Clear Aligners in brownsburg

Dental Bridges in Matthews, NC - Trailhead Advanced Dentistry

What Are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners are removable and transparent orthodontic aligners placed over the teeth and exert gentle pressure to gradually straighten a patient’s teeth. Clear aligners are becoming more popular than braces in adults and patients with minor to moderate orthodontic misalignment because of their aesthetic qualities. The clear aligners are unnoticeable, more hygienic, and give patients more freedom in their daily lives. Clear aligners can correct a range of orthodontic issues, including:

  • Gaps
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overcrowding
  • Bite problems

How Do Clear Aligners Work?

Impressions are taken of a patient’s bite so we can fabricate custom-made aligners that fit over their teeth. These aligners exert pressure on the teeth just like braces do, but the aligners, which are made of thermoplastic instead of metal, are much more comfortable and cushiony. 

The aligners are to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day to give the aligners enough time to shift the teeth. This is different from braces, which are bonded to the teeth and move the teeth 24 hours a day. For this reason, clear aligners are more convenient. 

You can take them out to eat anything you want and to clean your teeth more easily. However, this means you also need to be diligent about wearing them. Avoid removing your aligners too often. 

You should avoid habits like frequent snacking that cause you to repeatedly take out your aligners. Each set of aligners will be worn for two weeks. Then, you will switch to a new aligner. Each aligner takes you closer to your orthodontic goals as you progress through your treatment. 

The aligners will feel tightest at the start of the 2-week period when you switch to a new aligner. Over time, as the aligners shift your teeth, they will feel less tight, and any soreness will start dissipating. 

You will come into Swartout Dental every six weeks for a routine checkup. During these appointments, we check on your progress and provide you with more aligners. You will not need to attend as many appointments as you would with braces because your aligners don’t need adjusting.

Dental Bridges in Matthews, NC - Trailhead Advanced Dentistry

The Process of Getting Clear Aligners


Dr. Swartout will assess your bite to determine your candidacy for clear aligners. Clear aligners aren’t suitable for everyone, so we will need to review your oral health, the condition of your teeth, the severity of your orthodontic misalignment, your age, and your ability to comply with treatment.

Impressions Digital Planning

Digital scans, photos, and impressions are taken of your teeth and sent to the dental lab in charge of fabricating your clear aligners. First, they will upload this information into a computer software program that produces a 3D model of your teeth. 

This is done using precise measurements from our intraoral cameras and impressions. Once we have a 3-dimensional model of your teeth, we can move your teeth around to plan your treatment. 

We will provide the lab with instructions on how we want your teeth to move and all orthodontic problems we want to correct. They will then create a treatment plan by digitally planning tooth movements, which we can approve or adjust. 

Since we have access to this software on our office computers, you can view the model of your teeth to see how your teeth will look at the end of treatment and how each of your teeth will individually move.

Fabrication & Aligner Pick-Up

Once we approve your digital treatment plan, the lab will move on to fabricating your custom-made aligners based on the precise impressions and scans that we have taken of your bite. It can take up to a month to create your aligners, but once they’re ready and have them at our office, you can come in to pick them up.


Once you’ve completed your treatment and have straight teeth, we will take new impressions of your teeth and fabricate a custom-made retainer for you to wear. This prevents your malleable jaw from causing your teeth to move back into crooked positions.

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Impressions that we took of your teeth are used to create a crown or full-arch restoration (denture or bridge) which is placed about 6 weeks after the attachment of your abutment. This completes the implant process.

Do clear aligners work?

Absolutely! Clear aligners are an incredibly effective orthodontic treatment option for straightening teeth. These custom-made, virtually invisible aligners are designed to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. Clear aligners have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their convenience, comfort, and aesthetic appeal.

The aligners are made from a smooth and comfortable plastic material that fits snugly over your teeth. They are removable, allowing you to easily take them out when eating, brushing, or flossing. This means you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods without any restrictions that traditional braces may impose.

Clear aligners work by applying gentle pressure on specific teeth, gradually moving them into their proper alignment. The treatment process involves a series of aligners, each slightly different from the previous one, to ensure a gradual and controlled movement of your teeth.

It's important to note that the success of clear aligners depends on your commitment to wearing them as prescribed. For optimal results, it is recommended to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day, only removing them for meals and oral hygiene routines. By following your dentist’s instructions and wearing your aligners consistently, you can achieve the desired results and enjoy a beautifully aligned smile.

Dental Bridges in Matthews, NC - Trailhead Advanced Dentistry
Dental Bridges in Matthews, NC - Trailhead Advanced Dentistry

How fast do teeth move with clear aligners?

The speed at which teeth move with clear aligners can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the recommended treatment plan. On average, most patients experience noticeable improvements within the first few weeks of wearing clear aligners.

Each set of aligners is typically worn for about one to two weeks before progressing to the next set. This allows your teeth to gradually shift into their new positions. The total treatment time can range from a few months to over a year, depending on the individual's specific needs.

It's important to remember that everyone's orthodontic journey is unique, and the duration of treatment may vary. Factors such as the severity of misalignment, the number of aligners required, and your compliance with wearing them as instructed can all influence the speed at which your teeth move.

During your initial consultation, your dentist will evaluate your teeth and provide you with a personalized treatment plan, including an estimated timeline for achieving your desired results. They will closely monitor your progress throughout the treatment to ensure the best possible outcome.

Are clear aligners the same as Invisalign?

Clear aligners and Invisalign are similar in many ways, but they are not exactly the same. Invisalign is a brand name for a specific type of clear aligner system developed by Align Technology. It is one of the most well-known and widely used clear aligner brands.

While Invisalign is a type of clear aligner, not all clear aligners are Invisalign. There are other reputable brands available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits.

Invisalign aligners are made from a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack®, which offers exceptional comfort and control during the treatment process. The aligners are custom-made using advanced 3D imaging technology to ensure a precise fit and optimal results.

Other clear aligner brands may use slightly different materials or manufacturing processes, but the overall concept remains the same. They all involve wearing a series of removable aligners that gradually move your teeth into the desired position.

During your consultation, your doctor will discuss the available clear aligner options and recommend the best treatment plan for your specific needs. They will consider factors such as the complexity of your case, your lifestyle preferences, and your budget to help you make an informed decision.

Dental Bridges in Matthews, NC - Trailhead Advanced Dentistry

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