Dental Aligners

Dental aligners are orthodontic devices that are transparent, plastic form of dental braces used to adjust the alignment of teeth.

The aligner trays are commonly made of BPA-free plastic and are custom-made for every patient. Each tray discreetly moves the teeth in small increments.

Some aligners do not touch your gums at all. They are trimmed to comfortably sit along your gum line in a ‘scalloped fashion.’ This design makes the trays less irritating and even more ‘invisible.’ 

What Bite Issues Can Dental Aligners Fix?

Depending on the brand, clear aligners can fix the following teeth alignment issues:

  • Crowded Teeth (overlapping teeth)
  • Overbites (upper front teeth overlap with the lower front teeth)
  • Underbites (lower front teeth overlap with the upper front teeth)
  • Diastema (small or large gaps between the teeth)
  • Open Bites (front upper and lower teeth slant outward and do not touch when the mouth is shut; a rare type of malocclusion)
  • Misaligned primary (baby) teeth (phase I orthodontic treatment; children between 6 and 10 years of age are candidates for this treatment)

Clear Aligners Procedure

Clear aligner treatment involves the following steps:

1. Consultation

If you’re getting an in-office treatment, you’ll first visit an orthodontist for a consultation. During the consultation, they will examine your teeth and take a precise digital scan of your mouth.

Once you approve the custom treatment plan, you’ll receive a digital preview of your new smile. Your dentist will have a dental lab create your aligners when you approve everything.

2. Aligner preparation

After the teeth impressions are made, your custom treatment plan will be created using 3D technology. Once approved, a dental lab will receive the scans and create your aligners.

From here, you’ll accept treatment and begin the process. If you purchased an impression kit from a DTC brand and aren’t a candidate, you can request a refund for the kit.

3. Aligner treatment schedule

You’ll change out your aligner trays every 1 to 3 weeks. For effective teeth straightening, you must wear them for about 20 to 22 hours a day. A single aligner is capable of moving teeth 1 mm or less, so multiple aligners will be necessary. Treatment can take anywhere from 3 to 24 months.

4. Retainers

After treatment is complete, a custom clear retainer is made from a mold of your newly straightened teeth. Retainers should be worn every night while sleeping to ensure malocclusion does not recur. Most aligner companies recommend replacing them every 6 to 12 months.


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