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  • Writer's pictureRich Sprague

We straighten teeth by offering the latest and greatest straightening method: clear aligners.

Updated: Nov 7, 2023


Young boy with buck teeth.

Over the last few years, clear aligners have taken the lead in the teeth straightening field by storm. We have transitioned away from traditional orthodontics … braces as they are known. We offer a clear aligners product called SureSmile (similar to Invisalign).


Clear aligner tray.

Clear aligners are an ideal solution to most teeth straightening problems:


Teeth crowding graphic.

Crowding


When your jaw doesn’t have enough room for your teeth to sit comfortably, they shift, overlap, and cause what doctors call “crowding.” Crowding can cause your teeth to push forward, pull backward, or invade the space of surrounding teeth.

 
Overbite graphic.

Overbite


When your top front teeth overlap your bottom front teeth, doctors call this an overbite. A slight overbite is normal, but extreme overbites, also known as deep bites, can cause problems. You can differentiate between a normal overbite and a deep bite by considering how much your top front teeth cover your bottom front teeth. If your top front teeth cover more than 20% of your bottom front teeth when you smile, you may have a deep bite.

 
Spacing or caps graphic.

Spacing or Caps


When you have too much space between two or more teeth, doctors call this having gap teeth. You may also hear it referred to as a spacing issue or diastema. Gap teeth are considered the opposite of overcrowded teeth because there’s usually too much space in the mouth for the teeth to rest comfortably together.

 
Crooked teeth graphics.

Crooked Teeth


Any type of misalignment that impacts the spacing, direction, or placement of a person’s teeth are considered crooked teeth. Doctors may describe crooked teeth by identifying the type of bite that someone has. Underbites, overbites, crossbites, open bites, gap teeth and overcrowded teeth are all types of crooked teeth.

 

How and why have clear aligners become so popular?


The how is due to significant advances in technology and materials.


Here are the whys:


Young woman smiling with clear aligner.

They are discrete. It’s the biggest selling point for clear aligners. Clear aligners are practically invisible. They are removable trays made from clear, smooth BPA-free plastic which are comfortable and won’t irritate your gums like traditional braces often do.


Man inserting clear aligner into mouth.

They are easily removable. While they should be worn most of the time, they can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing one’s teeth, and even for a photo shoot (whether candid or professional).




Young woman smiling with braces and holding a clear aligner.

They are comfortable. There are no more wires or brackets to contend with. Even when sleeping, the scalloped edges make them comfortable to keep wearing.







Clear aligner protective case.

You have no food restrictions and oral hygiene is much better to maintain. When it’s time to eat or drink, simply remove them and put them back in place when you are done. Just don’t leave them on the table or in a napkin which can be hauled away by a food server.




Cleaning a clear aligner with tap water.

Oral hygiene is easy to maintain. Oral hygiene with braces can be difficult and time consuming. Many patients with traditional braces risk inflammation and gingivitis.





Dentist inspector a young man's clear aligner.

Clear aligners are indicated to treat a variety of teeth straightening cases. See above. Clear aligners can be a good treatment choice for both adults and teens. At Carson and Acasio, we used to recommend traditional braces. But we now favor utilizing clear aligners whenever possible.



Dentist adjusting traditional wire braces.

With clear aligners, you have fewer visits to our clinic. In your initial treatment we create a plan for you and use the same high-tech imaging methods which we employ to make same day crowns, bridges and other dental apparatus. Patients love that there are no wires to switch out, brackets to attach, or to tighten or repair.


We highly recommend that patients do not consider a mail in product, as teeth straightening needs to be performed with a qualified dentist, treatment plan, and regular visits to our office.


Clear aligners are designed where you, the patient, can monitor real-time results which can be extremely motivating. You can document your journey using a Tray-Minder App (which is available on both your Android or iOS device. Have fun documenting your journey including tracking your wearing time. You can even take weekly photos of your smile and progress.

 

The clear aligner process:


First. Make an appointment with us. Your initial consultation is complimentary. During the consult, one of our dentists will examine your teeth, take X-rays and digital pictures if required (we will advise you of the cost), examine your teeth for tooth decay or gum disease, and ask you about your goals. If you have decay or inflammation of your gums, these issues will need to be addressed before your aligners can be installed. If you and we feel clear aligners are a right solution for you, then will provide you with an estimate of the time it will take to achieve your desired results and your costs.


Second. At your discretion, either during your first or second visit, we will scan your mouth with a digital scanner which is a wand that fits in your mouth. The process is quick and painless and no longer requires that uncomfortable molding material.


After scanning, we make a 3-D image of your mouth which you are welcome to view. Then we utilize sophisticated computer technology to build a simulation of your mouth to show what it will look like after the end of your treatment. After this prep work is done, we send scans of your mouth to the SureSmile laboratory who actually makes your custom trays.


Third. It takes a couple of weeks to create the trays. Once we receive them, we will schedule you for an appointment to install your trays and make sure they fit in your mouth.


Follow up visits. We like to have you come back to the office every 4 to 6 weeks to make sure your trays are fitting properly and to monitor your progress. Every week or two you will swap your tray for a new one.


Time for completion of the treatment plan. How long will you have to wear the clear aligners? Depending on your case, it could take as little as 6 months or up to 2 years. The average treatment plan is 12 to 18 months. We recommend that you wear the aligners for 22 hours a day (allowing time off for eating and oral hygiene).


Patients who play sports and require a mouthguard need to remove them and store them in a sanitary place.


With some patients who suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding, we may recommend wearing a special SureSmile retainer … particularly when sleeping.

 

What's next?


If you or a family member has crooked teeth or other teeth misalignment problems, and you desire to have the teeth straightened, you need to call us for a consultation appointment.


In most cases, the SureSmile clear aligners will provide you with a great solution without resorting to orthodontics (traditional braces).


We have two convenient locations to provide the dental needs for you and your family. In Oxnard, call (805) 983-0717. For Spanish Hills Dentistry in Camarillo, call (805) 987-1711.


Dentist showing comparison between clear aligner and braces.

 
Author, Marketing Consultant, Web & Graphic Designer Rich Sprague

RICH SPRAGUE

Rich is our Marketing Services Manager. He’s responsible for our business rebrand, including the design of our new logo, the production of our marketing materials, and the development of our new website. He is extremely passionate towards the complete marketing and sales process. In addition to his Master’s Degree in Web Design & New Media, he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and has been writing articles since high school. Rich's email is rich@richsprague.com.

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