will know at this stage where you will need any attachments or adjustments to your teeth to proceed with treatment.
Active Treatment Phase
- If you are happy with the computer mock up, estimate in price and total length of treatment time you can proceed onto the active treatment phase.
- Your dentist will provide you with a set of clear retainers to wear.
- You will need to attend your dentist regularly for review and monitoring, and to collect any additional trays to continue to progress the treatment.
Once treatment is completed and the patient is satisfied it is necessary to retain the results to prevent the teeth from relapsing.
This is often done as a combination of both:
- A permanently bonded wire retainer behind the front teeth.
- A removable night time retainer.
You must wear your trays for at least 22 hours a day for an effective result
Combining Tooth Whitening
Following clear aligner therapy many patients choose to take advantage of the over night retainer tray and start a course of discounted over night tooth whitening.
Finishing up with Bonding
Though aligners can change the positions of the teeth, they cannot change the shape of the teeth.
If this interests you it might be worth considering composite bonding after your aligner course is complete.