Clear aligner therapy, also known as CAT, is a dental appliance that straightens a smile with a custom-made clear aligner. The aligner is made out of transparent thermoplastic material that is both subtle and comfortable. It applies gentle pressure to each tooth to gradually fix misaligned teeth. If you have minor crowded or gapped teeth but don’t want to deal with braces, you may be a good candidate for clear aligner therapy!
In some cases, clear aligners can provide faster results than traditional braces.
At your consultation, your dentist will determine if clear aligner therapy is right for you. First, your dentist will examine your gum health and teeth to check for gaps and crowding. They will also discuss your smile goals and develop a treatment plan made just for you. During your consultation, your dentist will examine your oral health to see if clear aligner therapy is right for you. We will check your gum health and gaps and crowding in your teeth. Then we will develop a treatment plan based on your smile goals.
After your consultation, your dentist will need to take impressions of your teeth. This is done by taking a series of digital images and a mold of your teeth. Your dentist may make adjustments so that your teeth align properly to the mold. After this process, your dentist will send those impressions to a lab and they will create your personalized first set of clear aligners.
When we receive your aligners, we will ask you to come into the office so that your dentist can ensure proper fit and alignment. Per the dentist’s instructions, you’ll usually wear them 20-22 hours every day, switching them out every 2 weeks. Every 6 weeks, your next sets of aligners will be ready to be picked up at our office. The doctor will then check your teeth’s progress to ensure that you are on track for your satisfactory smile.
There are no limitations to the foods you can eat while wearing clear aligners.
Clear aligners straighten your teeth gradually over an extended period. Custom-made aligner trays ensure that your teeth will be slightly straighter moving forward to each tray. Generally, it takes about a year to correct your smile. Trays are replaced every two weeks until you achieve the smile you are satisfied with.
Yes! When monitored by an orthodontist, clear aligners are perfectly safe. Aligners are made out of medical grade BPA-free plastic which are safe and effective.
Individual time frames differ based on each patient’s needs, but clear aligner therapy has proven to provide quicker results compared to traditional braces. This is because aligners gradually push your teeth as a whole, while braces take each individual tooth and pull them separately. However, the best way to achieve the quickest, best results is to follow your dentist’s instructions.
Clear aligners gently shift your teeth without the hassle of metal brackets or wires. One of the major benefits of opting for clear aligners is their transparency – It’s hard to tell if you are wearing them but you can still quickly take them out for photos or functions. Additionally, you won't have to worry about dietary restrictions because of their easy removability.
However, they are not suitable for everyone, mainly because major misalignments or a malpositioned jaw require a more powerful orthodontic treatment (such as braces).
Clear aligners will cost differently for each patient. Aligner brands, appointments, and insurance plans all affect the cost of clear aligner therapy. The best way to find out about your individual cost is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Clear aligners are removable and easy to clean.