Are you considering clear aligners? As an alternative to traditional braces, clear aligners are becoming increasingly popular with adults and teens. Clear aligners are clear and custom-made, used to move and align teeth for better health and a great smile. It is changed approximately every two weeks for about six to 18 months, depending upon the severity of misalignment. If you are considering clear aligners at Lampros and Reopelle Orthodontics, you probably want to know how the entire process works.
Your initial consultation
The process starts with a consultation with Dr. Reopelle or Dr. Lampros. They will begin by examining your teeth, ask you questions about your lifestyle and your goals for your orthodontic treatment, and decide if clear aligners are suitable for you. This is also your first opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the process, the clear aligner system, and the function of Invisalign.
After your orthodontist has confirmed that you are a good candidate for clear aligners, she will gather all the necessary records. We will assess the alignment of your teeth and the necessary treatment. Other information may include:
- Dental impressions
- Photographs of your face and teeth
For clear aligners, we create a computerized 3D model of your teeth. The technicians can adjust the teeth on the computer model until they have reached their final positions. The model is completely digital and you will be able to see your projected final results. The model is reviewed and sometimes changes are made. Once the scans are reviewed, and it’s determine that you are a candidate for clear aligners, a treatment plan is developed. They will explain the treatment time, the need for any adjustments to the plan as time goes on and the best way to optimize your experience.
Your clear aligners
Once your initial check has been finalized and approved, a series of trays are made–these are the aligners. It usually takes several weeks to complete the trays and ship them to our office so that treatment can begin. These aligners will be used to straighten your teeth. The number of aligners depends on your treatment plan but generally, you will have one aligner for every two weeks of treatment. As you progress from one aligner to the next, your teeth will gradually become straighter as they shift to match the aligner tray. Usually, your teeth move about 1/10mm per tray.
You will wear the aligners for a minimum of 20-22 hours a day for your teeth to move to their final position for that tray. You can, however, take the aligner out to eat, brush and floss. When brushing your teeth, you will also need to clean the aligner with a toothbrush.
Typically, you will receive 1-2 aligners at a time. There will be check-ups every six to eight weeks. These appointments are routine checks to be sure the teeth are moving as planned. Sometimes minor adjustments may be necessary to the aligners or the wear time.
As you near the end of your treatment period, extra changes may be necessary to achieve the best results. We may need to take another set of impressions and have extra aligners made. These are called refinement trays. Typically there is no additional charge for this part of the process.
When your treatment is complete, in order to keep your new smile aligned, you will be given a retainer. Biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift. You will receive a removable retainer that is similar to your aligners. These retainers are custom made using the same state-of-the-art technology as your aligners. They are strong but clear and nearly invisible. Generally, you only need to wear your removable retainer at night but exact instructions will be provided when you finish treatment and move into the retention phase.
If you’re ready to begin your clear aligner process, contact Lampros and Reopelle Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation by visiting us online. We can’t wait to get started!