June 15, 2021 by Dr. Abhi Singh

Everything You Need To Know About Clear Aligners in Australia

If you’re looking for a way to straighten your teeth and have always wanted the convenience of wearing clear aligners, then this blog post is just for you! Clear aligners treatment is one of the most popular orthodontic treatments in Australia.

It’s discreet and easy to wear while still getting amazing results. If you want to find out more about Clear aligner treatment or if you are interested in finding out how affordable it can be, keep reading below for our guide on everything that Australians need to know about Clear Aligners here in Australia.

What Are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment that corrects misaligned or crooked teeth. These thin, clear trays are custom-built for every patient and can be used to help with mildly crowded teeth as well as minor spacing issues. However, patients with severe crowding, underbite problems, overbite problems, or crossbite may need more complex treatments such as braces instead of the aligner trays.

Learn more here: What Is Clear Aligners: Everything You Need To Know

Are Clear Aligners Effective?

A clear aligner is a relatively new treatment for orthodontic problems. However, limitations in the research have been noted by experts from eleven studies released in 2015, with most stating that there are not enough cases to create significant conclusions about their effectiveness and how they compare to other treatments on the market today.

The clear aligners and braces were equally effective in treating malocclusion. Clear aligners had an advantage over the traditional treatment of teeth with braces because of the segmented movement of teeth and shorter treatment duration and chair time if used on mild-to-moderate cases. However, drawbacks such as durability can decrease effectiveness over time and relapse into spaces where teeth once existed when they wear out from continuous use.

Learn more about the effectiveness of Clear Aligners here : Are Clear Aligners As Effective As Traditional Braces?

How Do Clear Aligners Straighten Teeth?

Aligners are designed to make small movements at a time by putting gentle pressure on your teeth. Then, that pressure is transferred through your roots to your jaws.

Your jaw bone will respond by moving the sockets; then your teeth go along. Aligner changes are small, which means they tend to be more comfortable than traditional braces.

Aligners are not attached to the teeth, but they do use pressure points called attachments. These tooth-coloured bumps bond to your teeth during treatment. Many different factors go into what kind of attachment we need; the placement will depend upon how much movement is required for our treatment plan. The shape also varies depending on where it needs to be placed to ensure that all 32 teeth are correctly aligned with this new device.

We wrote a detailed blog about how a clear aligner straightens your teeth. You can check the blog here: How Do Clear Aligner Straighten Teeth?

Which Are Better Clear Aligners or Traditional Braces?

To know which one is better, let’s weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Clear Aligners

Advantages:

Appearance: Aligners are clear and custom-fitted, so they work for many patients. They can be less noticeable than braces because of their appearance, but not all people prefer this option.

Diet:  When you remove your aligners to eat, your diet is not affected. You would still enjoy all the food that you like without worrying about damage or breakages as you will with braces.

Oral Hygiene:  Your removable aligners let you brush and floss your teeth as usual, which is significant considering the challenges many patients experience cleaning their braces.

Dental Appointments: With the help of your orthodontist, tooth movement is planned ahead of time. So visits to their clinic are usually much more straightforward and can be fewer overall. It will work well for those who lead busy lives with less time on their hands.

Comfort: People with braces are often less comfortable than those with aligners. The metal or porcelain can irritate the lips and cheeks, which is an even bigger problem for those who play contact (or semi-contact) sports. 

Disadvantages:

Compliance:  Once you start wearing your aligners, it’s best to wear them as often as possible. They need to be worn 22 hours a day to work, and you must comply with this if you want results. For example, you could remove them for eating and cleaning.

Effectiveness: Aligners can treat most cases, but not all. In complex cases, your orthodontist may recommend braces instead of the aligner to achieve the best result possible.

Cost: Usually, the upfront cost of aligners can be more than braces. However, there are many cases in which the cost of aligners is similar to the cost of braces. Your orthodontist can discuss this with you and provide information about your options before choosing one treatment.

Braces

Advantages:

Applicable to all cases: Aligners are the best option for most cases. On the other hand, braces can treat all orthodontic problems and will always be an option because of their versatility.

Variety of braces: There are numerous types of orthodontic braces to choose from. There are metal, colourless, and even porcelain with a more subtle appearance when compared with their metal counterparts.

Compliance:  The braces are fixed to teeth. It is excellent because it means that there’s no chance of the patient forgetting or losing them, which can be a problem for patients who need external motivation to comply in wearing their aligners.

Disadvantages:

Hygiene: Cleaning your teeth with braces is much more challenging than with aligners. If you don’t clean it adequately, the tooth will be damaged, and eventually, removal of your braces early before the optimal result has been achieved.

