There was a time when straightening your teeth meant spending months or years with a mouthful of metal, which had to be tightened professionally on a regular basis. Nowadays, the same results are achievable with clear plastic trays that you can change at home.
The cost of modern clear aligners is comparable to traditional braces, and usually granted equal coverage under dental insurance. If you’re interested in straighter, more even teeth, clear aligners are a wonderful way to get there.
How do clear aligners work?
Clear aligners fit over your teeth and apply extended, low-level pressure to push them toward their desired position, just like traditional braces.
You will need to wear your clear aligners at all times while your treatment is in progress, except when cleaning your teeth, eating, or drinking anything other than water.
After a week or two, your teeth will adjust to fit your active set of aligners with much less pressure, at which point you can proceed to the next set.
As with traditional braces, a full course of treatment varies in length between six months and two years, depending on your level of misalignment.
Benefits of clear aligners
- Low profile. Clear aligners are almost impossible to see when in use.
- Easy cleaning. Because clear aligners are removable, you can clean your teeth normally, without working around wires and brackets. The aligners themselves are also easy to clean with a toothbrush and paste.
- Unrestricted diet. Being able to remove your aligners also allows you to eat anything you normally would, without worrying about getting it stuck in your braces.
- Fewer office visits. Instead of having to make an appointment for braces tightening every time your teeth are ready for the next step, you can take home a series of several clear aligners to switch between as your treatment progresses.
- All the benefits of straighter teeth. When the treatment is complete, you’ll enjoy heightened aesthetic appeal, easier chewing and speaking, and reduced wear and decay.
What to expect when getting a dental crown or bridge?
When you get a dental crown, either to preserve an individual tooth or to support a bridge, the doctor will:
- Numb the area with a local anesthetic.
- Drill to remove the exterior of the tooth and clean up any decay.
- Provide you with a temporary crown or bridge to wear while your permanent crown or bridge is being made.
- In a separate appointment, attach the permanent crown or bridge, tailored to match your natural teeth.
Depending on your individual case, the doctor may also need to perform:
- A root canal on the tooth receiving a crown.
- Extraction of any unsalvageable teeth to be replaced.
Bridges that will be supported by implants do not require a crown procedure, but do require an implant procedure, which you can learn more about here.
If you’re uncertain whether a crown or a bridge is right for you, our staff are always happy to discuss your case and walk you through your options.