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Clear Aligners in Bethel Park Straighten Teeth Seamlessly

Closeup of woman placing clear alignerIs your smile in need of a little extra cosmetic enhancement? At Cartwright Orthodontics, we recommend clear aligners as a fast and simple orthodontic system that can create dazzling improvements for your appearance and your self-confidence. Instead of wires and brackets, clear aligners blend in well with your natural look to correct minor misalignment and spacing issues. If you’re interested in learning more, contact our McMurray office or Bethel Park office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gary Cartwright or Dr. Nicholas Palmer! Our team looks forward to meeting you.

Who Can Clear Aligners Help?

a woman smiling while holding her clear aligners

If you want to know whether clear aligner treatment is a good option for fixing your orthodontic issues, you’ll need to schedule an initial consultation with our team first. We’ll be able to examine your situation to determine if this method can help straighten your smile. Until then, here are some of the most common issues clear aligners can help resolve.

Crowded Teeth

a 3 D example of crowded teeth

Having no space between your teeth can result in a wide range of complications for your smile, especially when it comes to cleaning your teeth properly. Your toothbrush won’t be able to reach between every crevice, and the floss can end up getting stuck when trying to thread it through. This can allow bacteria to accumulate more easily in your mouth. With clear aligners, we can help shift your teeth into proper alignment, which will make your smile much easier to care for.

Gaps Between Teeth

a 3 D illustration of gaps between teeth

Clear aligners are also able to help move teeth closer together if there are gaps between them. If left unchecked, bacteria and debris can end up collecting in these spaces, placing your oral health at risk of decay, infection, and gum disease. By wearing your clear trays, we can help bring your pearly whites closer to each other, allowing you to enjoy a healthier and more confident smile.

Overbite

a 3 D example of an overbite

While there should usually be a natural level of an overbite, one that is too large of a space can end up causing problems with your oral health in the long run. These issues can include uneven tooth wear, speech problems, and jaw discomfort. Clear aligners, along with other appliances like rubber bands and attachments, can help move your jaw into better alignment, that way your gum lines are closer together.

Underbite

a 3 D example of an underbite

This is the opposite of an overbite, as the bottom arch of teeth ends up being further out in front of your upper arch. Patients might experience this for several reasons, including childhood oral habits (thumb-sucking), trauma, or genetics. Without proper treatment, this situation can result in issues like difficulty chewing, chronic bad breath, mouth breathing, and sleep apnea. If we’re able to, our team can try adjusting your lower jaw with clear aligners and other attachments, such as elastic bands.

Crossbite

a 3 D illustration of a crossbite

People don’t always grow their teeth out perfectly aligned, and some may have pearly whites that come out at different angles. A crossbite is when some of the upper and lower teeth end up lining up in front of each other, forming either a front or back crossbite. With clear aligners, we can shift those at the bottom to help them line up behind the ones above. If your orthodontic issue is due to problems with jaw development, then we may have to use clear aligners along with other treatment solutions.

Open Bite

a 3 D illustration of an open bite

Sometimes the upper and lower arch of teeth aren’t able to touch or bite down together at all, forming an open bite. While rarer than other orthodontic problems, it can cause issues with both your oral and overall health, including increased risk of chipping, enamel wear, speech difficulties, and problems with chewing or malnutrition. Clear aligners can help correct both arches by fixing their alignment, this way you can enjoy an ideal bite pattern and a more confident smile.

The Clear Aligners Process

Closeup of patient placing alignment tray

After you’ve undergone your initial orthodontic consultation and we’ve determined that clear aligners are the right choice for you, we will capture impressions of your teeth so that customized, clear aligners can be crafted. Each aligner in the series needs to be worn for a period of about two weeks – during this time, your teeth are gradually shifting into their new alignment! When the tray starts to feel loose, that means it’s time to get the next one, and so on and so forth until all the trays have been worn for the recommended period of time.

Patients will also need to visit Dr. Cartwright or Dr. Palmer for a brief checkup every six weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing smoothly and without any hiccups.