Diet: With braces now on your teeth, you will need to take care of them and adjust your eating habits. Hard foods and nighttime grinding can cause a break in your treatment process. Also, since sugary and sticky foods may increase tooth decay while wearing metal brackets, these should be avoided.

Comfort: Braces can rub against the cheeks and lips, causing discomfort to some people more than others. It is especially noticeable for people who are into sports. 

Appearance: Braces are more visible than aligners. It is an important consideration for some patients with occupations, hobbies or personality traits that make it challenging to have braces on their teeth at all times.

Appointments: The braces appointments are not just a one-time thing. They require more frequent visits, and you have to make time for them because adjustments are made on the chair.

Metal braces are typically better at correcting severe overcrowding of teeth. They also tend to be less expensive than aligners, and you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing them since they’re attached directly to your mouth. On the other hand, while a study was published in The Angle Orthodontist found that, on average, total treatment time with aligners was shorter than conventional braces, though more costly.

Learn more about braces here: What Are Dental Braces: Treatments, What To Expect, Types & Cost

How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost?

Clear aligners can be anywhere from $6500-$9500, but it all depends on the treatment plan you need to achieve the results you want and deserve.

Learn More About Cost Of Clear Aligners Here: Cost Of Clear Aligners Definitive Guide 2021

How Long Does Clear Aligner Treatment Take?

Straightening teeth can be a lengthy process, but it is most often worth the wait. Many factors determine how long you will need to wear your aligners during treatment. These depend on where they start off from misalignment. It can take anywhere from 10 months to 24 months, but it depends on the degree of misalignment and how crooked they are. Aligners must be worn as often as 20-22 hours throughout this time. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Clear Aligners?

Pros
  • Appearance – The clear aligners are less noticeable than wires and brackets, making it easier for patients to feel confident.
  • Removable – You can take the aligner out of your mouth if you need to.
  • Dental Hygiene – A removable aligner makes brushing and flossing more convenient, as you don’t have to deal with wires or brackets. A 2017 study found that removing aligners from teeth was linked to better dental health by reducing bacteria lurking around the teeth and gums and improving oral hygiene habits overall.
  • Fewer problemsClear aligners are a popular alternative to traditional metal braces. Unlike braces, you won’t have any of those brackets or wires that could fall off and result in an emergency appointment with your orthodontist.
Cons
  • Not suitable for complex issues – Clear aligners are an option for people with more simple dental problems like crooked teeth. It might not work for those who have bridgework, so they may need a different treatment plan to help them achieve the straight smile they want.
  • Compliance – You must wear Invisaligns for 20 to 22 hours a day to get the maximum benefits. If this doesn’t sound like something you’re willing to commit to, then it may not be the best choice for you.
  • Removal when eating or drinking – When eating or drinking, it is imperative to take out your aligners. If food or drink gets in them, they can get stuck and lead to bacteria buildup, which could cause cavities. You might also experience staining if liquid penetrates on them.
  • Diet – When the aligner is removed, you may experience tooth soreness. It can restrict your food choices. Thus, it is recommended to eat soft food to avoid any pain and keep your teeth healthy.

We wrote a detailed blog post about the pros and cons of clear aligners here: Advantages and Disadvantages of Clear Aligners

Does Clear Aligner Treatment Hurt?

The discomfort many people experience when wearing aligners is a sign that they are doing their job. Likewise, the slight pressure your teeth feel during the process of realignment can be uncomfortable. Still, it’s an essential part of how it works and not something you should worry about. 

Some people are more sensitive to pain and suffering from gum disease. If you’re one of these types, then it’s likely that wearing dental aligners will result in discomfort for your teeth or gums.

Can Any Dentist Put on Clear Aligners or Just Orthodontists?

Yes, a dentist can put on clear aligners, and that’s the only orthodontic treatment they could do. However, if we talk about Invisalign, dentists or orthodontists must complete the required training and certification and have extensive experience using Invisalign to treat many patients successfully.

