Clear Aligner Orthodontics
(Invisalign or ClearCorrect)
Clear aligner orthodontics, sometimes called “clear braces” or “invisible braces,” are a popular choice for patients with certain types of orthodontic treatment needs.
How does it work? Once we make exact molds (and they must be exact!) of your teeth, we send them to one of the clear aligner companies. Their technicians will scan models of your teeth and create a “virtual treatment plan” that is sent electronically to Dr. Bauer for changes and final approval. The company then sends a series of aligners to our office, which we then deliver to you.
The first step in your actual treatment will be the placement of “attachments”. These are small bumps of white filling material that are strategically positioned and bonded to your teeth. Their purpose is to help the aligners “grab on” to your teeth to make them move in a certain way. Once the attachments are placed, we will then provide several sets of aligners for you to use according to a prescribed schedule.
Each set of aligners is slightly different from the previous one, so that gradual changes in the aligners will create gradual changes in the position of your teeth. At each appointment, we will inspect the fit of your most recently used aligners. We will either simply provide you the next few sets, or decide that some type of special intervention is necessary if the aligners are not fitting perfectly.
Sometimes it becomes apparent that certain tooth movements are not corresponding, or “tracking”, along with the intended movements of the aligners. In such cases, the aligners will begin to fit poorly and some type of special intervention is necessary to correct this. Examples might include the creation of a new sequence of aligners, chewing exercises that will seat the teeth more fully in the tray, or even prescribed wear of elastics to bring the tooth into the aligner. In some cases, Dr. Bauer may even recommend a short period of treatment with conventional braces for movements that are difficult for aligners to achieve.
Let us know if you are interested and we can discuss whether clear aligners are right for you!