Clear Aligners Guide, Sa Aligner

What are Clear Aligners? and How do Clear Aligners work?

If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment, you’ve likely come across the rising trend of ‘clear braces.’ Brands like SA Aligners have gained significant popularity, making them hard to ignore. A common question we receive is, ‘What are clear aligners, and how do they work?’ If you find yourself pondering the same, you’re not alone! Until relatively recently, the term ‘braces’ typically evoked images of traditional metal appliances resembling train tracks. However, in 2024, significant advancements in orthodontics provide us with a plethora of options.

What are Clear Aligners?

Clear Aligners serve as transparent custom trays for aligning teeth and correcting misalignment. Functionally similar to braces, they offer greater convenience due to their removable nature, allowing for discreet achievement of straight teeth. In comparison to traditional braces, clear aligners are less noticeable, providing numerous advantages for individuals who prefer minimal disruptions in their daily lives.

These invisible dental braces surpass wire-and-bracket aligners commonly used, as they don’t impede your diet. You can continue to eat your preferred foods, maintain regular oral hygiene practices, and smile confidently without the consciousness of a metallic appearance. While working to realign your teeth, clear aligners offer the freedom to temporarily remove them.

Beyond enhancing your smile’s confidence and beauty, properly aligned teeth reduce the risk of excessive tooth wear. They facilitate the easier removal of plaque, a build-up that can lead to gum diseases and tooth decay.

Clear aligners are equally effective as traditional braces, addressing various bite problems such as overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite. They can also correct issues like gap teeth and crowded teeth. Some research even suggests that they may be more effective. This nearly invisible braces approach is particularly suitable for social and active lifestyles, making them ideal for self-conscious teenagers and adults due to their inconspicuous appearance. Additionally, they are easy to clean and maintain.


History of Clear Aligners

Surprisingly, Clear Aligners did not originate from a dentist or orthodontist. The concept was first envisioned by Zia Chishti, a computer science and economics student at Columbia University, in 1992. Chishti conceived the idea as an alternative treatment to traditional metal braces while undergoing orthodontic work himself. Collaborating with fellow students, he developed a patent, which received FDA approval in 1998. Within just two years, Chishti’s Clear Aligners company had reached a remarkable valuation of $1 billion.

Popularity of Clear Aligners

Upon its introduction as an orthodontic treatment option, Clear Aligners quickly became a resounding success. By 2002, it had attracted 80,000 patients, a number that more than doubled within just two years. As of 2017, Clear Aligners has positively impacted the smiles of over 4 million individuals.

While facing competition from similar offerings, Clear Aligners dominates approximately 80% of the “Clear Aligner” market. It stands out as the brand with the most widely available clear aligner treatment options at both dental and orthodontic offices.

Particularly popular among adults who prefer to avoid metal braces for teeth correction, Clear Aligners is approved for children as young as 12 years old but is more commonly utilized by adults. Research indicates that the average age for individuals undergoing braces or orthodontic treatments is 16 years old, while the average age for Clear Aligners users is 32.

How are Clear Aligners made?

Customized to fit your teeth, Clear Aligners are crafted following a putty wash or 3D impressions taken by your orthodontist or general dentist. These impressions are sent to a specialized laboratory that employs advanced technology to create your personalized clear aligners. Once produced, the aligners are returned to your treating doctor for you to try on and ensure a perfect fit.

How Do They Work?

Opting for clear teeth aligners to straighten your teeth involves your orthodontist initiating the process with a dental scan. This scan serves as the basis for designing your personalized dental aligners. In certain cases, your doctor might also apply tooth-colored attachments to your teeth, enhancing support for the movement of your teeth into the desired position. These attachments perform a similar role to the brackets in traditional dental braces, but they are tooth-colored, ensuring inconspicuousness compared to metallic brackets.

Each aligner is strategically attached to specific teeth to facilitate engagement and guide them to their correct positions. Patients receive a series of trays, each to be worn for a week or two, totaling 20-22 hours a day. These trays, worn continuously except for eating and drinking, gradually shift the teeth, with each tray designed to move them a few millimeters.

Upon realigning the teeth, wearing a retainer becomes crucial to prevent them from reverting to their original position. Retainers play a vital role in maintaining the results of the clear aligner treatment, and strict adherence is necessary for sustained effectiveness.


What Do Invisible Aligners Treat?

