Clear aligner therapy, or CAT, is a custom-made clear dental appliance that gradually straightens a patient’s smile by applying gentle, consistent pressure to the teeth. Patients struggling with crowded or gapped teeth may be suitable candidates for clear aligner therapy. Because the aligners are made of clear thermoplastic material, CAT is a great solution for patients looking to discreetly align their smile.
In some cases, clear aligners can provide faster results than traditional braces.
At your consultation, your orthodontist will determine if clear aligner therapy is right for you. First, your orthodontist 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.
Your orthodontist will then take a series of digital images of your mouth as well as a scan of your teeth. Once this is complete, your orthodontist will send the images and scan to a special laboratory to make your first several sets of clear aligners.
Once your aligners are complete, your dentist will check them to ensure proper fit and alignment. You’ll wear each set per the orthodontist's instructions, usually for 20-22 hours each day, and switch them out every 1-2 weeks. Every 6-12 weeks, you’ll stop by our office to pick up your next few sets of aligners and so the doctor can check your teeth to make sure they’re tracking.
Made with TruGen, the latest innovation in clear aligner material, Spark aligners are clearer, more comfortable, stain less, provide higher force retention and better contact with the tooth compared to other leading aligner brands. Spark aligners are BPA, mercury, latex and phthalate free.
There are less limitations to the foods you can eat with clear aligner therapy.
Clear aligners gradually straighten your teeth over an extensive period of time. Each aligner tray is custom made to ensure your teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Trays are replaced every one to two weeks until your smile has reached its optimal result.
Yes! All aligners are made of medical grade BPA-free clear plastic, which means that they are both safe and comfortable to wear.
Time frames vary based on each individual patient’s needs. Clear aligner therapy may provide quicker results than traditional braces for certain cases. Your orthodontist may even recommend a combination approach of using both metal appliances and clear aligner therapy to have the best outcome for your individual needs. In order to achieve the results you are looking for, it is crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions for wearing your custom-made clear aligners.
Clear aligners gently and discreetly shift your teeth without any metal brackets and wires and some patients may find them more comfortable than traditional braces. Since clear aligners are easily removable, you can quickly take them out for photos and functions and place them back in at any time. However, clear aligners are not suited for everyone. If you are struggling with issues such as a malpositioned jaw or a severely misaligned bite, braces will offer a more versatile and powerful orthodontic treatment.
There may be less food restrictions with clear aligners compared to braces because you can remove them when you are eating. However, it is important not to eat or drink (other than cold water) while you are wearing your aligner trays to prevent dental decay. Additionally, oftentimes 'attachments' need to be placed on your teeth in order to effectively move them. Even though they are tooth-colored, they are still be visible when seen up-close and can break off if you accidentally bite down on hard objects.
The cost of clear aligners is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your clear aligner therapy include the aligner brand, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for clear aligner therapy is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Clear aligners are removable and easy to clean.