If you are seriously considering straightening your smile with orthodontic clear aligners, you may be wondering about whether or not you will get the value you would like from them and if their cost is 'worth' it. Here, our Riverdale Toronto dentists explain what you may want to take into account when thinking about choosing aligners.
What are clear aligners?
There are a few brands of clear aligners floating around out there and they all consist of a series of clear, custom-made aligners that you wear on your teeth and swap out about every 2 weeks or so. Every set of removable and custom-made clear aligners will gradually adjust your teeth in small increments.
What are the benefits of clear aligners?
One advantage of clear aligners is that you can remove them to brush your teeth, eat and drink.
Depending on the brand that you choose and your orthodontic issues, clear aligners can resolve a number of orthodontic issues such as bite problems, tooth crowding and teeth misalignments. This treatment option is often popular with adults and teenagers because of its discreet appearance. On top of this, there are no dietary restrictions for patients undergoing clear aligners treatment.
Your clear aligners also won’t need adjustments or tightening as braces do, which can sometimes be uncomfortable. You’ll just need to check in with your dentist regularly on your progress.
How much do clear aligners cost?
A few factors will determine the cost of your clear aligners:
- Any coverage you can get through an insurance plan
- Your location and average prices for clear aligners
- Your oral health requirements and how much work you will need
Depending on the circumstances and the brand of clear aligners that you choose, you will likely end up paying the same about as you would for braces - although some treatments may cost a bit more.
How long will my treatment last?
Investing in orthodontic treatment with clear aligners involves the commitment to following your treatment process as closely as you can to help you enjoy a straighter smile in the future. Only your dentist will be able to determine your specific needs and, as a result, the duration of your treatment.
Factors that could impact your treatment time include:
- The number of aligners in your series
- The severity of your misalignment
- Your compliance with your custom treatment plan
Assuming that you follow your treatment plan as prescribed, clear aligners can help to straighten your teeth and improve your smile's function. If you know how many aligners are part of your treatment, you can do some mental math to easily find out how long you should expect your treatment to take.
Assuming you have 16 sets of aligners and switch them every 2 weeks, you’d use 2 sets of aligners per month. 16 divided by 2 is 8, meaning your treatment will take 8 months.
Most patients undergoing clear aligners treatment start to see results around the 4 to 6-week mark. To help you get an idea of how your smile is changing, you can take a photo of your mouth on the same day each week. This can be a helpful way to get a better sense of how your clear aligners are bringing value to your smile.