Everything You Need To Know About Clear Aligners

Here at Icon Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer multiple treatment options to patients of all ages. These range from traditional metal braces to clear aligners, allowing us to achieve long-lasting results in a variety of ways. If you’ve been considering orthodontics but aren’t sure if braces are a good fit for you, clear aligners could be the perfect solution for your smile! To learn more about clear aligner therapy, keep reading below.

What is clear aligner therapy?

Orthodontists have been using clear aligners to straighten teeth for the last twenty years, but similar trays were used for decades before that as post-treatment retainers. We’ve known for a long time how effective they were at keeping teeth in place, and now we know they excel at moving teeth in the first place, too!

Instead of brackets and wires, this treatment option uses cutting-edge technology to create a series of customized clear aligners. These aligners are made of a special thermoplastic material and fit comfortably over your own teeth. Although they look very different from braces, aligners use the same gentle pressure to gradually move the teeth where we want them to go. Today’s aligners can correct many common orthodontic problems just as successfully as braces.

Clear aligners can work just as quickly as braces do

Braces are what we refer to as a fixed orthodontic appliance. The brackets are affixed directly to the surface of the teeth, and only an orthodontist can remove them. Clear aligners, on the other hand, are a removable orthodontic appliance. Because no part of the aligner is attached to the actual surface of the tooth, patient compliance is essential for the best results!

The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process to be effective. Each aligner will also need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, which allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. Failure to do so can affect the final results and may lead to longer treatment times as well.

One of the most frequent things patients ask about is how long treatment will take. Every smile is unique, and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way, so there’s no “one size fits all” answer for this, whether you’re in braces or clear aligners. In general, however, the total treatment time for clear aligners tends to be anywhere from 9-15 months. That’s actually slightly faster than the average time a patient spends in braces!

Clear aligners are comparable in cost to braces

Like most new technology, clear aligners were pretty expensive when they first came on the orthodontic scene. As they’ve become more accessible over the years, the cost has come down to a much more reasonable level. These days, clear aligners tend to cost just about as much as braces do. Be aware, however, that multiple factors go into determining the cost of any treatment plan. This includes a patient’s specific needs, the materials being used, and the estimated length of treatment, among others.

Icon Orthodontics is committed to providing our patients with exceptional service at an affordable price. We offer a variety of customized options to suit any budget, including:

  • Limited Treatment (minor movement of only the teeth of concern) starting under $3,000
  • Early Orthodontics (space creation and bite correction for children who still have some baby teeth) starting around $3,000
  • Comprehensive Treatment (correction of bite and full alignment of all teeth for adolescents and adults) starting in the $4,000’s

We also have several financial incentives available, such as:

  • No-interest financing available
  • 5% Full-payment/cash upfront discount
  • Multi-family member discount
  • 5% Military, fire, police, and teacher discount
  • Start Treatment for as low as $99 down, $99/month (some exclusions apply)

For your convenience, Dr. Sarpotdar and Dr. Sun offer an automatic draft from checking accounts or credit cards. We also accept all PPO insurance plans. Our team is happy to review your insurance coverage and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

Clear aligners offer extra flexibility

Thanks to their removable design, clear aligners come with a bit more freedom than traditional braces. An excellent example of this is food restrictions, which can be one of the biggest learning curves for braces patients. To protect the brackets and wires, they need to avoid crunchy or chewy foods throughout treatment. It can be frustrating to miss out on some of your favorite snacks and foods, even though it’s temporary. With clear aligners, you can continue eating everything you love! You simply remove the aligners any time you want to eat, then put them back in again when you’re done.

Removable aligners also make it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean throughout the treatment process. Carefully cleaning around the brackets and wires that come with braces can be time-consuming, especially in the beginning. Clear aligners are taken out before you begin your normal dental hygiene routine, allowing you to brush and floss the same way you always have. Caring for the aligners themselves is pretty simple, too! There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can gently brush them using water and a soft toothbrush.

Clear aligners can be a great choice for many patients (but not everybody)

There’s a lot to love about clear aligners, but they aren’t always a good fit for every patient. In particular, cases that are complex or severe may

require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. You’ll also need to be capable of keeping up with wearing the aligners as directed and switching them out on a regular schedule. If you’re not sure you can handle that, a fixed appliance like braces may be a better option for you!

When you schedule your complimentary consultation with our Surprise or Glendale office, one of our doctors will assess your smile and determine if clear aligners are a good fit for you. You can trust that our practice will only recommend the treatment method that will work best for your specific needs.

Get a confident smile with clear aligners and Icon Orthodontics

Dr. Sarpotdar and Dr. Sun have many years of experience using clear aligners to create beautifully aligned smiles! If you’d like to learn more about how clear aligners can transform your teeth, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation!