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Clear Orthodontic Aligners in Greenville, SC
If you are looking for a minimally invasive, nearly invisible way to straighten your teeth, clear aligners may be for you. Though there are many teeth-straightening treatments available, clear aligners are gaining popularity as the go-to orthodontic treatment. They can fix almost all alignment and bite issues without majorly interrupting your life.
What are Clear Orthodontic Aligners?
Clear aligners straighten teeth using a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners designed to move your teeth using the same method as braces: constant, gentle pressure a little bit at a time to properly align your teeth, eventually turning a crooked smile straight. They are a virtually invisible and removable alternative to braces designed around convenience and flexibility.
Dental Problems Can Clear Aligners Fix
Clear aligners can treat the following conditions:
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Misaligned baby and permanent teeth
Clear aligners are developed by computer-generated images and impressions taken from your mouth by your dentist to change the position of your teeth. While the traditional brace makes use of fixed wires to pull the teeth into alignment, clear dental aligners straighten the teeth by using a series of molds that, across a series of months, force your teeth into their new and improved position.
- Invisible: Clear aligners are virtually invisible, so most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. Braces, on the other hand, are made from metal wires and elastic bands. This makes them more visible, which can cause anxiety for some patients.
- Treatment length: Because clear aligners shift all of your teeth together instead of each tooth, it tends to give you a straighter smile faster than traditional metal braces. The clear aligner process is substantially shorter than traditional braces, lasting about 12-18 months.
- Convenience: Clear aligners are also removable, so you can remove them when you want to eat, brush or floss. Plus, food won’t get stuck like with metal brackets. They also require fewer visits to the dentist since your orthodontist will provide you with several sets of orthodontic aligners in advance. Typically, you’ll be going in only every 3 months or so for the doctor to examine your progress and collect the next sets of aligners. In contracts, braces patients visit the office every month or every two months for regular adjustments, where the wire is tightened to keep treatment progressing.
Clear Aligner Process
- Consultation and X Rays: Clear aligner treatment always starts with a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Phillip D. Gould, DMD. We will evaluate your smile and take a series of X-rays and photos of your head and mouth. We will also take an impression of your teeth to develop a treatment plan best suited for your needs.
- Prep work and fitting: We’ll then send your teeth impressions to the lab to fabricate your invisible aligners. Once your aligners are ready, you’ll come in for your fitting. Some patients may need small composite patches applied to each tooth to help the clear aligners to grip onto each tooth and move them. The clear aligners should feel tight when you first put them – but not painfully so – as they must be strong enough to begin the realignment process.
- Changes to your mouth: When you begin to wear your clear aligners, you will feel a certain level of discomfort, including aching as your teeth are forced into position. This is all perfectly normal and part of the process of getting used to the aligners. You may also feel enhanced tooth sensitivity, but this should subside after a short time. A slight change in speech is also common during the first weeks of wearing your aligners. This is simply because the clear aligners take up some room within the mouth, and your tongue does not have quite the same space to move in. This should disappear within the first couple of weeks.
- Length of treatment: Each case is unique, but typically, treatment can be completed between 12-18 months, and some milder cases require only 6 months of treatment. Clear aligner treatment for moderate cases requires 32 steps of treatment, which are delivered in eight phases. Minor cases require 12 steps of treatment, delivered in three phases.
- Maintaining your smile: You’ll get a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks, and you should wear them for 22 hours every day to get the best results. Each set of aligners will slowly move the teeth into the correct position. After your treatment is complete, a custom clear retainer is made from a mold of the newly straightened teeth. You should wear your retainers every night while sleeping to ensure your teeth remain straight.
How to Care for Your Teeth While Using Clear Aligners
The great thing about clear aligners is that you can remove the trays whenever you need to brush or floss. Simply pop the trays out and brush your teeth as normal. Clean your trays with cold water, and put them back in when you’re done.
You should thoroughly clean your trays with a toothbrush but without toothpaste every time you take them out during the day. This will help freshen them up to stop smells by removing buildups or bacteria. For best practice, your clear aligners should be soaked in a dental cleaner when not in use.
Clear Orthodontic Aligners at Trail West Family Dentistry
Our family dentistry in Greenville, SC provides and recommends Clear Aligners to our patients. This lighter, thinner material makes them less visible and more comfortable. Our clear aligners have a different treatment course for different bite issues:
- Clear Express: Clear express is meant for less severe cases and is ideal for the front 4-6 teeth that are visible when you smile. It is also a great option if you are only interested in correcting one arch.
- Clear Force: This treatment course comes with as many aligners as are needed to complete treatment.
Clear Aligners Cost
The treatment costs will vary depending on your specific needs, but on average, you can expect to pay $1,500 to $3,900.
Schedule Your Clear Aligners Appointment Today!
If you want to improve your smile but cringe at the thought of metal braces, Clear orthodontic aligners might be the solution for you. They’re comfortable, virtually invisible, and highly effective. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!