Clear aligners are an amazing technology for straightening teeth using 3D computer-animated design, modelling and printing to simulate the movement of your teeth to where you want them to be. They are a great option for adults who are looking for an ‘invisible’ option for straightening teeth and can be removed each day for cleaning.
How do they work?
This tooth straightening method uses transparent, thin plastic shells to gently move your teeth in small increments. Unlike braces, aligners are removable. They look like clear retainers and need to be changed every 7 – 14 days, morphing slightly over time to keep your teeth moving into their new position.
The process begins by taking moulds at the dentist. 3D virtual models of the movement of your teeth are then created, which are used to create a series of plastic aligners that gradually move your teeth. Virtual modelling can even show you what your teeth will look like at the end of your treatment.
Each plastic aligner is designed to apply gentle pressure to your teeth. This pressure is transferred through your teeth roots to your jaw, which in turn moves your teeth sockets. As each aligner makes small movements, clear aligners tend to feel a bit tight and sore in the first few days but have only mild tightness with each new aligner.
As they can be removed, clear aligners give you time and the flexibility to eat, floss and brush your teeth without wearing your retainers.
Are you suitable for this type of teeth straightening?
Clear aligners are often the sought-after choice for teeth straightening as they are often barely noticeable, gentler on teeth and can be removed – but they are not suitable for all people.
Individuals with dental implants, bridges or who require surgery to fix dental issues usually aren’t suitable for this type of treatment. For those with twisted, eroded or generally small teeth aligners may not be practical as well.
If you suffer from gum disease or cavities, these issues need to be resolved prior to treatment.
Aligners take commitment to see results. As they can be removed, people who undergo this treatment need to demonstrate consistent discipline in wearing their aligners for 22 hours a day through the treatment period. A treatment plan typically lasts between 12 – 18 months and requires you to visit us every few weeks, however a smaller amount of treatment can be completed in less time.
How much do they cost?
The cost of clear aligners in Australia depends on the duration of treatment and the number of aligners that you’ll need to move your teeth into their new position. Treatment cost depends on the length and complexity of the treatment and generally sits in the $5000-$8000 range. If you have private health insurance that includes orthodontics, clear aligners are typically covered like conventional braces. Each individual health insurance policy is different though and you should consult your health insurance provider directly to confirm your coverage prior to commencing treatment.
Tranquility Dentistry offer a free consultation service to see if you are suitable for clear aligners. If you’d like to discuss your suitability, we are certified providers so please book an appointment to speak with us!