- CLEAR ALIGNER DESCRIPTION
The system consists of a series of clear removable aligners that move your teeth in small increments from their original position to a more ideal position. You typically wear the aligners in pairs, one on your upper teeth and one your lower teeth. Each aligner fully covers your teeth and is virtually invisible when in place. The total number of aligners varies depending on the complexity of your orthodontic problem. The only times you remove your aligners are to eat, drink and clean your teeth. Approximately every two weeks, you will switch to the next aligner in the series.
- TREATMENT DURATION
Although we give a patient an estimate of their treatment time, we do not know exactly how long their treatment will take. Individuals vary considerably in their response to orthodontic forces, so treatment time may be more or less than our estimate. Poor cooperation in wearing the appliances the required hours per day, poor oral hygiene, lost appliances, missed appointments, and other factors can lengthen the treatment time and can adversely affect the quality of the end result.
- ENAMEL REDUCTION
Interproximal enamel reduction or thinning the width of teeth is often part of clear aligner treatment. It is a procedure to remove a small amount of enamel between the teeth to create space for the correction of crowded teeth or to enable the teeth in each jaw to come together more efficiently. The enamel removal is very minimal and does not require anesthesia.
- SIDE EFFECTS
Tender teeth should be expected after switching to the next aligner in the series. The period of tenderness or sensitivity varies with each patient but is typically only about a day. Many patients find this discomfort actually much less than some other forms of ‘braces’.
If teeth are not kept clean and a high sugar diet is consumed, decay or white areas of demineralisation can occur. For this reason excellent cleaning is encouraged throughout treatment.
Root resorption (destruction of some root surface) and Ankylosis (root bonds to the underlying bone) are rare side effects of any orthodontic tooth movement. As aligner treatment is generally quite slow and uses less forces compared to some other forms of orthodontic devices, these risks are very low.
- STABILITY OF THE FINAL RESULT
The teeth and jaw structures are a dynamic system that constantly change throughout one’s lifetime. Orthodontic treatment does not make a patient immune to this process.
If retention (ie wearing the last aligner occasionally at night) is not carried on, teeth can start to move back to where they were before treatment.
For this reason a lifetime commitment to retainers is encouraged.
- HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This is very dependent on the degree of tooth movement required. Typical prices vary from £1500- £3500.
A diagnostic process is normally completed which includes a thorough examination and discussion of wants/ needs. Then records such as radiographs, photographs and impressions of your teeth are taken.
These are then used in the Laboratory to model the tooth movement required and determine the time required to reach the desired situation.
This diagnostic stage is charged at £200 and after this stage a thorough estimate of the costs and time required to complete treatment is given.