ORANGE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clear aligners are fast becoming the choice for many people seeking a better smile, straighter teeth and improvement in their long-term oral health, with the added benefit of being nearly invisible.
In fact, a coworker or friend could have aligners, and you may never know. While aligners can be hard to detect, they often provide smile-worthy results.
But the dream of a brilliant smile can soon become a nightmare, especially if patients are undergoing treatment without direct oversight by a qualified orthodontist.
Western Dental, one of the nation’s leaders in accessible, affordable oral healthcare and the leading orthodontics provider in the country, urges patients to first consult with an orthodontist to determine whether aligners are the best choice and, if so, to monitor their progress at regular office visits.
An orthodontist should be part of every step of the process to ensure positive results. Otherwise, what may seem like the lowest-priced option can actually come at a hefty cost.
“Unsupervised orthodontic treatment can be dangerous and can lead to a poorly aligned bite, loose or broken teeth, and jaw-joint problems. Moving teeth too quickly can also cause damage to the bone that holds the teeth in place,” said Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer of Western Dental. “Treatment by qualified orthodontists is essential, since they have undergone two-and-a-half to three years of specialized training beyond dental school and understand the intricacies of tooth movement and how to achieve a healthy smile.”
Aligners aren’t for everyone. They’re best for teens and adults whose mouth have stopped developing and growing. And aligners are most effective for patients with mildly crowded teeth or minor spacing issues.
For adults considering braces, you’re not alone. More than 1.5 million adults get braces every year in the U.S. and Canada, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. The figure includes traditional metal braces to aligners, which continue to grow in popularity.
Aligners, made from a clear plastic or acrylic material, help patients with their crowded teeth or spacing issues. Patients should wear the custom-made mouthpieces that fit tightly over teeth for at least 20 hours per day, only removing them to eat or brush and floss. The teeth-aligning process can take a few months to a couple years, depending on the patient’s teeth – and their commitment to wearing the aligners as much as possible.
In addition to a better smile and straighter teeth, aligners can also improve overall oral health. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean, greatly reducing bacteria, plaque acids and food particles – and the risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Some patients with aligners also say they snack less and lose weight, since they need to be removed when eating. And some nail-biters and smokers say aligners have helped them kick those bad habits.
But before patients dream of a better smile, and maybe even losing a few pounds, they should ask their orthodontist if aligners are the best choice for them.
ABOUT WESTERN DENTAL
Western Dental (with its supported affiliates, including Brident Dental & Orthodontics, Access Dental, Blue Hills Dental, South Texas Dental and Vital Smiles) is one of the nation’s largest dental providers and is the leader in accessible, affordable oral healthcare, serving approximately 3.0 million patient visits annually in 321 affiliated offices throughout California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Alabama. In addition to general dentistry, Western Dental offers orthodontics, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and endodontics in its offices, creating a convenient full service “Dental Home.”
In California, Western Dental is the leading provider of services to both adults and children in the Denti-Cal program – part of the Medi-Cal public insurance program that provides health care benefits for more than 13 million low-income individuals and families. Western Dental dentists will provide care to a half-million Denti-Cal beneficiaries in 2019, and Western Dental is committed to continuing to partner with the State to improve the program. In Texas, Western Dental is the leading provider of Medicaid services and recently entered into a first-of-its-kind agreement to participate in a value-based care and payment model under the state’s Medicaid program.
All of Western Dental’s services are backed by a unique quality assurance system that electronically monitors all patient visits, treatments, dental staff and clinical performance to enable high-quality care. To learn more about Western Dental or inquire about an office in your community, visit www.westerndental.com or call 1-800-6-DENTAL.