7 Questions to help you decide if at home aligners are right for you
STRAIGHT TEETH FROM YOUR OWN HOME
At home clear aligner assessment quiz
At home clear aligner therapy is a relatively new concept. More and more people are straightening their teeth at the convenience of their own home instead of going to a dentist. There's no denying that at home clear aligner therapy is convenient and more affordable than dentist-delivered alternatives. Some at home clear aligner therapies involve no dentist visits whatsoever (like Smile Direct Club™ or Candid Co™). Other at home clear aligner therapies involve minimal dentist intervention, such as your initial and final visit, but require no additional visits throughout the course of your program (like Even28 at-home™).
The big question here is does at home clear aligner therapy work? The answer depends on how complex your treatment is going to be. Complete the quiz below to find out how likely you are to qualify for at home clear aligner programs:
AT HOME CLEAR ALIGNER QUIZ EXPLANATIONS
What you need to know before starting at home aligner programs
The quiz above helps you determine how likely you are to qualify for at home clear aligner programs. Once complete, the quiz yields a percentage which describes how likely you are to qualify for at home clear aligner therapy. The higher the number, the more likely you are to qualify for at home clear aligner therapy. This means that you can straighten your smile at the convenience of your own home using Smile Direct Club™, Candid Co.™, Byte™ or Even28 at-home™ clear aligners. A low percentage indicates that you're probably not a good candidate for at home clear aligner therapy. Consider going with dentist-delivered clear aligners (like Invisalign® or Even28 at-dentist™) or braces instead. Let's take a closer look at each question to see how it impacts your chances of qualifying for at home clear aligner therapy:
Questions 1 - Front teeth versus back teeth
Clear aligners work wonders when it comes to fixing your front teeth. They can address just about any orthodontic problems concerning your front teeth. This includes closing teeth gaps, straightening crooked teeth, rotating teeth and much more. On the opposite hand, clear aligners are not as effective when it comes to moving your back teeth, especially the molars. If you need to move your back teeth, consider going with dentist-delivered clear aligners or braces instead.
Questions 2 - Bite problems
At home clear aligners are ineffective when it comes to moving your back teeth. While clear aligners can move your back teeth a tiny bit, they are really not meant for correcting any type of bite problems. Don't expect at home aligner therapy to fix your bite problems. In fact, wearing aligners at home without proper dentist supervision is likely to make your bite situation worse. You should never fix your teeth at home if you suffer from bite issues. See a dentist or orthodontist and choose dentist-delivered clear aligners or braces to fix your bite.
Questions 3 - Your orthodontic condition
At home clear aligners are suitable for fixing basic orthodontic conditions. Let's take a look at which orthodontic cases are likely to qualify for at home clear aligner therapy:
Gap teeth (Spacing) - Gap teeth is when you have large spaces in between your teeth. Clear aligners are extremely effective at fixing gap teeth and closing these spaces. Closing gap teeth with clear aligners is quick, easy and convenient. Most gap teeth conditions can be treated with at home clear aligners and they don't require regular dentist visits. To learn more about closing gap teeth using clear aligners click here.
Crowded teeth - If your only problem is a few crooked teeth that show when you smile, then clear aligners are likely to work for you. Simpler cases can be fixed using at home clear aligners without having to visit a dentist regularly. Severe tooth crowding requires a dentist in order to create additional spacing to move your teeth into their proper position. Consider using Invisalign® or Even28 at-dentist™ to treat more complicated tooth crowding conditions. To learn more about how to fix crowded teeth using clear aligners click here.
Overbite - Many overbites can be fixed using clear aligners. Mild overbite conditions can be fixed using at home clear aligners. More advanced overbites require dentist-delivered clear aligners. Again, you need your dentist's assistance to needs to create space for better tooth movement in order to correct larger overbite conditions. The most excessive overbite conditions can not be fixed with clear aligners at all and they require braces, possibly in conjunction with other orthodontic treatments. To learn more about how to fixing your overbite with clear aligners click here.
Open bite - Simpler open bite conditions can be fixed using clear aligners. Small open bites can sometimes be fixed using at home clear aligners. Larger open bites typically require dentist-delivered clear aligners. Your dentist needs to continuously monitor your progress and make corrections along the way. Lastly, severe open bite conditions don't qualify for clear aligner therapy and require braces instead. To learn more about fixing open bites with clear aligners click here.
Orthodontic relapse - Orthodontic relapse occurs when your teeth start shifting back to their original pre-treatment position. This usually occurs within a few years of finishing your orthodontic program. Luckily, almost all orthodontic relapse conditions are perfect candidates for clear aligner therapy. Since your teeth are already used to being moved, it's easier to move them a second time. Most orthodontic relapses qualify for at home clear aligner therapy, saving you time and money.
