Orthodontist Provides Clear Aligners Gilroy, CA
It seems like everyone is offering clear aligners these days, but an orthodontist is the recommended provider for clear aligner treatment. Technology is only as good as the user. An orthodontist has the detailed training needed to provide the most effective teeth straightening using any method, including clear aligners.
Our team at Richard R. Gallagher DDS MSD MSE PhD Inc. offers clear aligners in Gilroy and the surrounding area. If you are interested in clear aligner treatment but do not know where to start, we can help. Call us today at (408) 500-0810 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
The Right Background
Orthodontists receive initial training as dentists but then receive additional training to align the jaws and teeth properly. Although many people may associate orthodontists with braces, they offer so much more. Orthodontists are experts in the shape of the mouth, jaws, and face. Their duties include looking for abnormalities, using diagnostic tools like X-rays, recommending corrective treatment, and monitoring that treatment's progress.
Orthodontists must pass the American Board of Orthodontics board exam and are required to complete a 2-4-year internship or residency. This means they are well-equipped to handle any issues affecting the mouth, jaws, and teeth. This includes diagnosing the problem, identifying and applying the right dental appliances, paying special attention to a patient’s dental and medical history, and monitoring the treatment plan.
“Orthodontists are experts in the shape of the mouth, jaws, and face.”
The Right Age for Clear Aligners
Clear aligners require dedication from the patient to work correctly. Since they can be removed, it can be tempting to take them out and even easier to lose or damage them. With that in mind, clear aligners are recommended for older teens and adults who can manage that responsibility. Teenagers must also have their adult teeth in place to be considered good candidates.
One of the most common questions is how clear aligners compare to traditional braces. Compared to clear aligners, traditional braces are more visible. They can be harder to clean and require patients to avoid specific foods.
Clear aligners are:
- Virtually invisible
- Able to be removed to eat, drink, and brush your teeth
- More comfortable
- Easier to keep clean
No matter what type of orthodontic appliance a patient chooses, it is always important to have their treatment managed by an orthodontist who has the education, experience, and expertise needed to help a patient achieve a healthy and straight smile.
“Clear aligners require dedication from the patient to work correctly.”
What Questions to Ask
When seeing an orthodontist for the first time to discuss treatment options, it is important to ask a few specific questions. First, patients will want to make sure clear aligners are the right choice for their orthodontic needs. Next, it is good to know just how the treatment will begin — including what types of impressions or X-rays the orthodontist needs to get started.
The patient and the orthodontist must agree on treatment expectations. This includes how long the treatment will last, how often patients will be expected to visit the office, and what needs to happen if an aligner is lost or broken. The orthodontist is there to help keep the treatment plan on track.
“When seeing an orthodontist for the first time to discuss treatment options, it is important to ask a few specific questions.”
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The Clear Aligner Process
One of the benefits of clear aligners is their removability. Clear aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and tooth cleaning. They can also be taken out for special occasions and when playing sports or an instrument. Keep in mind: clear aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours a day to get results. Any less than that and the patient may negatively affect their treatment.
Patients will get a new set of aligners every 1-2 weeks. Each set of aligners will slowly move the teeth into the correct position. Depending on the patient's unique treatment, the orthodontist will determine how often they need to come in for an appointment. Typically, clear aligner patients see the orthodontist once every 6 weeks.
“One of the benefits of clear aligners is their removability.”
Questions Answered on This Page
Time Needed for Effective Treatment
Every person’s teeth move at a different pace. Genetics and diet, along with their jaw or gums, can impact the length of orthodontic treatment. The average time needed to complete clear aligner treatment is 12 months.
Some patients may need more time if there are severe alignment issues or crowded teeth, or gaps in the teeth. This often means the teeth have to move farther, which takes time. Even if the overall treatment time takes a little longer, patients can start seeing initial results in just a matter of weeks.
“Every person’s teeth move at a different pace.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What material do labs use to make clear aligners?
A. The material differs slightly depending on the maker. Typically, clear aligners are made from a medical-grade thermoformed material that is flexible but sturdy enough to withstand the human mouth’s hostile environment. The material is non-toxic, gluten, and BPA-free.
Q. How can I prevent my clear aligners from becoming discolored?
A. Keep your aligners clean and avoid drinking staining beverages when wearing them. Some manufactures have solutions they recommend you soak the aligners in. You may be able to remove stains from aligners by soaking them in a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. Ask your orthodontist for more detail on preventing stains on aligners.
Q. What if I lose or damage my clear aligners?
A. Do not panic. Your treatment will still proceed as planned. If you have a previous set or the next set in your treatment, wear those right away. Immediately contact your orthodontist and let them know what has happened and what steps to take.
Q. Is treatment with clear aligners painful?
A. Patients rarely report any pain with clear aligners. As with traditional braces, getting used to them takes time. Patients report discomfort most often at the start of treatment and when they switch to a new set of aligners.
Q. Does insurance cover clear aligners?
A. For the most part, insurance does not cover processes that are considered cosmetic. However, orthodontic work has implications for a person’s overall oral health, so insurance may cover teeth straightening. Check with your provider to see if they cover treatment with clear aligners.
Quality Orthodontic Services Can Transform Smiles
By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need.
Definition of Orthodontic Terminology
- Aligner Therapy
- Aligner therapy is the teeth-straightening process in which the patient continues the applied pressure of the teeth with a series of aligners and seeks professional checkups from the dental professional.
- Clear Aligners
- An orthodontic appliance made of clear plastic material used to discreetly straighten the teeth.
- Medical Grade Thermoformed Material
- Medical grade thermoformed material is a type of material for products like aligner trays to match the shape and form of a patient’s teeth.
- Orthodontic Appliance
- Orthodontic appliances have multiple forms that can help treat malocclusions, irregularity with the teeth and disproportionate jaw issues.
Learn More About Clear Aligners
When exploring the world of clear aligners, an orthodontist should serve as your guide. Do not trust your teeth to anyone else. To learn more about clear aligners, call us at 408-500-0810 to speak to our orthodontist.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2021
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