Clear aligners are an effective alternative to traditional braces, because they use a system of clear, removable trays used to straighten teeth. In the past, clear aligner treatment was done by making a mold of a patient’s mouth and sending it to an off-site lab for the aligners to be fabricated. While this process was successful, we wanted to reduce our patients’ wait-time to begin treatment, as well as have more overall control over our patients’ treatment.
Thanks to advancements in digital technology, we are now able to scan a patient’s mouth, create a mold, and create our own clear aligners, right here at our office. This not only saves time and money, but it also gives our doctors an extra level of control over your treatment.
Best of all, our clear aligners are made of the same high-quality material as name-brand aligners and work virtually the same. Each aligner is custom-made to fit over your teeth and is designed to gradually move teeth into their proper position.
How do clear aligners work?
Clear aligners are used as an alternative to traditional braces, and are designed to help guide teeth into proper position. Just like braces, clear aligners use gradual force to control tooth movement, but without any metal wires or brackets. As treatment progresses you switch aligners. Each aligner is a little different, so your teeth move a little more with every change.
Aligners are worn for at least 20 hours each day, and you’ll receive a new aligner every two weeks. The length of your treatment depends on the severity of your case, and treatment can take anywhere from six months to two years.
Our intraoral scanner is a small hand-held wand that digitally obtains the arrangement of the teeth and gums with a radiation-free laser. The scanning process is painless and can be stopped and started as many times as necessary. In addition, this also means no more gagging or discomfort for patients, since impression trays and impression materials are no longer needed!
Scans are typically completed within five to ten minutes and produce a perfect 3D digital impression of your teeth and soft tissue structures. This information is then used to determine your treatment and provides an idea of the finished result with a 3D model of your teeth on our computer screen.
What is "In-House"...?
Using your digital scan, our doctors will create digital models of your teeth. They will create your entire treatment plan by moving the teeth in the correct sequence into the best occlusion possible, with attention to any areas that were discussed at your visit. We do not outsource your treatment design! By having our doctors control all aspects of your treatment plan and model setup, we are able to achieve much more predictable results.
If you’re interested in orthodontic treatment with our in-house clear aligners, schedule an appointment to determine whether this is the right treatment option for you.