If you’re considering straightening your smile with clear aligners, you may be wondering if the cost is worth it. Today, our orthodontists explain what you may want to take into account when thinking about choosing aligners.
What are clear aligners?
There are several brands of clear aligners out there, and they are similar in that they all consist of a series of clear, custom-made aligners that you wear on your teeth and change approximately every 2 weeks. Each set of removable, custom-made clear aligners gradually adjusts your teeth in tiny increments.
What are the benefits of clear aligners?
One advantage of clear aligners is that you can remove them to brush and floss your teeth, and toeat and drink.
Clear aligners can resolve a number of problems such as bite issues, crowding and misalignment of teeth. This treatment option is popular with both adults and teenagers due to its relatively discreet appearance. Plus, for busy teens and adults the fact that there are no dietary restrictions is a bonus.
Your clear aligners also won’t need adjustments or tightening as braces do, which can sometimes be uncomfortable. You’ll just need to check in with your orthodontist regularly on your progress.
How much do clear aligners cost?
A few factors will determine the cost of your clear aligners:
- Your location and average prices for clear aligners
- Your oral health requirements and how much work you will need
- Any coverage you can get through an insurance plan
Depending on your circumstances and the brand of clear aligners you choose, you will likely end up paying around the same amount as you would for braces - perhaps slightly more.
How long will my treatment last?
Investing in improving your smile with clear aligners is a commitment to following your treatment process so you can enjoy a straighter smile in the future. Only your orthodontist can determine your specific needs and therefore the duration of your treatment. Factors that could impact your treatment time include:
- The number of aligners in your series
- The severity of your misalignment
- Your compliance with your custom treatment plan
Provided you follow the treatment plan exactly as prescribed, clear aligners can help improve your smile and straighten your teeth. If you know how many aligners are in your series, you can find out how long your treatment will take by doing some simple math.
Assuming you have 16 sets of aligners and switch them every 2 weeks, you’d use 2 sets of aligners per month. 16 divided by 2 is 8, meaning your treatment will take 8 months.
Most patients begin to see results around the 4- to 6-week mark. You may want to take a photo of your smile each week, so that you can get a good idea of how much your teeth are moving, and thus the value your clear aligners are bringing to your smile - and your oral health.