Crooked, misaligned teeth can make you self-conscious about your smile. If you are eager to achieve straighter teeth but reluctant to try traditional braces, you have options. Clear aligners are a discreet way to shift teeth into the correct position.
Clear aligners are available at Fort Lauderdale Dental Studio in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area. Unlike clunky braces, aligners are almost invisible. Patients can remove their aligners for photos, sports, and special events. Call us today at (954) 519-7792 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding Clear Aligners
Braces can correct a range of orthodontic problems, but they are not always comfortable. The sharp metal can irritate the mouth and gums. Clear aligners are different. These appliances are made of smooth, durable plastic.
Aligners gently guide and straighten teeth to provide a brighter smile. Unlike braces, aligners are discreet and fully removable. Patients can take their aligners out for special events like weddings, graduation, or proms.
“Unlike braces, aligners are discreet and fully removable.”
The Benefits of Clear Aligners
Aligners offer several advantages over traditional braces. For instance, clear aligners are:
- Smooth and nonabrasive
Unlike metal braces, clear aligners will not irritate sensitive mouth tissues. Patients who opt for aligners can also skip tedious dietary restrictions. Those who choose braces may have to avoid hard candy and sticky treats. With aligners, however, one can simply remove the trays to enjoy their favorite foods.
Keep in mind that aligners are not suitable for everyone. For example, aligners are not an appropriate option for young children whose mouths are still developing. Dental providers generally recommend clear aligners for patients who have already achieved their adult jaw size and shape.
Clear aligners cannot fix every dental concern. Some complex issues may require traditional braces or headgear. We can provide in-depth guidance. If clear aligners are not an option, we can help select an alternate treatment.
“Dental providers generally recommend clear aligners for patients who have already achieved their adult jaw size and shape.”
Consistency is Key
Patients must wear clear aligners for 20-22 hours per day. Patients who reach this target enjoy a faster treatment and more consistent results. Most providers recommend removing the aligners only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Patients can expect to wear their aligners overnight, too.
Complying with treatment can be a roadblock for some patients, especially teens. Patients who tend to snack or sip coffee throughout the day may have trouble keeping their aligners in place. However, removing the aligners for several hours each day can reduce the effectiveness of your treatment.
Before investing in clear aligners, patients must be realistic about their limitations. This involves considering their lifestyle and personal habits. If they suspect that they may have trouble sticking to the treatment plan, braces might be a better choice.
“… removing the aligners for several hours each day can reduce the effectiveness of your treatment.”
What to Expect from Treatment
Once a patient opts for clear aligners, our team begins by taking impressions of the mouth. We send the impressions to a dental lab that produces the aligners. The first set of aligners will be ready within a few weeks.
Most patients can expect to switch out their aligners every one to two weeks. Each new set shifts the teeth a bit more. We provide a schedule that explains when it is time to switch to a new set of aligners. Patients can change out their aligners in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
During treatment, patients may need to visit the office every six weeks. During these visits, we provide the next few sets of aligners. Our team also takes a look into the mouth to assess the treatment's progress. These checkups are generally brief.
“Patients can change out their aligners in the comfort and privacy of their own home.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
Assessing Your Results
Treatment times can vary, and complex dental issues may take longer to treat. The average treatment time is less than two years. Teen patients may show results more quickly, as their teeth are still developing.
After patients complete their treatment plan, they should expect to continue wearing their aligners overnight. Our team might also suggest a permanent retainer. These devices are fixed in place to prevent the teeth from shifting.
This stage of treatment focuses on preserving the results. It is essential to follow up with the dentist's recommendations. If patients stop wearing the aligners too soon, the teeth may move back into their original position.
“The average treatment time is about 12-18 months.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I play sports while wearing my aligners?
A. Dental providers recommend removing your aligners during physical activity. If you are hit in the face while wearing your aligners, you might suffer a mouth injury. Our team can provide more advice about preventing sports-related dental injuries.
Q. Can I eat or drink while wearing my aligners?
A. It is safe to sip room-temperature water while wearing clear aligners. Avoid hot or cold beverages when your aligners are in place. Extreme temperatures can warp or damage the material. Always make sure to take your aligners out before eating.
Q. Are clear aligners painful to use?
A. Most orthodontic treatments involve a certain amount of discomfort. As your teeth shift into their new position, your mouth may feel sore. These side effects generally appear after inserting a new set of aligners. Any soreness or discomfort usually disappears after 24 hours.
Q. Can you see clear aligners when they're in place?
A. Aligners are designed to be discreet. Unless you are looking closely, it is difficult to tell whether someone is wearing clear aligners. For added discretion, aligners can be removed during photos and special events.
Q. How much do clear aligners cost?
A. Costs may vary depending on insurance plans and treatment duration. Your insurance provider can offer specific information about costs and coverage. Our office team can also help you compare treatment options to find one that meets your needs.
- Aligner Trays
- With Invisalign® treatment, the patient will receive a series of aligner trays and swap out each one for the next one in the series every two weeks in order to gradually straighten the teeth.
- Blue Compliance Indicator (Invisalign® Teen)
- The blue compliance indicator is a small blue dot on the aligners that will fade from blue to clear in order to indicate if the patient is wearing the aligner for the proper amount of time and where the patient is in the Invisalign® process.
- ClinCheck® Software
- ClinCheck® software allows professionals to map out the straightening process the patient’s teeth will go through with Invisalign® in great detail.
- Gum Line
- The gum line is the line in the mouth where the teeth and gums meet. If a patient struggles with gum recession, then the gum tissue around the teeth may begin to wear away.
- Incisal Ridges
- Incisal ridges are the portion of the crown of the tooth that makes up the incisal portion and can be a direct cause of overbite if they are extended too far.
- iTero Element® Scanner
- An iTero Element® scanner allows professionals to create a 3D image of the patient’s teeth in minutes and predict what it will take to move the teeth into proper alignment.
- Malocclusion is the condition in which the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly when the bite is closed. Conditions of malocclusion can include overbite, underbite, crossbite and open bite; all of which are treatable with Invisalign®.
- An overbite is a type of malocclusion that occurs when the upper teeth jut out over the lower teeth, covering them and causing other issues.
- Polyurethane Resin
- Polyurethane Resin is a USP Class VI medical grade, high molecular weight compound that makes up the Invisalign® aligners.
- SmartForce Attachments
- SmartForce attachments are small attachments that professionals place on the patient’s teeth before placing aligners to help move the teeth.
- Smart Track® Material
- Smart Track® material is in Invisalign® aligners to increase comfort, improve control of movement, increases the speed of treatment and applies a gentle force to the teeth over time.
- Smile-Scan analyzes the way a patient smiles by measuring the position of the mouth and eyes before giving a score.
- Vivera® Retainers
- Vivera® retainers are a type of retainer that consists of clear plastic material and helps to maintain orthodontic corrections after a treatment.
Call Us Today
Clear aligners are an option for most teens and adults seeking orthodontic treatment. With clear aligners, patients can reduce the amount of time they spend in the dentist's chair. Treatment generally takes place in the privacy and convenience of the patient's home.
However, aligners might not be right for everyone. Some dental issues may require traditional braces or other specialized care. A personalized consultation can determine whether clear aligners are right for you.
Let Fort Lauderdale Dental Studio in Fort Lauderdale determine whether you're a candidate for clear aligners. Call us at (954) 519-7792 to schedule a consultation.