Question 4 - Condition of your mouth
You need to evaluate your overall oral health prior to starting clear aligner treatment. There are a few dental conditions which adversely affect clear aligner therapy. You must always take these conditions into consideration prior to starting your program. Let's take a look at some dental conditions which can impact your clear aligner therapy:
Missing teeth - Having a missing tooth, or two, does not automatically mean that you can't straighten your teeth with clear aligners. However, it's important to have a plan for replacing these missing teeth before starting your clear aligner program. These larger gaps are typically filled in with either a dental implant or bridge after completing your clear aligner treatment. Work closely with your dentist to open up these missing spaces in order to create room for a dental implant or bridge. Be sure to fill in these large gaps as soon as you're done with your clear aligner program. Otherwise, your teeth will slowly shift back into the missing teeth gaps and render your clear aligner treatment ineffective!
Baby teeth - Baby teeth don't restrict your clear aligner program, but you need to be aware of their existence. Be prepared to remove these baby teeth once they become loose of infected and replace them with a dental implant or bridge.
Dental implant - Dental implants are rigid foreign objects in our mouth. In contrast to your natural teeth, clear aligners do not move your existing dental implants. Be sure to let your dentist know if you already have a dental implant in your mouth. It's recommended that you avoid at home clear aligner treatment if you already have one or more dental implant in your mouth. You could end up damaging your dental implant without proper dentist supervision. This is very important, as any amount of force could potentially damage your existing dental implants. Your dentist will work closely with the lab technician to avoid placing any force onto your dental implant. Consider dentist-delivered clear aligner treatments like Invisalign® or Even28 at-dentist™ instead.
Bridge - Bridges, similar to dental implants, can not be moved using clear aligners. You must follow the same protocol as dental implants if you have an existing bridge. Talk to your dentist to make sure that they are aware of any existing bridges in your mouth. Your dentist will design your clear aligner treatment to avoid stressing or damaging your existing bridges.
Porcelain veneers - It's always best to straighten your teeth with clear aligners before placing porcelain veneers on them. But what happens if you already have porcelain veneers on your teeth and still want to straighten your smile with clear aligners? Well, there's a good chance that you will have to replace your porcelain veneers once you finish your clear aligner program. This is not a bad option if your porcelain veneers are older and need replacement. However, if your porcelain veneers were done recently and you're happy with them, then this becomes a bit tricky. You probably want to avoid moving the teeth which have porcelain veneers on them. Talk to your dentist to decide what the best course of action is before starting any clear aligner program.
You always need to talk to your dentist before starting any type of clear aligner therapy. This is especially important if you already have extensive dental work in your mouth. Keep in mind, at home clear aligner therapy without proper dentist supervision could damage your existing dental restorations. We usually recommend going with dentist-delivered clear aligner programs like Invisalign® or Even28 at-dentist™ in these cases. This way, your dentist can keep a close eye on your progress and make sure that you don't run into any unexpected problems. After all, you don't want to redo your crowns, bridges, dental implants, etc. once you're done with your aligner program.
Questions 5 & 6 - Clearance to begin your clear aligner program
You always require a thorough exam before starting any type of orthodontic treatment. You must address your dental cavities and gum disease before starting to straighten your smile. It's risky and dangerous to wear clear aligners if you have existing cavities or gum disease. This could lead to pain, infection or even tooth loss! It's also recommended that you get a dental cleaning before starting your clear aligner program. If you’ve seen a dentist within the past 6 months and everything checked out okay, then you're all set to start your clear aligner program. Otherwise, visit your dentist first to get a clearance and make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy enough to support clear aligner therapy. As soon as you've fixed your major underlying dental issues, you're ready to start your clear aligner journey.
Question 7 - Wisdom teeth
You should be aware if there are wisdom teeth in your mouth before starting any type of orthodontic treatment. We always recommended that you remove your wisdom teeth if they're expected to cause problems. This doesn't mean that you can’t start clear aligner treatment if you still have wisdom teeth in your mouth. If you choose to keep your wisdom teeth, then there are a few steps you should take to make sure your wisdom teeth don't cause a problem. For example, be sure to wear your clear retainers every day if you choose to keep your wisdom teeth. Otherwise your wisdom teeth push on your remaining teeth and cause them to shift. Alternatively, consider placing a fixed retainer on your teeth instead of wearing a removable retainer. Fixed retainers are better at preventing your teeth from shifting due to wisdom tooth pressure. Talk to your dentist to see if it's okay to keep your wisdom teeth prior to starting your clear aligner program. Also be sure to discuss which type of retainer they recommend for you.
CLEAR ALIGNER ASSESSMENT KIT
Find out if you're a candidate for at home clear aligner therapy
Interested to see if you're a candidate for at home clear aligners without ever seeing a dentist? Purchase our Clear Aligner Assessment Kit and you'll find out the answer. Use our kit to take your own impressions following the instructions provided. Send these back to our lab and one of our experienced dentists will analyze them. We'll let you know what your options are for straightening your smile without ever stepping into a dental office:
- At-home clear aligners
- Dentist-delivered clear aligners
We'll even let you know approximately how long your treatment is going to take. Keep in mind, this is just an assessment kit. There are no obligations to purchase any additional treatment. The only purpose is to help you figure out what the best course of action is for straightening your smile.