What are clear aligners?
There are a few brands of clear aligners out there, and they all consist of a series of clear, custom-made aligners that you wear on your teeth and change about every 2 weeks. Each set of removable, custom-made clear aligners gradually adjusts your teeth in tiny increments.
What are the benefits of clear aligners?
One advantage of clear aligners is that you can remove them to brush your teeth, eat and drink.
Depending on the brand you choose and your orthodontic issues, clear aligners can resolve a number of problems such as bite issues, crowding and misalignment of teeth. This treatment option is popular with both adults and teenagers due to its discreet appearance. Plus, for busy teens and adults the fact that there are no dietary restrictions is a bonus.
Your clear aligners also won’t need adjustments or tightening as braces do, which can sometimes be uncomfortable. You’ll just need to check in with your dentist regularly on your progress.
How much do clear aligners cost?
A few factors will determine the cost of your clear aligners:
- Your location and average prices for clear aligners
- Your oral health requirements and how much work you will need
- Any coverage you can get through an insurance plan
Depending on your circumstances and the brand of clear aligners you choose, you will likely end up paying around the same amount as you would for braces - perhaps slightly more.
How long will my treatment last?
Investing in improving your smile with clear aligners is a commitment to following your treatment process so you can enjoy a straighter smile in the future. Only your dentist can determine your specific needs and therefore the duration of your treatment. Factors that could impact your treatment time include:
- The number of aligners in your series
- The severity of your misalignment
- Your compliance with your custom treatment plan
Provided you follow the treatment plan exactly as prescribed, clear aligners can help improve your smile and straighten your teeth. If you know how many aligners are in your series, you can find out how long your treatment will take by doing some simple math.
Assuming you have 16 sets of aligners and switch them every 2 weeks, you’d use 2 sets of aligners per month. 16 divided by 2 is 8, meaning your treatment will take 8 months.
Most patients begin to see results around the 4- to 6-week mark. You may want to take a photo of your smile each week, so that you can get a good idea of how much your teeth are moving, and thus the value your clear aligners are bringing to your smile - and your oral health.