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.
Your dentist will then take a series of digital images of your mouth as well as a mold of your teeth, known as an impression. Your dentist may make adjustments to ensure your teeth are properly aligning on the mold. Once this is complete, your dentist will ship the images and impressions 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.
Invisalign aligners are made from a thick, clear, patented plastic material called SmartTrack. Patients that lead an active lifestyle may appreciate Invisalign’s sturdy material and durability. Invisalign offers a wide variety of aligners, which can treat mild to severe misalignment cases. Many patients opt for Invisalign as it is the original clear alignment therapy treatment with a long history in discreetly aligning beautiful smiles.
Archway is the Five Pines Dental brand of clear aligners. These aligner trays are fabricated in our in-house lab which means less wait times and a cost savings that we pass on to our patients! Depending on the specifics of your case, Archway can be a more affordable option compared to Invisalign.
There are no limitations to the foods you can eat while undergoing clear aligner therapy.
Clear aligners gradually straighten your teeth over an extensive period of time. Each aligner tray is custom made to ensure your teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Trays are replaced every two weeks until your smile has reached its optimal result. For most cases, it can take up to a year to correct your smile.
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.