Are you considering using clear aligners to help straighten your smile? You might be wondering if you'll get the value you deserve and whether the cost is worth it. In this post, our Delta dentist explains some factors you may want to take into account when thinking about choosing aligners.
What are clear aligners?
While there are a few brands of clear aligners available, they all consist of a series of clear, custom-made aligners that you'll wear on your teeth and change about every 2 weeks. With each set of removable, custom-made clear aligners, your teeth should shift in tiny increments.
Why do people choose clear aligners?
One reason many people choose clear aligners is that you can remove them to eat, drink and brush your teeth.
Depending on your orthodontic issues and the brand you choose, clear aligners can resolve a variety of problems including crowding, teeth misalignment and bite issues. This treatment option is popular with both adults and teenagers due to its discreet appearance. Plus, for busy teens and adults, the fact that clear aligners do not come with any dietary restrictions is often seen as a bonus.
While braces need tightening and adjustments, your clear aligners will not (although you may feel the difference for a couple of days when you change to a new set of clear aligners). You'll just have to check in regularly with your dentist regarding your progress.
How much do clear aligners cost?
A few factors will determine the cost of your clear aligners:
- Your location and average prices for clear aligners
- Your oral health requirements and how much work you will need
- Any coverage you can get through an insurance plan
Depending on your circumstances and the brand of clear aligners you choose, you will likely end up paying around the same amount as you would for braces - perhaps slightly more.
How long will my treatment last?
Investing in improving your smile with clear aligners is a commitment to following your treatment process so you can enjoy a straighter smile in the future. Only your dentist can determine your specific needs and therefore 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
Provided you follow the treatment plan exactly as prescribed, clear aligners can help improve your smile and straighten your teeth. If you know how many aligners are in your series, you can find out how long your treatment will take by doing some simple math.
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 begin to see results around the 4- to 6-week mark. You may want to take a photo of your smile each week, so that you can get a good idea of how much your teeth are moving, and thus the value your clear aligners are bringing to your smile - and your oral health.