Read the Answers to Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about clear aligners from Hilltop Dental in Duncan.
Clear Aligners FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions.
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- What are clear aligners?
Clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment system created to move and correct misaligned and crooked teeth.
Throughout your treatment, you will wear a series of invisible clear aligners for 22 hours daily, to gradually improve your smile and bite.
Your aligners and treatment plan will be created based on digital impressions we take of your teeth and the information we gather during the consultation process.
A series of treatment models will then be manufactured to fit your teeth precisely during each stage of your treatment process.
- How does the clear aligner process work?
After your dentist fits your aligners to your teeth, your progress will be monitored throughout your treatment.
To achieve the desired results, you must wear your aligners for 22 hours every day, removing them only for brushing and eating.
Each stage of treatment consists of a series of up to 6 aligners, each of which you'll wear for a two-week period. Each tray is numbered consecutively and marked with a 'U' for upper and an 'L' for lower teeth). You may have as many as four stages of treatment, with a colour code for each stage.
During treatment, your dentist may need to reduce enamel between your teeth if they are crowded, in order to leave enough room for straightening. In addition, he or she may need to cement several temporary, small tooth-coloured attachments to your teeth to act as tooth handles - anchors to help with tooth movement.
Treatment will continue until your teeth are in their correct positions. The duration of your treatment period will be determined by your dentist based on your specific needs, and can take 6 to 18 months.
When your active treatment is finished, your dentist will order your retainers from a laboratory. Your retainers are designed to help you maintained your new, straight smile.
- How long does clear aligner treatment take?
Your dentist will determine the duration of your aligner treatment based on your specific needs.
Treatment time can take 6 to 18 months.
- What are the primary features of a clear aligner system?
The features of clear aligners include:
- Almost invisible and transparent
- Smooth and comfortable
- Minimal impact on speech
- Removable for eating, brushing, flossing and social situations
- Are there any food or drink restrictions?
Clear aligners are removable, meaning you can easily remove them to eat. As a result, you'll have no dietary restrictions when it comes to your aligners, so you can still continue to eat your favourite foods!
- How many sets of aligners will I need?
The answer to this question will depend on the severity of your misalignment or on the amount of movement needed for your teeth.
Only your dentist can provide you an accurate estimate of how many aligners you will need, based on a careful evaluation of your bite during the initial consultation process.
- How often do I have to change my aligners?
Most patients change to their next set of aligners about every two weeks. Your dentist will tell you exactly how often you should switch out your aligners.