In the past, people in need of orthodontic treatment had limited options. Traditional metal braces were the most common appliances, used for everything from minor crowding issues to major malocclusions (misaligned bites). These days, patients have more treatment options than ever before.
At Kelly Smile Dentistry, we pride ourselves on our wide-variety of orthodontic appliances. Staying up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques allows us to provide multiple options at a supreme level of care. Over the last couple of decades, clear aligners have become increasingly popular among our patients, especially adults.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
At the beginning of treatment, we will take an impression of your mouth, often using digital technologies. This impression will be used to fabricate a series of clear plastic aligner trays. Each tray in your series is designed to move your teeth to a slightly better position.
Much like traditional braces, these trays put continuous pressure on the teeth. However, your trays are removable, meaning the success of the treatment depends on your commitment to wearing your trays. The trays should be worn close to full-time, about 20 to 22 hours a day.
Treatment times with clear aligners can vary, anywhere from six to 18 months. Each tray in your series is typically worn at two-week intervals. By the end of treatment, your teeth should be in their proper position, or at least close to it.
Clear Aligners Vs. Traditional Braces
The most glaring difference between clear aligners and traditional braces is aesthetics. Many of our adult patients find metal braces off-putting. Clear aligners are virtually invisible, making them a more discreet treatment option.
It is important to note that clear aligners are only suitable when dealing with certain orthodontic issues. Traditional braces may be the ideal choice for complex malocclusions and severe overcrowding. During your consultation, Dr. Kelly will be able to determine which type of treatment is best for you.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
There are some benefits associated with clear aligner treatment. Besides discretion, aligners also allow for easier care and maintenance. Because they are removable, you will be able to brush and floss without having to worry about your appliance. The brackets and wires associated with traditional braces can make it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene.
The removable aligner trays also allow you to eat and drink without hindrance. Hard or sticky foods can get trapped in traditional braces. In some cases, these types of foods can even damage your appliance, resulting in a loose bracket or broken wire.
Many patients have also reported improvements in comfort. The trays place a gentle amount of pressure on your teeth, while braces can be much more painful, especially after a tightening. Traditional braces also place you at a higher risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and other structural damage.
After Your Aligner Treatment
Once your is treatment is complete, you will receive a retainer to help keep your teeth in their proper position. A retainer is just as important as the treatment itself. Without a retainer your teeth can shift back out of alignment, undoing all your hard work and financial investment.
Schedule Your Consultation
Find out why millions of people choose clear aligners! Call (442) 229-0766 to schedule your consultation appointment today.