Clear Aligners or “trays” are the latest advancement in straightening teeth without the use of the traditional bracket and wire system known as braces. They are able to straighten and rotate teeth for simple orthodontic treatment. Some professionals feel that more complex treatment is not appropriate for clear aligners due to limitation of the product. This product and it’s capabilities are advancing at a staggering rate and are becoming more widely accepted to treat a wider array of orthodontic needs.
What about the clear aligners that I see on TV?
There are many direct to consumer companies offering treatment to patients without the supervision of an orthodontist. Please remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device – orthodontic treatment is a professional, medical service. When your care is personally supervised by an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, you are assured that your orthodontist spent years in a post-doctoral residency program focused on providing orthodontic treatment to patients.
How are clear aligners made?
An orthodontist will take an impression of your teeth so they can pour a cast. The cast is a working model of your teeth in their current position. Digital imaging is then used to systematically phase your teeth into a proper alignment using a series of clear acrylic trays. Each tray will progress your treatment a step at a time. Your orthodontist will monitor your progression and make adjustments along the way.