Clear aligners, also known as invisible braces, are custom made mouth pieces made of medical grade plastic. They are made to fit perfectly to your teeth in order to move them into a more harmonious and aesthetic position through a series of different aligners. They are the discreet option to traditional metal braces. Common brands of clear aligners on the market currently are Invisalign, Spark aligners, Angel Aligners among many others. The cost of clear aligner therapy can start from as little as $5,500, and the duration of treatment can range from 4 months to 3 years.
Whilst clear aligners have a definite market for correcting patient’s smiles, it is important to understand the advantages/disadvantages and the limitations of their use.
Appearance: As the name suggest, they are mostly clear and hence almost invisible to the naked eye meaning no metal braces are needed.
Comfort: Without the need for metal wires or brackets, they are much more comfortable to wear, and less likely to cause ulcers and irritation in the mouth.
Ease of brushing/flossing: Managing your oral hygiene whilst having clear aligner therapy is much easier, as you can take them out prior to brushing/flossing. This negates the need to use tricky cleaning tools that you would normally need with traditional braces.
Eating/drinking: Unlike traditional braces, you are not limited to what you can eat with clear aligners. There is no need to avoid hard/chewy food as you will need to take your aligners out when you are eating and drinking. However, you must be mindful that clear aligners are plastic, so will stain and distort if you wear them whilst eating or drinking, so it is very important to take them out during these times.
Less dental visits: Clear aligners require less regular dental visits as compared to traditional braces. However, we will still recommend you have regular 4-6 weeks review appointments with your dentist/orthodontist.
Not suitable for all cases: Clear aligners are usually more ideal of minor adjustments and won’t be suitable for more difficult cases. It is best to speak to your dentist to see if clear aligners would work in your specific case.
Compliance is essential: Clear aligners will only work if you are dedicated to wear them continuously. They will need to be worn 20 22 hours every day and only be taken out when you are brushing/flossing or eating/drinking. Wearing them less will slow your progress and can affect your final result. Another concern is when patients lose their aligners, which costs more and can extend the time of your treatment.
If you are interested in a straighter, more ideal smile, do not hesitate to make an appointment with our dentists and they will see if you are suitable for some clear aligner therapy. Contact us on (07) 3899 8892 or make an appointment online.