3M Clarity Aligners – Nearly invisible but the results aren’t
Brought to you by 3M, a US based company that has been manufacturing and developing many health related products such as the stainless steel and ceramic braces we use in our practice, for many years. They have now developed and released their own clear aligner system.
How does 3M Clarity Aligners work?
The custom aligners are created using 3D computer imaging technology depicting each stage from initial position to the final desired result. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks, moving the teeth incrementally until final result is achieved.
The benefits of 3M Clarity Aligners
Does 3M Clarity Aligners work as well as normal braces?
3M Clarity Aligners can be effective at straightening teeth as traditional braces in some cases. Patients with severe crowding or bite problems may require traditional braces or a combination of teeth straightening techniques with 3M Clarity Aligners. Please contact us to see Dr Justin Fong, who is a trained and certified 3M Clarity Aligner orthodontist, who can advise you whether this treatment is suitable for you. Examples of possible orthodontic problems 3M Clarity Aligners could correct for you. For more information on 3M and their products, please click here.
What are the aligners made out of?
Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade non-toxic plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.
How long will treatment take?
The length of treatment is dependent on the severity of each individual patient’s orthodontic issues. Treatment may vary from anywhere between six months to two years with an average treatment taking around 12 to 14 months.
How much do they cost?
The cost of 3M Clarity Aligner treatment will depend on each patient and on the complexity of the case. Please make an appointment to see Dr Fong for an initial visit and a quote.
What are the steps involved?
The first thing is to book an initial visit with Dr Fong to determine if 3M Clarity Aligner is the right treatment for you. We will need to collect orthodontic records such as photographs of your teeth, bite and profile, Xrays and a 3D scan of your teeth. If everything is ready to go, we will send your 3D scan of your teeth to 3M where your custom-made aligners will be created. Dr Fong will liaise with 3M to develop your aligner treatment. Once the treatment has been determined, a virtual video/animation of your treatment will be shared with you so you can review and ask for any amendments. Once everyone is happy, 3M will proceed with manufacturing the aligners. Each aligner is worn for about 2 weeks, all day, everyday, before progressing onto the next one. Dr Fong will check on your progress every six to eight (6-8) weeks to make sure everything is going according to plan and to make any necessary adjustments. As you approach the end of treatment, we will discuss with you a retention plan designed to keep your smile for life.
Is 3M Clarity Aligner covered by insurance?
As with braces, 3M Clarity Aligners should be covered to a similar extent if your insurance policy covers orthodontics. It is advised to check with your health fund regarding what benefits are included in your policy.
Who is suitable for 3M Clarity Aligner treatment?
Anyone over the age of 14 are suitable for 3M Clarity Aligner treatment, so long as their second (twelve year old) molars are fully erupted. Those who may not be suitable are:
- Those that need uprighting of severely tipped teeth
- Those whose permanent teeth have not all erupted
- Those who have multiple missing teeth
- Patients with poor periodontal condition
- Patients who wish to change their profile
Will 3M Clarity Aligners affect my speech?
Like all orthodontic treatments, aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp or minor speech impediment caused by the aligners should disappear.
What can and can't I eat?
Unlike traditional orthodontics, you can usually eat whatever you desire while in treatment because you can remove your aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favourite foods and snacks, unless instructed otherwise by your orthodontist. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene. Some things to watch out for:
- You should remove your aligners to drink anything else except water. Leaving aligners on while drinking may stain them and the patient may risk tooth decay if they drink fluorides with sugar in them.
- Smoking while wearing aligners may cause them to become discoloured.
- Do not chew gum while wearing the aligners as they will stick. It is recommended to remove the aligners for all meals and snacks.