Clear AlignersGranite Falls, NC
Patients who need to straighten their teeth but want a more discreet option than traditional methods need to consider clear aligners. With clear aligners, you can gradually shift your teeth into the proper alignment while also having more versatility than traditional options. Clear aligners are a series of removable plastic customized trays that shift the patient’s teeth into the correct alignment without the need for metal brackets or wires.
Clear aligners are available at Dr. Gregory K. Shell in Granite Falls and the surrounding area. During the initial appointment, we will determine if clear aligners are the most effective option with the patient before customizing them to the patient’s teeth. The patient will wear one set out of many sets of aligner trays for around two or three weeks at a time, before moving to the next one.
Call us at 828-386-9811 to learn more about clear aligners, and if they are the treatment to help you achieve the smile you desire.
Clear Aligner Treatment Process
With the clear aligner treatment process, patients will be able to straighten their teeth without needing to alter their diet or oral hygiene routine drastically. The American Association of Orthodontists, AAO states that clear aligners are plastic replicas of the patient’s teeth, designed to straighten the teeth over time. The clear aligner process involves several steps, including:
- An Initial examination
- Developing the clear aligners
- Checkups throughout the treatment process
During the initial examination, we will review the patient’s medical history, current condition, allergies, insurance, and any other pertinent factors we need to know. We will also examine the patient’s teeth, bite alignment, and jaw to determine if clear aligners are the right choice for their teeth. If the patient is a candidate for this treatment, we will then take measurements and scans of the patient’s teeth.
To scan the teeth, we will use computerized technology that maps out the specific positions the teeth will need to shift through in order to reach proper alignment.
Developing and Placing the Clear Aligners
After completing the scans, we will have a dental lab to make a series of aligner trays. As long as the patient follows the proper order of these trays, they will gradually shift their teeth into the proper alignment. Each set in the series will be designed for a specific position the teeth will shift through. Once complete, we will have the patient come into the office to ensure the trays fit properly.
We will also go over the proper care and steps the patient needs to take while wearing the aligners.
Regular Checkup Appointments
While the clear aligners are removable, the patient will need to wear them for at least 22 hours per day, only removing the aligners when eating, brushing teeth, playing sports, and more. Even though the patient will have all the aligners at home, they will need to schedule a few checkup appointments during the treatment period. With these checkups, we can ensure the treatment is on track.
If the patient loses or damages an aligner tray, they need to contact us right away. We can schedule an appointment and go over what they will need to do. Our team is here to help patients throughout the clear aligner treatment process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do clear aligners limit what I can or cannot eat?
No. since you can remove the clear aligners when you eat, they will not interfere with what you eat. However, it is essential to clean your teeth after each meal and before replacing the aligners on your teeth.
What activities can I remove my aligners for?
While you need to wear your clear aligners for at least 22 hours a day, you can remove your aligners for meals and cleaning your teeth. You can also remove the clear aligners when:
- Playing sports
- Attending meetings
- Giving presentations
- Going on dates
- Taking pictures
If I lose one set of aligners, should I skip to the next one?
Not necessarily. If you lose one set of aligners in the series, call us immediately. Skipping to the next set of aligner trays may be a bit more uncomfortable than normal since the teeth were not ready.
Should I clean the aligner trays?
Yes. Since they are clear, the aligner trays will not hide any bits of food trapped in the teeth. If the patient does not properly clean their teeth before wearing the aligners, then the bits of food will push down and become stuck in the aligners. It is essential to clean and rinse the aligner trays on a regular basis.
How long will the clear aligner treatment take?
In general, the clear aligners will take around a year. However, the length of treatment time can vary per patient, and if they wore the aligners for the proper amount of time.
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