Benefits of Clear Aligners

Woman putting her alignment tray in

If your orthodontic needs are more complex, you’ll need to explore options outside of clear aligners, like metal or ceramic braces, with our team’s professional guidance. With that said, many patients with crooked, spaced out, and otherwise misaligned teeth are candidates for clear aligner treatment. If you’re one of them, then you’ll enjoy numerous benefits, including:

No Uncomfortable Adjustments

Woman smiling while looking at reflection in mirror

Patients with traditional braces usually need to attend adjustment appointments every four weeks, which can be a bit uncomfortable. Fortunately, clear aligner treatment comes with a different approach! You’ll progress to each new set of aligners as instructed, which will move your teeth incrementally closer to their ideal positions. Plus, the trays are custom-made for your unique mouth, which means they should fit comfortably when worn.

The Trays Are Virtually Undetectable

Patient holding clear aligner

Another huge benefit of clear aligner treatment is that there isn’t any metal! Instead, completely clear aligners are used to gently move your teeth out of their misaligned positions. As a result, your teeth-straightening treatment will be difficult for others to notice – even for your classmates, family, or coworkers who see you every day! Instead, your natural, confident appearance will shine through.

You Can Eat Your Favorite Foods Without Restriction

Woman smiling while eating in kitchen with friends

There are several foods that are off-limits with traditional braces, including tortilla chips, popcorn, celery, and whole apples. Since clear aligners are removable, that’s not the case! With this popular orthodontic treatment, you’ll be able to eat all of your favorite foods without restriction. All we ask is that you do your best to keep added sugar to a minimum; it’s one of the leading causes of tooth decay.

The Average Treatment Timeline Is Shorter

Closeup of woman smiling while holding clear aligner

While traditional braces take 2-3 years on average, clear aligner treatment takes 12-18 months on average. In other words, the treatment process is exceptionally quick! Plus, you’ll start to see improvements much sooner since the trays are both clear and removable.

Hassle-Free Oral Hygiene

Woman smiling while flossing her teeth

It’s common for patients with traditional braces to complain about having to adopt a cumbersome oral hygiene routine and buy special products, like interproximal toothbrushes. Clear aligner treatment, on the other hand, doesn’t get in the way. In fact, you can brush and floss as you usually would because the trays are removable!

Quick Follow-Up Visits

Dentist showing patient scans of teeth

Finally, the follow-up visits with clear aligners are usually much quicker. In fact, if everything is progressing as anticipated, then your appointment may only be 15 minutes! It’s also worth noting that there aren’t as many visits to begin with; they are every 6-8 weeks instead of every four. That makes this orthodontic treatment especially ideal for busy students, parents, and professionals.

Understanding the Cost of Clear Aligners

Piggy bank on model teeth representing cost of clear aligners in Bethel Park

Clear aligners may be the most convenient and aesthetically-pleasing way to straighten teeth, but how much are they? The cost of clear aligners in Bethel Park depends on several factors, so the price can vary widely from patient to patient. When you come visit us for a consultation and we’ve had a chance to evaluate your unique smile, we’ll be able to give you a personalized estimate. Our knowledgeable team will also be happy to go over your insurance benefits, review your financing options, and recommend any limited-time special offers that are available to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses! Read on as we cover some of the most important information about the cost of clear aligners in Bethel Park.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Clear Aligners  

Patient and dentist discussing the cost of clear aligners in Bethel Park

In order for us to create a custom estimate, we’ll take into account many different factors, like:

  • The severity of your orthodontic issues
  • The estimated length of your treatment time
  • Your current oral health
  • Your age
  • Your willingness to follow the treatment plan

Each of these will influence the final price of your clear aligners. Additionally, it’ll be up to you to keep your treatment on track and your costs low. If you don’t wear your aligners often enough or you regularly lose or break them, you’ll end up increasing the length and cost of your treatment! We’ll help you stay on track with specific instructions, but it will be your responsibility to follow them.

Professional Clear Aligners VS Smile Direct Club™: Which Costs More?

Closeup of mail-in clear aligners in Bethel Park

Patients who are interested in a quick and easy fix for their crooked teeth may be attracted to the idea of mail-in aligners. Companies like Smile Direct Club™ tempt patients with the idea of DIY orthodontics that you can complete entirely from home. Plus, mail-in aligners are often cheaper than a professional clear aligner treatment! However, if this sounds too good to be true, you’re right.

