Are Clear Aligners Right for You?

As a comprehensive dental care provider in Portland’s South Waterfront, Dr. Beck and his team want you to have the smile of your dreams. One of the tools in our dental arsenal are clear aligners, also known as invisible aligners. Unlike traditional metal braces that use brackets and wires, clear aligners blend seamlessly into the natural color and complexion of a patient’s smile. Are clear aligners right for you? Read on to learn more.


What are clear aligners?

Clear aligners are a series of tight-fitting, custom-made mouthpieces crafted from durable plastic using 3-D imaging technology. This means they slip easily and discreetly over your teeth. Aligners are approved by the FDA and require a prescription. While Invisalign is the largest producer of clear aligners, there are other great brands out there.


Dr. Beck will help you decide if aligners are right for you. Once he has created an individual plan for you, your treatment can begin immediately. Each stage of your plan will show the progress that the aligners should make in realigning your teeth, so you know what to expect throughout the entire treatment process.


Can anyone get clear aligners?

Because they are custom-built for a tight fit, aligners are best for adults or teens. (Straightening a child’s teeth is more complicated.) They usually work best for patients who have mild or moderately crowded teeth or minor spacing issues. Patients with more severe crowding or spacing problems, such as a severe underbite, overbite, or crossbite, may need more complex treatment. 


How do they work?

Since clear aligners gently push your teeth into place, it usually takes less time to straighten your teeth using this method versus traditional braces. You’ll need to wear your clear aligners for about 20 to 22 hours per day. The aligners are replaced with new ones every few weeks so that your teeth are constantly being pushed into the right spot. At the end of the treatment, you’ll receive a final set of clear aligners to serve as a retainer. Wearing the retainer every night will ensure that your teeth stay in place.


What are some of the biggest benefits?

As we mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits to clear aligners is that they are more discreet than traditional braces and blend seamlessly in your mouth. They are almost invisible from a distance and most people will hardly know that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, unless you decide to tell them.


Second, they’re much more comfortable, like mouthguards. Unlike metal braces, clear aligners won’t poke your mouth and gums. Nor will you have to worry about broken brackets or loose wires. They won’t cause pain or bleeding.


Third, they can be removed for short breaks. With metal braces, there was no way to remove them until treatment is completed. With clear aligners, you can take them off during eating and brushing your teeth.



How long does treatment take?

This depends on how much the teeth need to be moved or rotated and Dr. Beck will be sure to note it in your treatment plan. The more your bite is off or the more crooked your teeth, the longer it will take. That said, treatment usually takes between 9 to 18 months, compared to two or three years for braces.


How much do they cost?

At South Waterfront family dental, we want to make quality dental care easier and more affordable than ever. Depending on the length of your treatment and any potential insurance coverage, you are looking between $3500 – $4900. Call our office today for more information or to schedule a consultation.