Crooked teeth not only affect the aesthetics of your smile, but they can also be detrimental to your oral health. For instance, crowded teeth can be much more difficult to properly clean, leaving you at a greater risk for developing tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Luckily, people in need of orthodontic care have more options than ever before. At Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry, we specialize in clear aligner treatment. The clear aligner system is designed for patients who want a discrete and effective alternative to traditional metal braces.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
Clear aligners straighten your teeth without the use of metal brackets, wires, and elastic bands. Instead, we begin treatment by taking an impression of your teeth and gums. This impression will be used to create a 3D model of your smile. We may also take photographs, x-rays, and CBCT scans to gather a more comprehensive overview.
Once we decide how to correct your bite, we will develop an appropriate treatment plan for moving your teeth. All of this information will be sent to a dental laboratory, where they will use it to fabricate a series of aligner trays. The clear trays look similar to night guards, mouth guards, oral appliances, and retainers, however, they are more comfortable as they are custom-fitted to each of your teeth.
Each tray in your series will gradually move your teeth to a more proper position. You will be asked to wear each tray close to full time for two weeks. Once your teeth have shifted, you can move on to the next tray. A tray should only be removed when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing.
Your treatment period depends on the severity of your misalignment issues. The more misaligned your teeth and bite are, the longer it will take to fix these problems. On average, clear aligner treatment takes between ten and 24 months.
If we find cavities and decay during your regular check-up, we will provide you with dental fillings and sealants to prevent decay and damage. Once treatment is completed, many patients choose teeth whitening to enhance the appearance of their perfectly straight teeth.
Who Qualifies for Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are an excellent alternative to braces, especially for adults. The nature of the clear plastic makes them virtually invisible, which is ideal in the professional setting. However, they may not be appropriate for patients with severe orthodontic issues.
We typically recommend clear aligners for patients with mild to moderate crooked or protruding teeth. In the right circumstances, clear aligners can also be used for more serious malocclusions, such as overbites or underbites. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Kevin Kay will be able to determine if clear aligners are right for you!
Clear Aligners Vs. Traditional Braces
Traditional braces involve a series of brackets linked together by a metal wire. The wire is attached to the brackets with elastic bands. As your treatment progresses, the wire is periodically tightened until your teeth are in their proper position. Unfortunately, traditional braces come with a certain stigma, especially for adults. Braces can also be quite uncomfortable and inconvenient. Daily activities such as eating, brushing, and flossing can be much more difficult. Clear aligners help patients with mild to moderate issues avoid the disadvantages of traditional braces. Don’t let your orthodontic treatment affect your professional and personal life!
Schedule an Appointment
If you would like to learn more about clear aligner treatment, please call (425) 226-2615, and schedule an appointment now!