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Clear Aligners

What are clear aligners?

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What do clear aligners look like?

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Clear Aligners explained

Dr. Sarah explains everything you need to know
about clear aligners services at the dentist

Braces are in great demand nowadays. Everybody wants a great smile, and braces are one of the many ways to do so. With braces, you can fix a variety of problems with your teeth’ arrangement, including crowding, spacing, jaw size mismatch, and many more.

However, there are a number of problems with braces that make most people – especially adults – refrain from such type of treatment. The main problem is of course their appearance, where a correctly termed “metal mouth” is simply unacceptable for some people, especially adults. Other problems include their comfort and their incredibly long treatment time.

What are clear aligners?

Clear aligners are the epitome of evolution of braces. The technology started around 15 years ago, and has been perfected ever since. The main purpose of that technology was to fix the appearance of traditional metallic braces, but ended up solving almost every other problem with braces.

Clear aligners are very different from braces. Traditional braces are a system of brackets that are attached to the outer surface of the teeth, with a wire crossing their surface. That wire is held in place by a series of colorful, round elastics, and the whole system acts to apply a pulling motion on teeth, moving them to the desired location. Clear aligners have none of that. No more brackets, wires or elastics. Instead, it is a system of plastic, transparent molds that are fitted on the outer surface of the teeth without being attached to them. These molds are practically invisible, and act by applying pressure on the teeth to move them where we need them to.

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How are clear aligners made?

Your orthodontist or dentist would take an impression of your teeth, and register the way your teeth bite together, and send both to the lab. The lab would then scan that impression with specialized cameras that would upload the scans to a specialized computer. That computer the formulates the entire treatment plan from A to Z, and produce a video simulation – which you can see even before the treatment starts, and is one of the biggest advantages of the clear aligner system. Finally, if all is well and good, that simulation is translated into a set of aligners using a very accurate and highly specific milling machine. Each case usually takes between 15 and 25 aligners, and each is worn for a range of time between 2 and 4 weeks.

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What are the advantages of clear aligners over traditional braces?

  1. Appearance:

The looks of traditional braces are their greatest drawback and are the reason why most people wouldn’t even consider braces as a treatment option. Clear aligners took care of that problem emphatically, by removing the brackets and wires and replacing them with transparent molds. These molds are quite invisible, even if someone looks at your teeth directly from close range, they would have a hard time spotting them. They can also be removed at will, so if you have that special occasion where you absolutely have to look your best, then you can go ahead and leave your aligners at home.

  1. Comfort:

Traditional braces always cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises to the gums, cheeks, and lips. The design of the wires and brackets almost always causes injuries to soft tissues. In addition, the pulling motion is very uncomfortable and feels as if someone is pulling your teeth right out of your mouth.

Clear aligners have none of that. The molds are made of highly polished plastic, so no cuts or bruising are expected, and they apply pressure rather than pull on the teeth, which is much more comfortable.

  1. Oral hygiene:

If you have worn braces before, or know someone who did, then you understand what a nightmare oral hygiene with braces is. The shape and design of the brackets invite food debris to be trapped around them, and that same design doesn’t allow proper cleaning. Flossing is also a huge issue, where the string cannot possibly pass through the wire crossing your entire set of teeth.

Again clear aligners have the solution. Since nothing is attached to your teeth, and since they can be removed at will, you would essentially be cleaning your own teeth with nothing to hinder you. So all you need to do is to remove the aligners, eat whatever you want, brush and floss, and put them back on.

  1. No food restrictions:

If you have traditional braces on – or any other form of attached braces such as clear or lingual braces – then your orthodontist would probably advise you to steer clear of some types of foods. Hard foods such as nuts and chips are a big No-No with braces wearers since they can dislodge the brackets from the surface of the teeth. Sticky foods such as gum and toffee are also prohibited, since they can not only break the bond between the brackets and the teeth, but they stick to the brackets and teeth and are impossible to clean.

With clear aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want since you would remove them at mealtime, and there is nothing attached to your teeth that you would fear to be removed or broken.

  1. Accuracy:

The entire clear aligner system is based on computers. The entire setup after the impression is taken is made with highly specialized equipment that is dependent on computers. For that, you would expect the accuracy to be perfect, with virtually no chances of human errors.

