Clear or “invisible” aligners have evolved dental technology and are a game-changing solution that banishes the need for traditional, noticeable metal braces. Being perhaps the highest-profile orthodontic appliance, clear aligners have surged in popularity with widespread advertising in magazines and television due to their efficient and effective capability in straightening teeth. An exciting alternative treatment designed to align your teeth, enhance your smile, and boost your confidence, clear aligners work without the visibility and discomfort often associated with metal braces.
But what are clear aligners, and can they be a teeth-straightening solution for you? Keep reading for some professional insight from the experts at Pearl Street Dental.
Several different methods have been employed by orthodontists to help patients seeking straighter teeth, including traditional braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces.
Traditional Braces, also known as metal braces - are the ones that most people are familiar with. They consist of small metal brackets, glued to the teeth, and attached to one another by a thin wire. These wires can then be manipulated individually to move the teeth into position. Only a dentist can adjust these types of braces, and they require frequent checkups in order to be adjusted accordingly.
Unfortunately, many patients find these braces to be restrictive and bulky, along with being difficult to clean, uncomfortable, and obviously, quite visible to others.
Ceramic Braces are very similar to metal fixed braces, though being made of ceramic, they are often clear or tooth-colored rather than metallic. Ceramic braces are a more subtle and discreet option for many who are self-conscious about their braces. The downside of ceramic braces is that they are often larger and less durable than metal braces. They are also more difficult to clean and are susceptible to stains.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces, with the crucial difference being that they fit behind your teeth. Otherwise, they work the same as metal braces. The advantage of lingual braces is that they are even more discreet than ceramic braces (almost impossible to see to the casual observer), but they are also usually more expensive and have the same difficulties with hard food such as candy and popcorn that can cause some damage.
The newest and most advanced method for straightening teeth is clear aligners. Clear aligners are custom-made, precision-engineered orthodontics that fit snugly over your teeth and gradually push them into their correct positions. They are clear, removable, and comfortable to wear, making them an extremely appealing choice for fixing crowded teeth, gaps, and any malocclusion issues effectively and efficiently.
Every two to three weeks patients receive a new set of aligners, allowing their teeth to gently move little by little. With regular progress checks, most treatments are complete within six months to one year.
There are several advantages of clear aligners over braces, both from a functional and aesthetic standpoint.
Regarding functionality, clear aligners do not incorporate glued-on metal brackets, metal wires, or bands. On one hand, this makes the straightening process far more comfortable as there are no sharp edges that can hurt your tongue, lips, or other parts of the inside of your mouth. Furthermore, because clear aligners are removable, they allow patients to clean their teeth just as easily as if they were not undergoing straightening at all! Traditional straightening methods can cause irritation and significant difficulty when trying to clean teeth thoroughly to avoid plaque build-up, inflammation, and disease. Clear aligners remove this difficulty completely.
Clear aligners are also considered to be the superior option in terms of aesthetics. With traditional metal, ceramic, or lingual braces, it is truly impossible to hide the fact that you’re wearing them. They affect the way you look, causing patients to be self-conscious of their appearance. This can be a major issue, even for adults, where their job or lifestyle prevents them from altering the way they look. Clear aligners are completely transparent, so they are invisible, even when they are being worn. And, if necessary, clear aligners can be removed like a retainer at a moment’s notice without the help of a doctor or orthodontist.
In summary, clear aligners are:
As with any other form of orthodontics, a proper orthodontic assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan are essential to successful aligner treatment.
Routine aligner treatments include:
Sometimes, however, additional orthodontic treatment techniques may be required in coordination with clear aligners in situations such as:
Among the most popular forms of clear aligners is ClearCorrect®. ClearCorrect was founded by doctors and developed with clinicians from all around the world in order to create the most efficient and effective clear aligner system.
Decades of research went into creating ClearCorrect. The material used for this aligner is called ClearQuartz™, an industry-leading tri-layer plastic material that improves comfort and clarity while maintaining durability. This proprietary material also works in coordination with what they call “Performance Trimline”, allowing for far more predictable results compared to alternative manufactured clear aligners.
Finally, ClearCorrect is also renowned for being more comfortable, applying less initial pressure than other aligners on the market, and its advanced technology allows for a more custom and tailored fit for a variety of dental situations and any patient’s mouth structure.
Pearl Street Dental in Boulder, Colorado, is one of a select few number of dentists in Boulder who offers Clear Correct clear aligners as a comfortable and discrete solution for patients needing orthodontic work. These aligners are custom-made to gradually shift teeth into their correct placements, offering a nearly invisible method for straightening teeth and improving smiles. The use of Clear Correct clear aligners demonstrates Pearl Street Dental's commitment to providing comprehensive dental services that prioritize patient comfort and satisfaction. To learn more or to get started on your journey toward straighter teeth, contact Pearl Street Dental to make an appointment.