A common concern for patients is the crowding or misalignment of their front teeth. This can affect their confidence and ability to smile how they would like. It is often due to relapse from previous orthodontic treatment as a teenager when retainers were not often worn following orthodontic treatment and so the teeth have moved back to their original position.
Adult patients usually do not want to have traditional braces with metal wires to correct the crowding of the teeth. So what is the alternative?
The development of removable Clear Aligner Therapy (CAT) has allowed most crowded or misaligned teeth to be moved into a better position in a similar time frame compared with traditional braces.
The benefit of CAT is that the aligners are clear plastic which means that when they are worn over the teeth, they blend in with the rest of the teeth and are much less noticeable than metal braces.
There are various brands of aligners which are common in Australia. The most well-known is Invisalign but there are others which provide the same result in the same time. The teeth do not know if it is Invisalign or another brand moving the teeth into position! At The Aesthetic Smile Collective we use two brands, SureSmile and Smile Academy.
How do clear aligners work?
The custom-made aligners fit over the upper and lower teeth and are worn for 22 hours per day. Patients only take them out to eat and to drink (drinking water is fine). Each aligner is worn for 2 weeks before changing it for the next aligner. Over a period of months, the teeth are moved into the desired position.
Do I need retainers after I finish CAT?
YES! The teeth always want to move back into their starting position following braces or CAT so retainers are a must if patients want to keep the teeth where they are. Generally, upper and lower fixed wires are placed behind the front teeth and also plastic removable night-time retainers are made to fit over these. Doing this ensures the teeth do not move but it does rely on patients being willing to wear the removable retainers ongoing. The removable retainers generally last 3 years or so before needing replacement.
How much is CAT?
It is dependent on each case but generally it is $6000. If there is only a small amount of movement needed, then it would be less.
The cost of the treatment can be spread over time but 50% is taken on ordering of the aligners and then the rest can be paid off at each review appointment which is every 6-8 weeks.
How do I know what my teeth will look like at the end of treatment?
The software with each system allows us to visualise the end result before we start. This is beneficial as it allows both the dentist and patient to know the movements needed, how many aligners it will take and the final appearance.
If you have any questions regarding clear aligners,please call the practice on 3089-4455 and we will happily talk further.