If you are looking to straighten your teeth, but don’t want a mouth full of metal, you’re in luck! Today’s dental technologies have advanced, and while you can still fix crooked teeth with traditional metal braces, now you can get a straighter smile more discreetly, comfortably, and conveniently with clear aligners.
What are clear aligners and how do they work?
Clear aligners are clear plastic orthodontic devices that straighten crooked teeth. They are made from thermoplastic polymers and are customized to each patient. Many people report that clear aligners are less painful than traditional metal braces because there is no metal rubbing against the inside of your mouth, and you don’t have to have them tightened regularly in an office. Clear aligners are also beneficial for oral health, as you can remove them to do a thorough flossing and brushing twice a day.
With a specific end goal in mind, a series of clear aligner trays are created for you by using putty impressions or 3D digital scans of your teeth. The aligners work in stages by using gentle force to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. Patients typically switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks, and each new set moves your teeth a little bit more to achieve the smile you’re looking for.
How long do clear aligners take to work?
The treatment length depends on the individual patient and their goals. Most patients wear their clear aligners for 12-18 months. Some people with minimal crowding or spacing get the results they want in as few as six months, while patients with more severe crowding might need to wear aligners for up to two years. Essentially, the more your teeth need to move, the longer the treatment will take. Aligners need to be worn for 22 hours per day, so if you wear them less than that, treatment will take longer and won’t be as effective.
Who is a good candidate for clear aligners?
Patients with mild to moderate crowding or spacing usually have the best results with clear aligners. People with more severe crowding, however, have had success using clear aligners for a longer period of time. You are also a good candidate if you had braces before and your teeth have shifted since removal or if you have developed an underbite, overbite, or crossbite. If you are committed to wearing the aligners for 22 hours per day and changing to your new aligners about every two weeks as instructed by your healthcare provider, you will likely have success with clear aligners.
What is the process like?
It is easier than ever to use clear aligners to straighten your teeth. First, schedule an appointment with Lifetime Dental Health to get an evaluation and learn more about the process. At your first appointment, we will ask you some questions about your smile goals and examine your teeth to see if you are a good candidate for clear aligners. If we determine that clear aligners are a good choice for you, we will take impressions of your teeth with dental putty, or digitally scan your mouth to produce a 3D digital model of your teeth. Next, a series of custom aligners will be produced for you. Most patients will get 20 to 24 sets of aligners. When you receive your aligners, you’ll start by wearing the first set for about two weeks for 22 hours per day. You will switch to your next set of aligners about every two weeks. Most dental providers recommend an office visit every six to eight weeks to make sure the aligners are working properly and that your teeth are moving progressively. If you stick to your schedule and wear your aligners as instructed, you can achieve your smile goals! Once you have completed treatment with your clear aligners, it is recommended that you wear a retainer to keep your teeth straight.
What if I am not a good candidate for clear aligners?
If you have severe crowding or gapping, have dental implants or bridges, or active gum disease and poor oral hygiene, clear aligners may not be for you. But don’t worry! You don’t have to give up on the beautiful smile you are dreaming of. There are many other options to get the smile you are looking for, including:
Traditional metal braces – if you have severe spacing or crowding, or a severe bite problem, traditional metal braces might be for you.
Veneers – if your teeth are shaped irregularly, broken or chipped, or discolored or stained, veneers can give you the smile you’re looking for.
Contouring or reshaping – if your teeth are cracked, chipped, overlapping or crooked, an in-office contouring or reshaping procedure can help.
Speak with us to find out which treatment option is best for you. At Lifetime Dental Health, we are proud to offer multiple options to straighten your smile, including our own Clear Aligner Program. We also offer Invisalign and Six Month Smile in addition to a variety of cosmetic dentistry options. Contact us today at (614) 333-9442 to schedule a consultation.
Are you unhappy with your smile? Do you have a chipped tooth or excessive discoloration that stops you from wanting to show your smile to the world? Life is too short to live with a smile that you are not proud of and ready to show off. At Lifetime Dental Health, we are committed to helping you create the smile that you have always wanted, which is why we offer these cosmetic dentistry options:
One of the biggest things our patients want in terms of cosmetic dentistry is a whiter smile. Your smile is the very first thing that people notice about you and a white, shiny smile can help you make a lasting first impression. As we age, our teeth naturally lose their white luster. Additionally, what we eat and drink, as well as habits like tobacco use, can lead to yellow teeth.
To help reverse this discoloration and get your smile to shine again, we offer a couple different teeth whitening treatments. At our practice, we offer in-office whitening treatments that can make your smile look shades whiter with just one visit. We also offer at-home whitening kits with custom bite trays that are filled with a bleaching agent and are used for 3-6 weeks.
However, teeth whitening is not for everyone. If you suffer from gum disease or severely eroded enamel, you may not be a good candidate for this treatment. If you want to learn more about teeth whitening or want our expert opinion on which whitening option is best for you, schedule an appointment to come see us today.
Crooked teeth can be annoying, unsightly, and bad for your bite and jaw. Unfortunately, traditional braces can be distracting, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. If you want a straight, perfect smile without the hassle of metal braces, you may be a good candidate for clear aligners. Clear aligners are custom-made for your mouth and gradually shift your teeth over time, correcting your smile. They are almost undetectable, and will not detract from your smile while you are undergoing treatment.
Clear aligners are worn for most of the day, but they can be removed when you eat or drink. This means that you can still enjoy all of your favorite snacks without having to worry about foods that are too chewy, hard, or sticky like you would with traditional braces. If you want to learn more about teeth straightening with clear aligners, contact our office today! We can schedule a consultation and formulate a treatment plan to help make your smile straight and beautiful in no time.
If you are unhappy with the size, shape, spacing, or color of a specific tooth, you may be a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin ceramic shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They are crafted and color-matched to look like your other teeth. When properly cared for, veneers can last for years and correct a wide array of cosmetic defects.
To prepare your teeth for veneers, we will remove a very small amount of dental enamel from the tooth. We will then use a permanent bonding agent to bond the appliance to your teeth. Veneers are resistant to staining and will help keep your teeth beautiful for years to come. If you are unhappy with the look of one or more of your teeth, ask us about porcelain veneers!
We want you to love your smile, and at Lifetime Dental Health we are here to give you the care you need to make that possible. Come see us today so that we can give you our recommendations for cosmetic dental care! If you want to learn more about any of the options listed above or simply want to set up a consultation, give us a call at (614)-333-9498.