Aligners are commonly used to address the following dental conditions:

  1. Spacing or Gapped teeth
  2. Crooked or Crowded teeth
  3. Overbite
  4. Underbite or Crossbite
  5. Open bite

If you desire straighter teeth and a less noticeable alternative to traditional braces, clear aligners may be a suitable treatment option.

1. What is Crowding?

Crowding is a common dental condition where there is insufficient space in the mouth for all the teeth to align properly. It occurs when the teeth are misaligned or overlapping, causing them to appear crowded or crooked.

Crowding can lead to various oral health issues, including difficulty in cleaning the teeth, increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, bite problems, and aesthetic concerns. Orthodontic treatments, such as clear aligners, are often recommended to correct crowding and create a straighter and healthier smile.

2. What is an Overbite?

An overbite is a dental condition where the upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth when the mouth is closed. In an ideal bite, the upper and lower teeth should meet evenly, but with an overbite, the upper teeth protrude further forward, creating a misalignment.

This can lead to problems such as difficulty in biting and chewing, speech impediments, jaw pain, and an unbalanced facial appearance. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers practical solutions like clear aligners to correct overbites and restore proper dental alignment.

Overbite stem from a mix of genetic and environmental factors. Genetic predisposition and inherited facial structures play a role. Childhood habits like thumb sucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting impact jaw and teeth alignment. Abnormal jaw growth and facial bone development can also contribute.

3. What is Underbite?

An underbite, or cross-bite, occurs when the lower jaw extends further than the upper jaw, causing the lower front teeth to overlap in front of the upper ones during mouth closure. This misalignment affects both appearance and function, with varying severity from mild discomfort to significant functional and aesthetic challenges.

Effects of an underbite include chewing difficulties, speech problems, tooth wear, heightened risk of dental issues like cavities and gum problems, and potential self-esteem and cosmetic issues.

Crossbite can lead to a number of dental problems, including premature wear and tear of the teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and gum recession. It can also affect the way you speak, chew, and smile, which can impact your confidence and self-esteem.

4. What is Spacing in teeth?

Spacing in teeth refers to the gaps or spaces between individual teeth in the dental arch. These gaps can occur naturally or result from various factors such as tooth size discrepancies, missing teeth, or abnormalities in jaw size. Teeth spacing can manifest as uneven gaps between teeth, creating visible spaces that may be perceived as gaps or spaces between adjacent teeth.


Who isn’t eligible for Clear Aligners Treatment?

Clear aligners may not be suitable for everyone. They are most effective in correcting mild to moderate teeth misalignment issues. In cases where additional support is needed for mild or moderate bite correction, aligners can be used in conjunction with traditional orthodontic elastics. However, individuals with more severe cases may require a more intricate treatment plan, which is often more reliably addressed with traditional braces.

To determine the best treatment option for you, it’s recommended to consult with an orthodontist, as they are the most qualified to assess whether braces or clear aligners are the optimal choice based on your specific needs.

What is the length of Clear Aligners Treatment?

The duration of treatment varies based on individual circumstances and the type of invisible braces being used. Generally, braces are worn for a period ranging from 18 to 24 months, although in some cases, the duration may be extended.

As an illustration, SA Aligners treatment typically involves 8-12 aligners set for both upper and lower teeth, with an average completion time of 4-6 months. Other brands of clear braces may have different time frames, ranging from 12 to 24 months, depending on the nature of the alignment issue.

Alternative Options to Clear Aligners

Alternative options exist for addressing specific orthodontic issues and enhancing the appearance of teeth, aside from using braces or clear aligners.

1. Veneers:

Some individuals opt for veneer to address concerns related to tooth shape, size, and shading. Veneers are ceramic or E-max coverings that adhere to the teeth, requiring a reduction in size. While this method can result in a flawless smile, it is a relatively invasive procedure and tends to be costly, often reaching several thousand dollars per tooth.

2. Retainers:

Retainers, either fixed or removable, are essential once your teeth are aligned to retain them in their new position. SA Aligners offer SA clear retainers to maintain your ethereal smile once your alignment journey is completed.

Final Words

SA Aligners stands out as one of the most trusted providers of clear aligners nationwide in USA. SA Aligners provides a top-tier solution for those desiring a straightened smile without the inconveniences associated with traditional metal braces. Their team consists of globally recognized and experienced specialists in Clear Aligners, offering world-class treatment. Schedule a free consultation today to determine if this is the right choice for you.


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