Issues that Clear Aligners Can Fix 

  • Crooked or Misaligned Teeth – It can give you beautiful, straight teeth.
  • Overbite – For some people, an overbite (when the upper teeth close too far in front of the bottom teeth) can make it difficult to chew and bite into certain foods. Clear aligners have been known to fix overbites by moving teeth, so the top and bottom teeth align properly when your mouth is closed.
  • Underbite -An underbite can leave you with dental problems and a speech impediment. Fortunately, clear aligners can correct the condition by moving your lower teeth, so they naturally sit in the back of the front teeth. Unfortunately, not all cases are eligible for treatment, especially those with extreme cases.
  • Crossbite – A crossbite can cause many dental problems, including chipping and wear on your teeth. Invisalign can fix this problem by moving the misaligned teeth into their proper position. At the same time, you go about with life as usual.
  • Gaps in Teeth – Without dental work to fill in the gaps, food can get caught and cause pain or gum disease. Clear aligners are a perfect solution for anyone with spacing issues. Still, there are limitations on how much space needs to be closed. 
  • Open Bite – Clear aligners can fix an open bite by aligning the upper and lower teeth, so they close correctly.
  • Crowded Teeth – Crowded teeth are not a pretty sight. When your jaw doesn’t have enough space for all of the teeth, they can overlap and get twisted out of place, which causes food to get stuck in between them. It is known as crowding, and it’s one reason why tartar builds upon the surface of our teeth, causing decay or gum disease such as gingivitis. The clear aligners move your teeth gradually over time until you achieve that perfect smile!

Issues Clear Aligners Can’t Fix

  • Position of the tooth – When one’s mouth is overcrowded, a tooth may rotate to fit. Suppose the rotation is more than 20 degrees for molars. In that case, clear aligners will be unable to move them into the desired position. Teeth may also tilt forward or back in an overcrowded mouth to fit. If it’s more than 45 degrees away from where you want them, then it’ll be difficult for the clear aligner to put them in the correct position.
  • Significant gaps between teeth – If you want to close the gaps between your teeth, clear aligners will only reliably do so up to 6mm of spaces per arch.
  • Midline movements – Clear aligners can correct the alignment of teeth to make them more symmetrical. Alignment corrections are typically less than 2mm per arch. Still, more significant discrepancies require braces instead because Invisalign cannot treat these cases effectively.

Learn More: Orthodontic Issues that Clear Aligners Can and Can’t Fix

Are Clear Aligners Worth It?

It is worth the investment to have clear aligners. You will get a lifetime supply of confidence because your smile has improved so much since starting with this treatment. This process can be complex, but if you are disciplined and keep your trays in for twenty-two hours every day, then all those challenging moments will pay off when they reach the end of their journey.

How to Choose the Right Dentist/orthodontist for Clear Aligners

Read Online Reviews about the Orthodontists

Though it may seem daunting, finding an orthodontist near you can be a great way to improve your smile. One of the best ways to find one is by looking online for reviews left by past clients. The majority of these practitioners have their business websites where visitors can see what others say about them and read any positive or negative feedback that has been given before making up their minds.

Determine how long they have been in their dental clinic

A reliable orthodontist will have a permanent place of business. The office space shows the dentist’s commitment and level of dedication they put into their practice. It may also be worth visiting your potential doctor before committing, as you can see if it meets all requirements for an ideal environment in which you would feel comfortable being treated by them regularly. You should always go with practices that served at this location long-term because there is less risk involved – meaning they are more knowledgeable about what works best with both patients’ needs and lifestyles!

Consider their Experience 

The best way to choose your Invisalign orthodontist is by evaluating their experience. Ask them how long they have been practising and if any of the patients with similar complications as yours were successful in overcoming them. Avoid going for an inexperienced dentist who has not dealt with many cases like this before because he or she will take more time on your teeth without being able to guarantee a positive outcome at all times!

Inquire about the Number of Cases Handled

The number of cases is essential when considering a potential dentist. In addition, you may want to find one that has dealt with patients within the past few months, as they will be more experienced and skilled than someone who hasn’t had any recent experience.

Request for Sample Photos

When you are considering a possible orthodontist, don’t be afraid to ask for sample photos. An excellent dental professional will have them readily available and help show their work’s benefits better than anything else. It is also important that these pictures are clear so as not to misinterpret what the dentist has done in previous cases. Always go for dentists who offer up-close shots that show what kind of service each patient received to ensure high satisfaction levels every time.

Learn More Here: How to Choose the Right Dentist for Clear Aligners Treatment

Final Thoughts

All of this information may seem like a lot to take in, but it’s worth the time and effort. As dental technology continues to improve and new materials are introduced into the field, we can now offer patients more options than ever before. So if you’ve been considering clear aligners, contact Byford Smiles today! Our experienced team will take care of all your questions and concerns about how they work, what it means for your lifestyle, and if you should get them at all. Call us at 08 9532 0247 for your free consultation or visit https://byfordsmiles.com.au/

AboutDr. Abhi Singh
Dr Abhi is a member of the Australian Dental Association and loves living and working in our community. He has over a decade of experience in all aspects of dentistry with a special interest in implants, wisdom teeth removal and cosmetic dentistry.