Understanding the Different Types of Clear Aligners

clear aligners

You’re ready to change your smile, or perhaps your teen’s teeth need straightening. There’s no need in today’s world to suffer embarrassment or lack self-confidence because of crooked, protruding, or misshapen teeth. And there are several options for straightening thanks to recent advances in dental technology. 

Dr. Karen Reese with Reese Orthodontics in New Hope and Chanhassen, Minnesota, has served the region for more than two decades, providing expert orthodontic services. Reese Orthodontics offers both braces and clear aligners, depending on your unique circumstances. Dr. Reese performs an orthodontic examination, takes X-rays, and assesses what type of treatment works best for you. 

Dr. Reese has assessed the types of clear aligners on the market today and has selected Invisalign® aligners to use in her practice because of the highly effective results they produce. Not all aligners on the market are equally effective. 

Invisalign

You may know the word Invisalign because it was the first and only clear aligner available for quite a few years. The company that makes Invisalign patented a special medical grade plastic called SmartTrack® to make the clear aligners. 

Invisalign was a revolutionary, transformational change in orthodontics because it gave many patients a choice between braces and aligners. Some patients with more severe malocclusion and other problems need braces, but for many, aligners have become an attractive option. 

Patients saw the advantages of Invisalign clear aligners immediately. Instead of a heavy metal smile with wires and brackets, the view of your teeth is unobstructed to the naked eye. Clear aligners are more comfortable and require fewer visits to the dental office than braces. 

You can eat the foods you love rather than having to forgo your favorite crunchy treats like popcorn if you wear braces. Cleaning your teeth is easy because you simply slip your aligners out to clean your teeth and then pop them back in when you’re done. 

Invisalign Teen

If your teen is the one who needs orthodontics, Dr. Reese offers Invisalign Teen. Invisalign aligners are made to be worn at least 22 hours a day — all the time except when you’re eating or cleaning your teeth. 

To help your teen use their aligners properly, Invisalign Teen aligners have a small dot that changes color when they’re wearing their aligners for the amount of time required. It’s easy for a teen who’s at a friend’s house or at a party to take out their aligners and forget to put them back in. This way, there’s built-in accountability, which helps them stay on track. 

Other types of aligners 

It was only a matter of time before the aligner market created home aligners. Dr. Reese doesn’t recommend these. You take impressions of your own teeth, which is more difficult to do than a dental professional helping to fit the molds into your mouth. You may need to use the molds sent via mail more than once. 

Unless you ask your dentist, no X-rays are taken before home aligners are used. X-rays are needed to determine exactly what dental issues you have. Without them, you get an incomplete diagnosis. 

For caring, expert orthodontic treatment, call our office most convenient to you or book an appointment online today.

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