When Will I See Teeth Straightening Results From My Clear Aligners?

Clear Aligners San Francisco, CA

Teeth straightening with clear aligners allows patients to get a straighter smile without having their smile compromised by metal wires and brackets. These appliances allow people to discreetly straighten their teeth, without having to worry about their appearance.

Treatment with clear aligners is done using a series of aligner sets that are each worn for two weeks. Each tray further down the set pushes the patient's teeth closer to the target position. Clear aligners have improved over the years, and they can now be used to treat a wide range of teeth alignment issues including crooked teeth, spaces between teeth, crossbites, overbites, and underbites.

What to expect when straightening teeth with clear aligners

Treatment starts with a dentist evaluating the patient's teeth to determine the type of orthodontic problems they have and their cause. Diagnostic tests like x-rays might be used to aid this assessment. Clear aligners can be used to treat poor dental alignment caused by the position of the patient's teeth, but they cannot be used to address problems caused by the location of the patient's jaw.

Once the patient is approved for clear aligners, the dentist will create a 3-D image of their teeth using digital images. Projections of what the patient's teeth will look like with treatment are displayed on a computer screen and the dentist makes changes as needed.

The information is then sent to a laboratory where the patient's clear aligner trays are made. When these trays are ready, the patient will be required to wear them for at least 20 hours each day. The removable trays should only come out when the patient is eating, cleaning their mouth, or cleaning the aligner. Following this schedule leads to the best results.

Duration of treatment with clear aligners

Each clear aligner tray that the patient uses will be switched out every one to two weeks based on the dentist's recommendations. Each clear aligner slowly pushes the patient's teeth to a point where the next set of trays can take over. The treatment ends when the patient has gone through all their aligner trays.

Treatment times vary for each patient depending on how much the teeth need to shift. The average treatment time is somewhere between 12 to 18 months. While it takes that long to reach the target position, the patient may start noticing improved tooth alignment in as little as three weeks.

Clear aligners can be used by teenagers and adults. Dentists will typically recommend them for teenagers once they already have all of their permanent teeth and their parents think they are responsible enough to wear their aligners as recommended.

FAQs about clear aligners

Thinking about improving the alignment of your teeth with clear aligners? Here are answers to some of the questions you might have:

1. Who are clear aligners for?

Clear aligners are for anyone looking for a more discreet approach to teeth straightening. They are typically recommended for patients with minor spacing issues or mild to moderate alignment issues. Clear aligners are typically not recommended for patients with severe orthodontic issues since these are often caused by poor jaw positioning. Clear aligners work best on dental alignment issues caused by a patient’s teeth being poorly positioned.

2. How long does treatment with clear aligners take?

Treatment with clear aligners can take as little as six months or last up to two years. Generally, treatments with clear aligners are quicker than those performed with conventional braces since clear aligners deliver precise force on the patient’s teeth that simultaneously move them and their roots. Braces can only target one part of a tooth at a time, leading to longer treatments.

3. Are clear aligners better than braces?

It comes down to what you consider to be “better.” Clear aligners are hands down better than traditional braces when it comes to giving you a discreet way to improve the alignment of your teeth. They also tend to lead to quicker results than traditional braces. Other benefits of clear aligners over traditional braces include:

  • Removable
  • Gentler on soft tissues in the mouth
  • Less pain and discomfort
  • Does not interfere with meals or oral hygiene

Ready for straighter teeth?

Want to learn more about clear aligners? Working with a general dentist to determine when results will be noticed is a great place to start. Reach out today to get started. Our team is here to help.

Request an appointment here: https://aestheticsmiles.com or call Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley at (415) 493-9143 for an appointment in our San Francisco office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Clear Aligners in San Francisco, CA.

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