Clear AlignersCleburne, TX
For many patients, clear aligners are a welcome, more discreet alternative to traditional braces. They work similarly to metal braces, as both apply a gentle, consistent amount of pressure to gradually move teeth into place. Like any type of orthodontic treatment, clear aligners can enhance the appearance and functionality of the mouth.
Clear aligners are available at Tennison Orthodontics in Cleburne and the surrounding area. We can help find the right teeth straightening service for your unique needs and lifestyle. Call us today at 817-522-7358 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
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The Difference Between Braces and Clear Aligners
In this day and age, there are more orthodontic treatments available on the market than ever. Each teeth straightening service comes with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages — none of which is better than the other. Since each patient has different needs, what works best for one may not be best for another.
The first step in the orthodontic treatment process is to determine an accurate diagnosis before considering the treatment’s goals, the patient’s needs, and more. The most obvious difference between traditional braces and clear aligners is that braces are more apparent in the mouth, while clear aligners are virtually invisible. Clear aligners are also removable, while braces are attached to the teeth. With both devices, patients must keep a consistent oral hygiene routine and wear retainers after completing treatment.
Treatment Length with Clear Aligners
As mentioned earlier, clear aligners work similarly to traditional braces: Both consistently apply a gentle amount of pressure to gradually shift the teeth. However, the patient needs to switch out one set of clear aligner trays for the next set in the sequence every few weeks as the teeth continue moving.
Treatment time will vary according to each patient’s needs, with more complicated cases requiring more prolonged treatment. On the other hand, adult patients who have had braces in the past may complete treatment in as soon as 10 weeks when wearing clear aligners. Some patients may need to wear conventional braces for a few months to make smaller refinements after completing treatment with clear aligners. Most patients will complete treatment within 10 to 24 months.
Effectiveness of Clear Aligners
According to multiple studies, most patients report preferring clear aligners over traditional braces for improved aesthetics, comfort, and oral hygiene. Many patients also completed treatment within a shorter period using clear aligners than they would with traditional braces. Clear aligners were also particularly effective in correcting crooked teeth.
Still, clear aligners cannot deliver the precise results of traditional braces. As such, they may not be as effective for patients with more significant orthodontic issues. While this does not diminish the efficacy of clear aligners, it further emphasizes the importance of an accurate diagnosis. At Tennison Orthodontics, we provide each of our patients with the personalized and devoted treatment they deserve.
Caring for Clear Aligners
One of the key differences between traditional braces and clear aligners is that patients do not have to change their diets. Since clear aligners are removable, eating with and caring for clear aligners is much easier than traditional braces. However, to prevent staining, patients should brush their teeth before putting their aligners back on. This also has the added benefit of preventing food debris from getting stuck between the teeth and the aligners.
Overall, patients should keep their aligners in their mouths for 20 to 22 hours per day, removing them only when absolutely necessary. Such instances involve eating, drinking anything that is not clear water, and performing their oral hygiene routines. In addition to brushing and flossing as usual, patients should rinse their aligners whenever they take them out and brush them with only water and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Clear Aligners and Aesthetics
Most patients are drawn to clear aligners because they do not disrupt facial aesthetics. Their transparent nature means it impossible for them to create any semblance of “metal mouth” associated with traditional metal braces. Instead, they are virtually invisible in the mouth when taken care of properly.
While all orthodontic devices may align the teeth tips, close wide gaps between the teeth, and straighten crooked teeth, patients with clear aligners have less potential for root resorption and demineralization than patients with traditional braces. As a result, their teeth are less likely to lead to tooth shortening or discoloration. The computerized treatment planning associated with clear aligners also makes it possible for patients to see their progress towards a better smile.
Call Us Today
For many patients, clear aligners like Invisalign® can straighten teeth and correct malocclusions just as effectively as conventional braces. We at Tennison Orthodontics can help. Call us today at 817-522-7358 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do I need to switch out my clear aligners?
This varies on a case-by-case basis. Most patients will need to change them out every week or two. Dr. Tennison can answer any questions you have about this or any other aspects of your orthodontic treatment.
How often will I need to see my orthodontist when I have clear aligners?
While clear aligners typically require fewer office visits than traditional braces, you will still need to make regular visits to the orthodontist’s office. During these appointments, Dr. Tennison will ensure that everything is progressing as planned. Most patients will need to come into the office once every four to six weeks.
What are clear aligner trays made of?
It depends on the brand of clear aligners. At Tennison Orthodontics, we are proud to offer Invisalign, which consists of a flexible, patented thermoplastic material known as SmartTrack®. This FDA-approved material is totally safe and is BPA-, BPS-, latex-, and gluten-free.
Is it painful to wear clear aligners?
Many patients find clear aligners to be less painful and more comfortable than conventional braces. Some patients may feel some discomfort when first wearing a new set of aligners, but this typically subsides after a few days. If this discomfort does not pass, contact us immediately.
I have heard that treatment with clear aligners sometimes involves wearing attachments. What are these, and will I need them?
For Invisalign patients, this is known as SmartForce® attachments. These are natural-looking attachments that allow the aligners to make more complex tooth movements. The aligners typically fit snugly around them, making them hard to notice. Dr. Tennison will evaluate whether these attachments are necessary for your case.
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