Clear aligners are an effective alternative to traditional braces, because they use a system of clear, removable trays used to straighten teeth. Each aligner is custom-made to fit over your teeth and is designed to gradually move teeth into their proper position.
Invisalign is the most well known and the first major company to offer clear aligners. They started in the late 1990s and are very protective of their patents. They started the aligner treatment and made numerous advancements in the field. They make excellent quality aligners that work very well and are used all over the world.
Dr. Chung is a certified Gold+ Invisalign Provider, meaning he has achieved clinical standards of excellence and treats a significant number of Invisalign patients per year. If you have been told before that you were not a candidate for Invisalign, please contact us for a consultation. The technology is rapidly changing, allowing more complex cases to be treated. Dr. Chung has been using Invisalign aligners to treat complex cases with excellent results.
Spark aligners are made with TruGEN™, the latest innovation in clear aligner material. Spark aligners are more clear, more comfortable, stain less and designed for more efficient and effective tooth movement, compared to the leading aligner brand.*
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. The aligners are made with a strong plastic material that has been fabricated to fit your mouth. 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 22 hours each day, and you'll receive a new aligner every one to 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.
Advantages of orthodontic treatment with clear aligners:
Clear aligners are a great alternative for patients who want a straighter smile but do not want to wear metal braces, or for patients who have had treatment in the past and want to make minor corrections to their smile. There are several advantages to orthodontic treatment with clear aligners.
- Clear aligners are easier to keep clean, making it easier to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
- Clear aligners are comfortable and less likely to irritate your gums and cheeks.
- Clear aligners prevent wear on the teeth from tooth grinding.
- Clear aligners are removable, so it's easier for you to brush and floss after meals.
Please be aware that nowadays you can see many online and TV ads offering clear aligners mailed to home directly. These are so-called mail-order aligners. Mail-order aligner companies reduce treatment down to only basic movement and often have patients take their own molds and selfies. Usually no dentist or orthodontist is supervising the treatment. While some home projects are possible to do well, such as painting a room or changing out an appliance, moving your own teeth from one position to another is not advisable. Why? The bone and gums that support your teeth can be severely compromised by an incorrect tooth movement. The TMJ jaw joint can also be affected by how your teeth fit together. Mail-order companies cannot adequately assess a patient's bone and jaw joint status since they do not perform a clinical examination or take x-rays. That can lead to the need for expensive (and sometimes uncomfortable) additional dental work or retreatment.
For a marginal savings in treatment cost, it is wise to keep in mind that there is a good reason orthodontists attend 4 years of dental school, followed by 3 years of residency. Moving teeth to look good and function well, while respecting a patient’s individual biology is not as easy as it may seem. At SmileLand Orthodontics, we specialize in moving teeth and creating beautiful, healthy smiles. Our commitment to continuing education with aligners – both learning and teaching – and our commitment to excellence are the main reason why you should choose us to provide your new smile!