When most people think of straightening their teeth; the first things that come to mind are metal brackets, rubber bands, and even headgear. While these traditional orthodontic tools are still very common, especially for teenagers, most adults would prefer a more subtle approach. This is where invisible orthodontic aligners come in. They provide an alternative approach to correcting misaligned teeth, without anyone being able to know you are wearing them.
The process for clear orthodontics begins with an assessment by your dentist. All three Stephens doctors are trained and certified to provide clear orthodontic treatment. We either take traditional impressions or use our CEREC Omnicam scanner to take a digital impression of your teeth. That impression, combined with pictures and x-rays of your teeth, is used by the clear orthodontic companies to design a treatment plan specifically tailored to your goals for treatment. Once completed, they send a digital 3D model that shows a step-by-step movement of your teeth at every step of treatment. If there are any things that either the patient or doctor wants to change about the treatment, these companies work hard to satisfy these requests while maintaining realistic treatment outcomes.
Once a treatment plan is accepted, the companies send the dentist a series of medical grade plastic aligners that slowly shift the patient’s teeth. These aligners are worn for 2-3 weeks apiece, with each providing fractions of millimeters of movement. This slow progression allows teeth the most biological health movement – with osteoclasts breaking down bone on one side of the tooth, while osteoblasts build new layers of bone on the other. Some treatment plans can be as short as 6 months for a minor correction, or well over a year for more advanced cases. The most important factor in clear orthodontic treatment is patient compliance. These aligners need to be worn for ~22 hours per day, so basically only to be removed while eating and put back in right after.
If you or anyone you know has ever been interested in the possibility of clear orthodontic treatment – then July is your lucky month! Here at Stephens’ Dentistry, we are offering no charge impressions/photos for a clear orthodontic treatment plan. This will allow you to get a good idea of how great your smile can look before you commit anything financially. Please feel free to call our office today to schedule your appointment.