Clear Braces in Nashville TN

Maintaining a healthy smile with perfectly aligned and straightened teeth is a priority for the patients of Bellevue, TN, and there are many dental options available for doing so. Braces are the traditional non-surgical choice for correcting misalignments in the teeth, but clear orthodontic aligners serve as an alternative for people who want a more subtle approach. Dr. Justin Poff and the team at Poff Dental Associates are seeing more and more people choose clear aligners for straightening their smiles, and it’s easy to understand why.

What Are Clear Dental Aligners?

Clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment composed of a series of thin, transparent plastic trays that have been custom fabricated to be worn over the teeth comfortably. They gradually shift your teeth into their correct positions over a specific period and then hold them in those positions until they naturally remain there on their own.

There is a variety of tooth misalignments, ranging from mild to severe, where it makes sense to use clear aligners to straighten teeth, including:

  • Overcrowding
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Tooth rotations
  • Overbite, underbite, or crossbite (sometimes called “snaggle teeth”)
  • Teeth that appear too short or too long (intruded or extruded teeth)

The Process Of Receiving And Using Clear Aligners

The treatment begins with a consultation with one of our dentists. At that time, the dentist will evaluate your smile and map out a custom plan showing exactly how your teeth will change over the course of using your clear teeth aligners. Any questions that you may have will be answered.

After this, your dentist will create a digital model of your teeth and jaw using diagnostic scans, X-rays, and digital impressions to make a series of models that incorporate the desired tooth movements. These molds will serve as a frame of reference for fabricating the clear plastic aligners, which are pressure formed to fit those molds very accurately. Your dentist may also provide you with special tooth-colored attachments or buttons to move your teeth in conjunction with the Invisalign trays.

Once you have your invisible braces, you will be expected to wear them for the duration of time that was mapped out during the initial consultation and prep work. While the aligners are removable, it’s recommended that you only take them out for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene. The more consistent you are about wearing your clear invisible braces, the faster the results.

While wearing clear dental braces, you will experience changes to your teeth and jaw that will require some getting used to. However, these changes are a perfectly normal part of the alignment process, also occurring while wearing braces.

First, you will notice slight discomfort and enhanced sensitivity in your teeth. These feelings should go away after the first few days of wearing your aligner trays, and they’ll only return when it’s time to switch to a new aligner to continue shifting your teeth into place. Though the sensations may be unpleasant, they should not be painful. If they are, talk to your dentist to have adjustments made, which should lessen the discomfort.

Second, because the shape of your jaw is partially dependent on the positioning of your teeth, you may notice changes in your facial structure and the way you talk. But, again, this is a routine change that you will become accustomed to in time.

How Long Does The Clear Aligner Treatment Process Take?

The length of the orthodontic clear aligner treatment process varies depending on the severity of the condition the aligners are being used to treat and the consistency with which you wear the aligners. In general, once you have your first set of aligners, you will wear them for approximately one to two weeks before switching to a new set that better matches the new positions of your teeth. Then, your dentist will schedule a checkup every six to eight weeks, during which they will check the progress of your alignment and provide you with new aligners to keep your teeth from shifting back into their previous positions.

Patients who use clear aligners generally achieve fully straightened teeth in twelve to eighteen months. However, some patients have seen results in as little as six months. 

Invisible Aligners Vs. Braces

Why choose removable aligners to straighten teeth over traditional metal or ceramic braces? The most significant advantage clear aligners have over traditional braces is discretion. Because they are made of clear thermoplastic, they are virtually invisible. When patients have traditional braces, they may feel more self-conscious about smiling or showing their teeth covered in metal or ceramic. 

Unlike metal braces, clear aligners are more comfortable to wear. In addition, you can also remove the clear aligners, so you don’t have to restrict yourself to eating certain foods or worry about how to care for your teeth while wearing them. However, the downside to removable clear aligners is that you may be tempted to wear them less often, especially during periods of discomfort. It would be best to remember that not wearing your clear aligners for extended periods will delay your treatment, causing you to wear them for longer.

Finally, because clear aligners are made using models of your teeth and jaw, each series of aligners can be molded ahead of time. In addition, because clear aligners don’t have parts that need to be replaced or tightened, you will spend less time visiting the dentist for adjustments or exams. This, combined with the relatively shorter amount of time that clear aligners take to straighten your teeth, will save you money in the long run.

Clear aligners are just as effective as braces, if not more so in many circumstances. However, they are only effective as long as they are on your teeth, so following the treatment plan and wearing them as often as the orthodontist recommends is vital.

How To Care For Your Teeth While Using Removable Clear Aligners

Fortunately, keeping up with your dental hygiene while using clear aligners isn’t complicated. You simply have to brush and floss at least twice a day, visit your dentist for regular checkups, and remain mindful about not consuming large amounts of sugary and acidic foods. In addition, if you experience any tooth sensitivity while using clear aligners, your dentist can recommend special toothpaste to help reduce the discomfort.

After your treatment is completed, you will have to remain on top of your oral health. For example, wearing a retainer at night will help prevent your teeth from shifting back into their former positions. And it would be best if you continued to avoid excessive amounts of foods that could weaken or damage your enamel.

The Cost Of Teeth Aligners

When it comes to cost, clear aligners are similar to traditional braces. However, the cost may vary depending on the length of your treatment. Check with your insurance provider before undergoing treatment, as some plans may at least partially cover your clear aligners.

Quality Service With An Emphasis On Comfort

At Poff Dental Associates, we understand that visiting the dentist can feel overwhelming and uncomfortable, especially for new patients. That’s why we go to great lengths to provide an atmosphere of comfort and compassion for everyone who steps into our office. And our experienced team will do everything they can to care for you and give you the smile you’ve always deserved.

If you would like more information on any of our treatment plans or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our dentist office in Nashville TN today.