Posted .

It is amazing to me how in such a short time dentistry has changed and improved vastly. Much of this is due to many of the processes going “digital”. Since I purchased an intraoral scanner in the summer of 2020, I have considered offering clear aligner therapy to my patients for minor crowding or spacing of the social six anterior teeth or for people who have suffered a relapse from not wearing their retainer for enough time after traditional orthodontics. Clear aligner therapy is a process of gradually straightening teeth using a series of removable aligners. I am currently treating my assistant with clear aligners for mild to moderate crowding. I am certainly not an orthodontist so most of the cases such as over/underbites and adolescents cases should best be handled by the orthodontic specialist. Good candidates are adults with normal class I bite, very mild cases with no severe issues such as gum disease, TMD, etc.

Since Invisalign pioneered the first clear aligners back in the late 1990s, the trays have improved and gotten more comfortable to wear. There are no wires or brackets and you don’t have to change the way you brush and floss. The only possible downside is occasionally we need to do IPR (interproximal reduction) which means we remove 0.4-0.5 mm between the teeth that are crowded to gain space. There is still sufficient enamel left to protect the tooth. Sometimes we may need to place a composite button to aid in the movement with the tray fitting over the top. Treatment time can be as little as six months, with results beginning after only a few weeks. The cost varies depending on how many aligners you will need and case difficulty. The aligners are virtually invisible and you can eat or drink your favorite foods without worry. One must commit to wear them 22 hours a day and only remove them to eat or drink to be successful.

The process begins with a consultation to see if you are a good candidate, followed by a digital scan of the teeth and bite and photographs. This is sent off to the lab and a treatment plan is made showing the possible outcome and goals. We cannot guarantee a particular treatment outcome but encourage you to share your treatment goals with us prior to approving the plan.

We are happy to offer this new service and look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams.