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What are My Options for Clear Aligners?

By March 1, 2021 No Comments
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When Invisalign ® first hit the market, it was revolutionary. Prior to that, braces were the only choice for straightening the teeth and aligning the bite. Suddenly, patients had a convenient, removable option that didn’t involve brackets and wires and was, most importantly, virtually invisible. While Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are still excellent treatments, there are even more options and types when it comes to clear aligners. At 914 Smiles, Dr. Rishi Kothari is all about giving patients choices and streamlining the smile-perfecting process, which is why in addition to Invisalign, we also offer 3M™ Clarity™ Aligners and our own, in-house 914 Aligners

In this post, we’ll be answering:

  • What are the different types of clear aligners available at 914 Smiles?
  • How do clear aligners work?
  • Can I get Clarity Aligners, 914 Aligners or Invisalign for an overbite, underbite, spacing, crowding, a crossbite or an open bite?
  • What is the clear aligner procedure like? 
  • How much do clear aligners cost?

What are the Different Types of Clear Aligners?

As we said, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are still popular options, though there are Invisalign alternatives available today. At 914 Smiles, we offer the following types of clear aligners:

Invisalign

Made by Align Technology, Invisalign is the original clear aligner brand. As a Tarrytown Invisalign provider, Dr. Kothari designs the ideal smile for you based on a computerized model of your mouth and sends his prescription to the Invisalign lab. The lab prints out a series of custom, BPA-free plastic aligners based on his specifications. You switch to a new set of Invisalign aligners every one to two weeks and as you do, your new smile gradually takes shape. Invisalign aligners are crafted from smooth, thermoplastic material so they don’t irritate your mouth and they’re comfortable and less noticeable than braces. The aligners are removable too so there are no food restrictions. 

Invisalign Teen

Dr. Kothari is also an Invisalign Teen provider. Invisalign Teen is Invisalign for kids and teens. It works the same way as Invisalign for adults. However, Invisalign Teen aligners are designed especially for younger patients with features like eruption tabs to accommodate erupting teeth. A few free replacement aligners are included in the system as well to give mom and dad peace of mind. 

3M Clarity Aligners

What are 3M Clarity Aligners? This Invisalign alternative is made by 3M, the same company that makes everything from N95 masks to Command Strips. Clarity Aligners work in the same way as Invisalign. Dr. Kothari plans your treatment on a computerized model of your mouth and 3M prints out a series of Clarity Aligners according to his prescription. 3M Clarity Aligners are clear, comfortable and removable. 

914 Aligners

Dr. Kothari invested in Formlabs and SprintRay 3D printers in order to create and print his own appliances, including retainers and our in-house 914 Aligners. 914 Aligners are also made from a thermoplastic material and shift the teeth into place based on the same principles as Invisalign and Clarity Aligners. 

However, there are a few distinct advantages of 914 Aligners, including the fact that our printer has a higher resolution than the ones utilized by other companies and we use the highest quality, FDA-approved materials. This means 914 Aligners are actually smoother and clearer for better comfort and aesthetics. 

Additionally, because Dr. Kothari designs, fabricates and packages the aligners in our Tarrytown office and they’re not being shipped from overseas, you’ll receive your aligners sooner and the process is more environmentally friendly. Plus, Dr. Kothari has complete control over your treatment from start to finish for more personalized care and better results. He can tweak your treatment on the fly and print as few or as many clear aligners as he needs for greater flexibility. 

How Do Clear Aligners Work?

Whether you opt for our Tarrytown Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Clarity Aligners or 914 Aligners, Dr. Kothari designs custom clear aligners in order to create the ideal smile for you based on your facial features and anatomy. The aligners are made in a series and each set is pre-programmed to achieve certain tooth movements. When you put the aligners in, they fit snug against your teeth and exert steady, gentle pressure that causes the bone and tissue to break down in a natural process known as bone remodeling. The teeth then move as directed, and as you work through the series, you get closer to the final outcome. Once treatment is finished, you’ll wear a retainer to hold your teeth in place, allowing the bone and ligaments to tighten back up and lock in your bite. 

The Bite Issues Clear Aligners Can Fix

Clear aligners used to only work for mild cases. However, thanks to improvements in treatment planning and materials, an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Kothari can treat a wide range of bite concerns with clear aligners, including complex cases. 

You can get 914 Aligners, Clarity Aligners and Invisalign for an overbite, spacing, crowding, some underbites, most crossbites and an open bite. Clear aligners can often be used on their own to close gaps between the teeth or fix mildly crowded or crooked teeth

For issues that involve the jaw, such as when using 914 Aligners, Clarity Aligners or Invisalign for an overbite, underbite, open bite or certain instances of a crossbite, auxiliaries like attachments and rubber bands might be necessary to help facilitate more complex tooth movements. Clear aligners are actually even more effective than braces for things like treating an open bite since staging is crucial in these cases and that’s a big part of clear aligner treatment. 

What Does the Clear Aligner Procedure Entail?

Here’s what the Clarity Aligners, 914 Aligners and Invisalign process looks like:

  • Visit 914 Smiles for a Complimentary Consultation – You’ll visit our Tarrytown orthodontic practice for a consultation to kick-off your treatment. We’ll show you around the office and then take digital photos and x-rays, if necessary. Dr. Kothari will perform a thorough exam. He’ll use this information along with your diagnostic records to develop an accurate diagnosis. If he determines you’re a candidate for clear aligners, which most patients are, he’ll walk you through what you can expect during treatment, including how long it will take, and answer any questions you have. A team member will wrap up your consultation by going over your insurance coverage, the Invisalign, 914 Aligners or 3M Clarity Aligners cost and our flexible financing options. 
  • Take a 3D Scan of Your Teeth and Create a Digital, 3D Model of Your Mouth – If you decide to move forward with clear aligners, we’ll use our iTero® digital scanner to take comfortable, quick scans of your teeth (no goopy, messy molds at our practice!). The scans are sent to our computer and our software uses the images to create a digital, 3D model of your mouth. 

Dr. Kothari plans your treatment directly on the computerized model, moving each individual tooth into its ideal place. He can visualize different outcomes in real time and even troubleshoot in advance for maximum precision. This ensures he creates the perfect smile for you that complements your unique dental and facial anatomy. Once your treatment plan and aligners are designed to achieve the best outcome, he’ll either send the specifications to Invisalign or 3M so they can print the aligners or he’ll print them out on our 3D printers right here in our office. 

  • Pick-Up Your Custom Clear Aligners – When your aligners are ready, you’ll pick them up. If you opted for 914 Aligners, we’ll create and polish them in the office so they’ll be ready in a week or two. Clarity Aligners and Invisalign aligners will take a little longer to arrive at the office. Once you get your aligners, you’ll wear them for about 22 hours per day, taking them out to eat, drink anything aside from plain water, and brush and floss your teeth. 

To clean your clear aligners, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse them with lukewarm water in the morning and before bed. After meals and snacks, brush your teeth, or at least rinse your mouth out really well with water, and then rinse your aligners off before putting them back in your mouth. (For more detailed instructions and information on deep cleaning your aligners, check out our post on how to clean Invisalign, Clarity Aligners and 914 Aligners.

  • Change Your Aligners Every Week or Two – You’ll switch to your next Clarity, 914 or Invisalign tray every one to two weeks, depending on your treatment plan. Since there are no brackets or wires obscuring your smile, you’ll see your results as they’re happening. 
  • Come by for Check-Ups – Clear aligners don’t require tightening or adjustments and tooth movements are planned in advance, so appointments are quick and easy, saving you time. During your regular check-ups, Dr. Kothari will simply make sure your treatment is progressing as planned and answer any questions you have. 
  • Bask in Your Beautiful Smile (And Get a Retainer) – When you take out your final set of clear aligners, you’ll have a healthy, stunning smile to show for it. However, there is one final step in your treatment and that’s wearing a retainer to maintain your results for life. Don’t worry, Dr. Kothari will design a custom clear retainer for you that looks and functions just like your aligners. Eventually, you’ll only have to wear it a few nights a week. 

How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost?

Now, for the million dollar question: How much do clear aligners cost? Unfortunately, we can’t give you a set price because your 914 Aligners, Clarity Aligners or Invisalign cost will depend on a number of factors, including how complex your case is. At some practices, the clear aligners cost is higher than the cost of braces. We don’t think finances should hold you back at 914 Smiles or dictate which treatment option you choose, which is why our clear aligners, clear braces and metal braces are all the same affordable price. 

Insurance is another consideration. Does insurance cover Invisalign, Clarity Aligners or 914 Aligners? If your dental insurance covers braces, it will also likely cover clear aligners, which can greatly reduce how much you pay out of pocket. We accept most insurances and at your consultation, a team member will help you determine your coverage and maximize your benefits. We’ll even file claims on your behalf. Additionally, you can use your HSA or FSA for different types of clear aligners. 

Once we’ve determined your insurance coverage and the cost of Clarity Aligners, 914 Aligners or Invisalign for your case, we’ll help you decide on a flexible financing plan. We offer in-office, interest-free financing with low monthly and down payments. 

Now that you know about the different types of clear aligners available at our practice and how clear aligner treatment works, are you ready to find out if clear aligners are right for you? Schedule a complimentary consultation at 914 Smiles today to get started!

Dr. Kothari

Author Dr. Kothari

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