Do crooked, crowded, or gaped teeth leave you feeling insecure about the appearance of your smile?
Clear aligners are a comfortable and discreet alternative to metal braces for patients at our Colorado Springs, CO, practice.
Interested in orthodontics? Visit Streeter Dental to learn about the life-changing benefits of clear aligners…
Clear Aligners vs. Traditional Braces
Why Aligners Are the Clear Choice
No More Metal Mouth
Before clear aligners such as Invisalign® and SureSmile® were an option, patients who wanted to straighten their smiles had to have numerous metal appliances including sharp brackets and metal archwires attached to their teeth. While metal braces are still a great option for some, many teenagers and adults prefer the discreet look of clear aligners.
Clear aligners are custom-built trays that fit snugly over your teeth. The trays are made from an advanced plastic material that will not scrape against your cheeks or gums. As your treatment plan progresses, each consecutive tray is slightly closer in shape to your ideal smile.
While traditional braces are permanently bonded to your smile, SureSmile aligners are removable. Patients can remove their aligners when they eat, drink, floss, and brush. Because bracket and archwires make it hard to brush certain areas of your mouth, removable aligners can help you maintain good oral hygiene.
Efficient Treatment Time
With the placement of each new aligner, certain teeth are gently straightened through micromovements. The trays are typically changed out every two weeks. Your total treatment timeline can last anywhere from a few months to a few years, but aligners are generally faster than metal braces.
Brace Yourself for Amazing Results
Your total treatment timeline will last anywhere from a few months to a few years. Age and the severity of your alignment issues are all factors that can affect your timeline.
Once you have completed your treatment, you will be given a retainer that is to be worn nightly. Teeth can and do drift out of position. Wearing your retainer ensures that you maintain your cosmetic results. Remember to brush and floss each night before placing your retainer.
SureSmile Works Just Like Invisalign
Many teens and adults come to our office asking about Invisalign, but what they are actually looking for are clear aligners. Dr. Streeter uses a brand of aligners known as SureSmile—a similar system that is just as effective yet less well-known than Invisalign.
Like Invisalign, SureSmile treatment offers:
- Faster treatment time compared to braces
- Customized treatment plans assembled by expert orthodontists
- Completely removable trays
- Improved comfort compared to braces
And like Invisalign, SureSmile aligners can help you straighten your smile in far less time than traditional braces.
Orthodontic Treatment Can Correct Many Conditions
Almost everyone who wishes to have to straighten their smile is a good candidate for SureSmile. The clear aligners can address:
Are You a Good Candidate for SureSmile?
Mild to Moderate Misalignment
While SureSmile can correct many orthodontic concerns, braces are a much more powerful option. They may be a better solution for cases of severe misalignment.
Good Oral Health
Candidates for SureSmile should be in good oral health. Any tooth decay or gum disease will need to be treated before you can begin. Old or loose fillings may need to be replaced, as well.
Commitment to Treatment
Trays must be worn 22 hours per day to ensure that the treatments progress smoothly. Failure to wear the trays for the required 22 hours per day could result in discomfort or a need to revise your aligner treatment timeline. Regular visits to our Colorado Springs dental practice will allow Dr. Streeter to track your progress or to make adjustments as needed.
If you are not a good candidate for clear aligners, braces may still be an option.
What to Expect during Treatment
A Guide Through the Process
Our team will examine your smile and determine if your issues can be addressed with aligners or whether you are a better candidate for conventional braces.
If you are good candidate for clear aligners, a date will be set for you to visit our Colorado Springs dental office. Streeter dental employs advancwd imaging technology. Our TRIOS Intraoral Scanner will create a digital model of your teeth. This inforamtion will then be sent to Suresmile, the manufacturer. The SureSmile team consists of engineers and specialized orthodontists who will create a plan graded by American Board of Orthodontics. Dr. Streeter will review the SureSmile plan and make modificiations if necessary.
Preparing the Teeth for Movement
In some cases, Dr. Streeter may need to perform a preparatory treatment to give your smile a healthy foundation for orthodontics. Depending on your needs, you may need tooth extractions, orthodontic attachments on your teeth, or restorative dentistry. Dr. Streeter can perform any preparatory procedures on-site, which is a unique advantage of seeing a dentist instead of an orthodontist or online retailer.
Fabricating the Aligners
Once Dr. STreeter has approved the design, the aligners will be fabricated before they arrive back at our office after a few weeks. During your next visit, your dentist will ensure that the aligners are a great fit. You will be given special instructions on how to care and maintain your aligners.
These tips may include advice to:
- Never place your trays in hot water
- Wear your trays for 22 hours per day
- Clean your trays using a toothbrush and water at least once a day
- Store your trays in a mouthguard holder when they are not in use
- Immediately report lost or damaged trays
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits while using aligners
You will be given multiple sets of trays before you leave our Colorado Springs office. Typically, trays are replaced every two weeks. The aligners will be numbered so you know which ones to place in what order. During your check-ups, you will be given additional trays.
What about At-Home Options
In recent years, online retailers offering clear aligner products have become increasingly popular. But so-called DIY orthodontic treatments are not endorsed by the American Dental Association. In fact, the ADA has been clear about the dangers of moving teeth without a clear understanding of all aspects of a patient’s oral condition.
While some individuals with mild orthodontic issues may benefit from online products, only a trained professional like Dr. Streeter can deliver predictable and safe orthodontic results that meet your expectations. During your visit to our Colorado Springs, CO, office, Dr. Streeter will carefully evaluate your smile and create a custom treatment plan that incorporates the latest advancements in dentistry and advice from orthodontists to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Touching Up Your Smile
Once your teeth are in their proper positions, you can talk to Dr. Streeter about other treatments to enhance your final results.
Candidates for orthodontic treatment may consider combining other treatments for dramatic cosmetic results. Our office also offers:
- Professional whitening
- Dental resin bonding
- Ceramic bridges
- Dental implant restorations
Pricing and Financing Information
Patients at our Colorado Springs office often have questions about the cost of treatment. Our team focuses on patient education and making sure they feel directly involved with the process.
Providing an Estimate
In order to provide an estimate, you will first need to meet with our team. The price varies based on the needs of the patient, the complexity of the case, and whether you combine procedures. As a purely cosmetic and elective treatment, veneers are not covered by insurance.
Discussing Your Concerns
We take time to discuss the pros and cons of the procedure, and suggest affordable alternatives when needed. Dental bonding, for example, offers a lower-cost solution in some cases. We are here to listen and to use our insight to help you.
Picking a Payment Option
Monthly payment plans can put the cost of cosmetic dentistry treatments within reach on any budget. We accept all major credit cards, offer patient financing through CareCredit® and GreenSky®, and provide in-house discount plans.