Clear (invisible) Aligners
What are clear aligners?
Aligners are thin clear flexible plastic ‘mouthguards’ which fit closely over the teeth. A series of aligners are used to move the teeth incrementally according to a treatment plan developed by the orthodontist. Aligner appliances are ideally suited to adult patients whose life-style or work commitments make it difficult for them to wear more visible conventional fixed appliances.
As with any other form of orthodontics, a proper orthodontic assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan is essential to successful aligner treatment. An accurate impression of the mouth is used to create the customised aligners. Each appliance moves the teeth a small distance towards the intended position before moving on to the next in the series until the final result is achieved. Aligners need to be worn full-time, day and night except for meal times.
When can aligners be used?
Aligners are most commonly used in cases needing alignment of teeth without extractions. Routine aligner treatments include:
- Mild-moderate dental irregularity
- Crowding which can be corrected with mild-moderate expansion of the dental arch
- Crowding which can be corrected with reductions in tooth width (Inter-proximal reduction or slenderising)
- Mild spacing
The following cases are examples of when an aligner treatment may require the use of additional techniques such as fixed appliances to achieve an ideal result:
- Severe crowding
- Treatments that require tooth extraction
- Treatments that require complex tooth movements
- Problems that reflect an underlying discrepancy in size or position of the jaws.
What age can you do the treatment?
Aligners are suitable for all ages over 18, but the patient must have all their molars fully developed along with their wisdom teeth.
Does it work with crowns and bridges?
Unfortunately, patients with bridges are not eligible for treatment with us as the aligners won’t be as effective due to the bridges making the individual teeth harder to move. However, patients with crowns are completely eligible for treatment.
After having braces can you have this treatment to correct when the teeth have started to shift back?
Yes it can. We have many patients which have had braces before and this treatment can correct any shifting in your teeth since the braces were removed.
Do I need aligners for both top and bottom teeth if I only want one straightened?
Changes in teeth crowding and spacing affect your bite, so to make sure your bite isn’t affected, our dentist likes to assess both arches and more often than not treat both arches at the same time to achieve the perfect results for your perfect smile.
How long does the treatment take?
The typical treatment length for aligners is around 5 months. The typical person will receive a series of 5 invisible aligners that need to be changed every 3 weeks or so. Some patients will receive slightly more or less aligners. This depends on the degree of teeth straightening required.
Do I need to keep the aligner after I am done with it ?
YES! Please keep all aligners after you have finish the different stages of treatment. You must keep them in case our dentists suggest you return to a prior stage during treatment or in case an aligner is lost or broken as you will have to wear the previous aligner until a new one can be sent out.
How often should I be wearing them?
22 hours a day. You should only be taking them out to eat, brush, or floss.
Will my teeth hurt during the treatment?
You will likely experience some discomfort during the first few days of wearing your aligners. This is normal as it is part of the treatment plan. This discomfort means that your aligners are working as they gently move your teeth towards their final position. This soreness should gradually ease after the first few days wearing each new set of aligners.
What happens after the treatment?
We recommend that you invest in some retainers. Without these your teeth will naturally shift back over time.
Is there a finance option available?
Yes we have a finance option available for 6-10 months interest free.
Is there restrictions on eating and drinking?
There are no restrictions on what you can eat or drink. However you must take out the aligners while eating and drinking. This also makes it simple to clean your teeth after each meal to maintain good oral hygiene, before re-inserting your aligners.
Can I smoke while wearing them?
Smoking, along with vaping or e-cigarettes, is discouraged while wearing aligners because your aligners may become stained or discoloured.
Should I be on any medication when having the treatment?
Our aligners are designed to work despite of any medication you may be taking during your treatment, however chronic usage of anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, estrogens, or calcitonin may slow or limit tooth movement.
Can I do it while I’m Pregnant?
In cases such as these we would strongly recommend consulting with a doctor or dentist in order to make sure that you are suitable for treatment.
Are the home aligner/ straightening kits safe?
There can be many complications with these home kis where you take the impression yourself. A trained professional needs to see and monitor your treatment for it to work. Complications can be things such a pulp necrosis.