While you may pay less for mail-in aligners at first, they could easily end up costing you significantly more time, money, and hassle in the long run. In fact, it’s all too easy for you to find yourself with worse orthodontic issues than when you began your DIY orthodontic treatment! Since there’s no professional oversight with mail-in aligners, there are countless opportunities for things to go wrong and move your teeth into the wrong positions.

On the other hand, while coming to visit us for clear aligners may cost a little more than Smile Direct Club™, patients agree that it’s money well-spent. You’ll have our trusted team with you every step of the way to answer your questions directly and ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. If you want the peace-of-mind knowing your smile is being looked after by a professional, the extra cost is worth it!

Does Dental Insurance Cover Clear Aligners?

Dental insurance paperwork for the cost of clear aligners in Bethel Park

There isn’t a simple answer to this question. Some dental insurance companies offer clear aligner coverage, while others only cover traditional braces. Some don’t offer orthodontic coverage at all! While there are separate orthodontic insurance plans you can buy, those differ in what they cover as well. Thankfully, our knowledgeable team has years of experience navigating the details of various insurance policies and will ensure that whatever benefits you have are being maximized.

Options for Making Clear Aligners Affordable

Patient and receptionist discuss how to make clear aligners affordable in Bethel Park

Aside from being an insurance-friendly practice, we offer several other ways to make clear aligner treatment in Bethel Park affordable, such as:

  • Discounts for full payment at the beginning of your treatment
  • Discounts for multi-family member treatments
  • Monthly payment plans with no interest during treatment time
  • Third-party financing options like CareCredit for longer payment plans
  • Limited time special offers and discounts

We are excited to show you just how affordable your new smile can be, so don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule your consultation today!

Clear Aligners FAQs

young woman with clear aligners in Bethel Park

Before you commit to straightening your smile with clear aligners in McMurray, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what to expect during the treatment process. You’ll have a chance to ask Dr. Cartwright or Dr. Palmer anything you’d like during your consultation, but until then, you can read through this list of the answers to a few of the questions about clear aligners that our team members are asked the most often.

Can You Eat with Clear Aligners?

One of the main reasons why patients prefer clear aligners to traditional braces is that aligners can be removed at any time. Because you can simply take them out whenever it’s time to eat, you won’t have to limit your diet like you would with braces.

That being said, you should always remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. Eating with your clear aligners in will not only crack and stain your trays, but it also exerts unnecessary pressure on your teeth. Additionally, be careful to not misplace your aligners as you eat.

Your orthodontist in Bethel Park will provide you with a clear aligner storage case, which you should always keep on your person. That way, your trays will remain in a safe place during meals and snacks.

How Long Do Clear Aligners Take?

Many factors can affect the amount of time it takes to achieve straight teeth with clear aligners. These factors include the severity of your orthodontic issues and your dedication to following our treatment guidelines. On average, it takes between 12 and 18 months to finish treatment, but patients with mild cases of misalignment may finish in as little as six months.

Even though 12 to 18 months may seem like a long time to be wearing aligners, keep in mind that traditional braces usually take between 24 and 36 months to deliver the same results.

Can You Get Clear Aligners After Braces?

Possibly! It depends on your specific orthodontic needs. Many patients have worn braces when they were younger only to have their teeth shift again after several years without orthodontic treatment. The good news is that in this case, the braces have most likely fixed the worst of the alignment issues. Therefore, clear aligners might be enough to bring your pearly whites into the ideal positions. Of course, you’ll need to meet with an orthodontist in McMurray just to be sure.  

Do Clear Aligners Hurt?

Compared to traditional braces, clear aligners are incredibly comfortable. Their smooth plastic design means they’re less likely to irritate your cheeks, gums, and other soft tissues inside of your mouth. As with any orthodontic treatment, though, clear aligners will most likely cause some minor soreness, especially when you first begin wearing them. Your teeth are being forcibly moved, after all.

To minimize discomfort as you get used to your aligners, it may help to start wearing them right before bed. That way, you’ll wake up in the morning with the first several hours of the adjustment process already behind you. You could also take over-the-counter pain medication as directed on the label for the first few days.