Oral Health Solutions Provided by Trusted Albuquerque Dentist
If you are looking to achieve a better smile but do not want to deal with the inconvenience or appearance of traditional metal braces, clear aligners are a perfect alternative. To determine if this is the appropriate option for you, schedule an appointment with the experienced Albuquerque dentist at Dental House. We are prepared to assess your condition and provide a solution that is tailored to your specific goals.
About Clear Aligners
Invisalign enjoys powerful name recognition because they were the first to establish their product in the eyes of the public but aligner technology does not belong solely to their company. Since the Invisalign patent ran out, we have seen the rise of other brands (you may have seen their advertisements splashed across social media) but such new products may trade convenience for safety so it is important to work with your dentist to choose the right product that is safest and most effective for you. It is important to understand the potential risks involved with moving bone through bone, and doing so under the watchful eye of a trained health professional can mean the difference between having a healthy, beautiful smile and permanently losing a significant amount of jaw bone (the bedrock of your teeth).
Traditional metal braces are fixed on the teeth (unless they are broken or professionally removed) while clear aligners are removable and nearly invisible. While it is true that aligners can be misplaced, patients generally prefer them when they are a treatment option – a dental professional can determine when this is the case – because they provide more comfort over metal braces and the ability to remove them allows for easier maintenance of oral hygiene. Moreover, patients often feel that clear aligners are more socially acceptable than braces due to being harder to see, which allows for a more natural look for the duration of treatment.
Clear aligners are made of a firm thermoplastic material that resembles a teeth-whitening tray. Patients who choose this treatment option will have a series of aligners custom-made and designed to move teeth in a predetermined sequence with each new aligner playing its role in this total movement.
Every time an aligner is placed on a patient’s teeth, they create gentle but constant directional force on the teeth, resulting in a gradual shift toward an end goal. Generally, a patient is able to advance to a new set of clear aligners every two weeks.
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign or SureSmile, are a particularly effective form of treatment since they allow for the control of both the amount of force placed on a patient’s teeth and the timing of that application of force. Unsupervised products, such as Smile Direct Club are currently not recommended by this office because of the risks they pose.
As previously mentioned, the importance of aligner patients being able to easily floss their teeth and brush better cannot be overstated. Traditional braces involve metal brackets and wires that may not only irritate the mouth, but also create more surface area for bacteria to grow while simultaneously making it difficult to clean certain spots. Bacteria is small, and even tiny areas that are not cleaned over time can become perfect homes for bacterial colonies, whose growth can lead to inflammation of the gums, bad breath, and even potential tooth decay. With aligners, patients simply remove the trays to comfortably brush and floss, or eat and drink, then put the aligners back on. A common question patients ask is how long they must wear their trays. For best results, it is important for patients to wear their aligners whenever they are not eating or cleaning their teeth.
The Treatment Process
While the length of treatment can vary depending on the severity of a patient’s case, treatment generally takes about 12 months for most adults. For teenage patients, the length of time is more varied and must be determined by your dentist. To monitor a patient’s progress and to help prevent negative risk factors like loss of bone, our office will likely schedule regular appointments every 4 to 6 weeks.
What Happens After Treatment Is Complete?
Most dentists recommend the use of a retainer following any orthodontic treatment to prevent your teeth from shifting. Everyone is different, so be sure to ask your dentist if you need post-treatment retainers, and/or if it is necessary for both the upper and lower arches.
Achieve Your Best Smile Today
If you are currently considering your options for achieving a better smile, clear aligners could be the right treatment for you. Even if you are already in treatment with traditional metal braces, it is possible to switch. If you have had braces in the past but your teeth have shifted after correction, you may also benefit from using clear aligners to make the necessary adjustments without having to undergo the experience of wearing braces again.
To find out what the best course of action is for your unique situation, contact the trusted and friendly staff at Dental House. Our experienced Albuquerque family dentist is happy to help you choose the best option to improve your smile and self-confidence.
Contact us today at (505) 835-2322 to schedule an appointment.
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Dr. Rachel Park
Dr. Valerie Wroblewski
Lead Dental Assistant