  1. Simulation video:

As we mentioned before, a treatment plan simulation video is produced through the computer and sent to both the orthodontist and the patient. This enables the orthodontist to do any modifications he\she sees necessary, as well as give the patient some form of control and predictability of his treatment. One of the biggest fears of braces – or any cosmetic procedure for that matter – is not knowing what your teeth would look like after you’re finished, but the clear aligners system took care of that too. The video clearly outlines the treatment phases and the end results. In simpler words, what you see is what you get.

  1. Speed:

Speed of treatment is relative. A simple braces case would take around 6 months to complete, while some of the more complex cases take almost 2 years, and sometimes more. Clear aligners are relatively faster than traditional braces, with most cases completed between 6 and 10 months’ time.

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How much do clear aligners cost?

  1. Perhaps the biggest – and only – drawback of clear aligners is their price. They are more costly than traditional braces, but when you consider how much you would get in return, you would see that they are more than worth it.

    Both metal and clear braces range between $4000 and $8500, including all the scans and tests needed before the treatment starts. Clear aligners start at $5000 and could reach up to $9000 with more complex cases. The difference really isn’t that great considering their many benefits, and the comfortable payment plans adopted by most orthodontists.

    Clear aligner technology is one of the greatest advances in modern dentistry, one that has gained incredible popularity among both orthodontists and patients due to the huge benefits it offers over traditional braces.

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Clear aligners treatment on AirSmile

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Making the decision to embark on the path of straightening your teeth can make patients anxious to begin – unless you find the right dentist you can trust to deliver an outstanding outcome and support you the entire way through.  That’s the type of care we’ve found our members deliver to patients seeking clear aligner treatments.  

Best of all, you can get estimates on the cost of clear aligners in seconds, before you even meet the dentist of your dreams, so you can sort your budget prior to attending a consultation.  

To book a consultation to discuss your clear aligner treatment options head to www.airsmile.com and click on SEARCH NOW.  You’ll be presented with booking options the moment you enter the platform.  Scroll down to the section that asks “Do you know what you want” and click on the Clear Aligners icon.  Here you can select what level of treatment you think you might need from mild crowding to severe.  Instantly you’ll be shown quotes from our dentist members near you on the standard cost of clear aligner treatments.  Of course, you’ll need a consultation to confirm the final quote as every situation is different and you may need more or even less treatment than you think.  Either way, we’ve got you covered in helping you search and book with the right dentist for you.

Book your clear aligner consultation TODAY!

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Get even more savvy with our FAQ'S

Understanding your condition is the key to making the right choices for you

WE'RE DENTAL.. BUT HELPFUL.. BUT CLEVER..

One of the greatest advancements in the field of braces. It is a system of clear, transparent molds that replace the traditional brackets, wires and elastics.

Prices usually start at $6000 and could reach up to $9000 for more complex cases.

The molds are placed on the outer surface of the teeth, and can be removed at will. When you wear them, they apply pressure on the teeth in a certain manner, moving them with pinpoint accuracy and magnitude to the desired location.

The aligners should be first washed under running water, then brushed with a soft toothbrush without toothpaste to avoid warpage and discoloration.

There are a number of companies and laboratories that offer clear aligner therapy, and they all use the same technology. Invisalign® is the oldest and most recognized brand around the world.

Not at all. In fact, they are very good for your teeth in comparison to braces. They make teeth cleaning and oral hygiene far easier.

Aside from the cost, its only drawback is that it can’t fix problems related to jaw sizes mismatch, such as when the bones of your upper jaw are larger than the lower jaw or vice versa.

Generally, the treatment time for most clear aligner cases ranges from 6 to 10 months, so you could expect to see a difference within the first 3 or 4 months.

Not at all. Invisalign has no effect on gums and doesn’t cause any pressure on them, so gum recession is highly unlikely.

Yes. You should wear the aligners as much as you can, and only remove them at meal time, so overall, you would be wearing them at least 22 hours through the day.

Clear Aligners

Manufacturers and orthodontists around the world caught on to the fact that these problems are causing a lot of people to turn away from braces, and started to come up with a number of solutions to fix these problems. The most important of these fixes is the emergence and evolution of clear aligners.

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