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Clear aligner therapy, or CAT, is a custom-made clear dental appliance that gradually straightens a patient’s smile by applying gentle, consistent pressure to the teeth. Patients struggling with crowded or gapped teeth may be suitable candidates for clear aligner therapy. Because the aligners are made of clear thermoplastic material, CAT is a great solution for patients looking to discreetly align their smile.
In some cases, clear aligners can provide faster results than traditional braces.
At your consultation, your dentist will determine if clear aligner therapy is right for you. First, your dentist will examine your gum health and teeth to check for gaps and crowding. They will also discuss your smile goals and develop a treatment plan made just for you.
Our dentist will then take a series of digital images of your teeth, photographs of your smile, and a digital scan of your tooth surfaces. Once this is complete, your dentist will send your images and scan to a special laboratory to make your first several sets of clear aligners.
Once your aligners are complete, your dentist will check them to ensure proper fit and alignment. You’ll wear each set per the dentist’s instructions, usually for 20-22 hours each day, and switch them out every 2 weeks. Every 6 weeks, you’ll stop by our office to pick up your next few sets of aligners and so the doctor can check your teeth to make sure they’re tracking.
SureSmile aligners differ from other clear aligner options because they are created with Essix ACE plastic, an industry leader in aligner fabrication. SureSmile uses patented software where each of your teeth are assessed, meaning that SureSmile can fix more complicated misalignment issues such as over/underbites. They are a great alternative to improve your smile from their nearly invisible appearance and durability.
There are no limitations to the foods you can eat while wearing clear aligners.
Yes! All aligners are made of medical grade BPA-free clear plastic, which means that they are both safe and comfortable to wear.
While time frames vary based on each individual patient’s needs, clear aligner therapy is known to provide quicker results than traditional braces. This is because aligners gently push on all teeth as a whole, whereas braces pull each tooth individually. In order to achieve the results you are looking for, it is crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions for wearing your custom-made clear aligners.
Unlike traditional metal braces, clear aligners gently and discreetly shift your teeth without any noticeable or uncomfortable metal brackets and wires. Clear aligners are also minimally invasive, so most patients find them far more comfortable than traditional braces. Since clear aligners are easily removable, you can quickly take them out for photos and functions and place them back in at any time. However, clear aligners are not suited for everyone. If you are struggling with issues such as a malpositioned jaw or a severely misaligned bite, braces will offer a more versatile and powerful orthodontic treatment.
The cost of clear aligners is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your clear aligner therapy include the aligner brand, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for clear aligner therapy is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Clear aligners are removable and easy to clean.