What are Clear Aligners, or Invisible Braces?

Do you want straight teeth but do not want the inconvenience that ceramic and metal braces present? Clear aligners (invisible braces) may be the best option for you. Clear aligners are transparent, removable braces made from plastic. They are considered a better aesthetic option, and also a convenient one, as they are readily available through mail order. Due to mail order kits that include dental impression molds used to get a custom fit of your bite, you will not have to visit an orthodontist office or forgo precision.

While clear aligners may not be appropriate for complex dental issues, they do work well for other less complicated cases. As long as you have your adult teeth and are interested in correcting simple misalignments, such as: under bites, over bites, crowded teeth or crooked teeth, then you may be a good candidate for clear enhancers. Children that still have their baby teeth or require a more complex correction will need the old fashioned, metal braces that are installed to the front of their teeth.  You will find that the duration that you need to wear your braces and the costs are similar to metal braces but there are many other benefits to wearing invisible aligners that many find enticing.

Benefits of Clear Aligners, Over Braces

There are many benefits to clear aligners, over braces. And those benefits have caused a dramatic increase in people utilizing a clear aligner service. For decades folks have wanted straight teeth without negotiating a change to their appearance or the inconvenience of scheduling appointments during an already busy workday. Now you can have straight teeth and all the benefits of clear aligners listed below.

  • Easier to clean and care for your teeth-When using clear aligners you are better able to clean, floss and care for your teeth. Food and bacteria does not get stuck between the brackets and/or wires associated with braces. Clear aligners help prevent tooth decay and discoloration due to being removable, not capturing food inside the straightening mechanism.
  • No breakage-A primary concern with braces is that eating certain foods can break the brackets off the teeth. This can happen with a number of foods and those foods must be avoided to prevent breakage, injury or additional orthodontic charges.
  • Convenience-Clear aligners are capable of being popped in and out with ease. When you need to remove them, you can do so very easily. You can take them out to eat, brush\floss especially when eating sticky or hard foods.
  • Invisibility-Most people whether teens or adults getting braces later in life are motivated to get clear aligners due to their invisibility. If you want straightened teeth and a comfortable bite but do not want to change your appearance with clunky braces then clear aligners are for you.
  • No need to go to orthodontist appointments-Everything involving your clear aligners can be done from the comfort of your own home.  You will have your aligner kit mailed to you including the mold needed to take a dental impression for an accurate bite. Everything you need including updated aligners (in place of painful tightening of braces) will be mailed to your home.
  • Affordability-Clear aligners are becoming more affordable than when first introduced due to more people using them. Also, due to not needing face-to-face appointments with an orthodontist, or with a dental professional for maintenance of braces; the cost of clear aligners may be more affordable. Also will not have to miss work or bear any indirect costs associated with orthodontist appointments.

Costs and\or Payment Plans

If you qualify for clear aligners (depending on the extent of your straightening & financing), your aligners will likely cost you between $3,000-$5,000. This amount is based on the individual and depends primarily on how long you will need to wear them (thus how many aligners you will need). The average person wears their aligners for 12-18 months, changing to new aligners every one to two weeks. Thus, the cost of clear aligners are close to that of metal braces, this is due to the lab costs of making them and the 3D computer technology used to depict your treatment plan.

You will have the option of paying for your clear aligners in full or by making payments of typically under $100, for a year or 18 months. It is also possible to have your dental insurance company pay up to $3000 of the cost. A down payment is usually required for any type of orthodontics, and third party financing is available. Yet, some patients make full or partial payments using credit cards. An alternative option would be to use funds from a Flexible savings account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA). These are federal government programs created to offer a way to save for medical expenses that could pop up and are not covered by your health or dental insurances.