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The Art of Clear Aligner Treatment

Orthodontic treatment has been transformed across the world with the invention of clear aligners. They offer a way out of undergoing painful and embarrassing treatment using traditional metal braces. Treatment with clear aligners is discreet and convenient for the user. If you’re a patient considering using clear aligners to straighten your teeth, it is better to understand what the treatment process entails to make a well-informed decision. This article will expose you to the world of clear aligners and what you can expect during the treatment process.

The Steps of Getting Clear Aligners

  1. First Visit: The journey to getting a straight smile begins with an initial appointment with your dentist or orthodontist. The dental professional examines your teeth and checks the bite during the visit. This is done to gauge if you’re a suitable candidate for clear aligner treatment.
  2. X-Ray and Impression Taking: The dental professional also takes impressions, X-rays and digital scans of your teeth using an intra-oral scanner. They may take X-rays, photographs, and impressions of your teeth to create a customized treatment plan. These digital footprints are used in designing the clear aligners.
  3. Treatment Planning Using 3D Virtual Setup: After taking all the needed X-rays and digital scans, the dentist uses an advanced form of technology called 3D virtual setup to form a step-by-step treatment plan. They also send the scans to a dental lab that crafts the sets of custom-made, clear aligners. This software lets the patient see their future, well-aligned smile before starting the treatment.
  4. Check Fitting of Your Aligners: When the aligners are ready, the dental lab sends them to your dentist, who then calls you back for a visit. Your dentist will confirm if your aligners fit you perfectly and give you all the instructions on how to wear and maintain them. Ideally, each set of aligners is meant to be worn for 20-22 hours daily. You move on to the next set of aligners after 1-2 weeks or as your dentist directed you.
  5. Getting Used to Treatment: As you start wearing yourclear aligners, you may experience some initial discomfort or pressure as your teeth begin to move. This is normal and should subside after a few days. It’s important to wear your aligners for the recommended 20-22 hours per day to ensure optimal results.
  6. Periodic Check-Up Appointments: During the course of the treatment, you will have to meet your dentist for regular check-ups. This is to keep track of your treatment progress and make any adjustments when needed. These visits help check if your teeth are moving according to the plan.
  7. Aligners Care: It is important to look after your aligners well to ensure the success of your treatment. Doing so also helps you maintain good oral hygiene. Some of the measures include taking out your aligners before eating or drinking anything except water, brushing your teeth after eating anything, and cleaning your aligners using a soft toothbrush and mild soap.
  8. Dealing with Discomfort: Even though clear aligners are much more comfortable and smoother than traditional metal braces, the patient might still experience slight discomfort, especially when switching to a new set of aligners. You will get used to them in a few days.
  9. Tracking Results: As the treatment progresses, the patient will start seeing visible results and changes in the alignment of their teeth. Taking before and after pictures can be very rewarding.
  10. Completing Treatment: After wearing all the prescribed sets of aligners, your dentist will check and see if the treatment goals have been achieved and if any additional changes are needed.
  11. Post-Treatment Care: After completing your clear aligner treatment, your dentist may advise you to wear retainers. This is to prevent your teeth from moving back to their old positions and causing any relapse. Your dentist will also give you instructions on how to wear the retainers and look after them well.

Summary

We understand now that clear aligners do offer an effective and subtle way of achieving a straighter smile without the hassle of traditional braces. One of the most common queries about clear aligners is how much they cost. As they are made using high-quality materials and advanced technology, their cost is on the higher end. However, in the long run, clear aligners help you save money. There are numerous factors that affect their cost, like the experience of the dentist, the clinic’s location, the severity of the case, and more.

By keeping all the above information in mind, you can make a well-informed decision about your oral health. If you’re thinking of getting clear aligners, schedule an appointment with your dentist and take a step towards a healthier and straighter smile!

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