What Are Clear Aligners? How do they Work?

What Are Clear Aligners? How do they Work?

Are you having confidence issues because of your misaligned teeth? Well, no need to worry because there is an easy solution: clear aligners. What are clear aligners? It’s a subtle yet effective treatment option to align your teeth with less hassle than braces.

In this guide, we’ll delve deeper into what clear aligners are and how they can help you regain your smile. We’ll also discuss additional details like their cost and benefits over traditional braces.

What Are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners are an orthodontic solution that corrects the alignment of your teeth for better aesthetics and function. The treatment can be an effective solution if you suffer from the following problems:

  • Slight to Moderate Misalignment: Clear aligners can help gradually shift misaligned or crooked teeth to their correct positions.
  • Overcrowding: They can also help reposition any overcrowded teeth more suitably on the jaw.
  • Teeth Spacing: If you have minor gaps between your teeth, clear aligners can help you close them for a better smile.
  • Irregular Bite: An irregular bite is when the teeth in your upper and lower jaw misalign when you close your mouth. If not treated, such a condition leads to different pains like migraines and jaw aches.

What are Clear Aligners Made of?

Clear aligners are usually made of biocompatible thermoplastic materials that are flexible and durable. These properties help the aligner handle the gradual change in teeth positions throughout the treatment. 

Practitioners also make sure that aligners are BPA-free and FDA-approved. This is especially important to prevent any health risks from appearing during treatment. That’s why it’s always recommended you only get clear aligner treatment done by an experienced dentist. 

How do Clear Aligners Work?

Now that you know what clear aligners are, let’s understand how they work. Clear aligners shift your misaligned teeth to their correct positions over time. For more clarity on the process, here’s how the treatment goes:


The treatment will begin with a preliminary consultation with your dentist, who will tell you what are clear aligners. They’ll examine your teeth and then take impressions, pictures, and X-ray scans of them to build a 3D model. According to the model, they’ll design a personalized treatment plan and guide you on how it will work.

Making the Aligners

Once the plan is designed, a series of custom aligners will be fabricated according to the created 3D model. After fabrication, you’ll be handed your first set of aligners to start wearing. The dentist will guide you on how to use and care for them.

Regular Check-ups

Throughout the treatment, you will be scheduled for regular checkups to monitor your progress. At these checkups, you’ll also be advised to change your aligner sets to the next one. With each change of aligner, your teeth will progressively shift to their correct positions. 

Final-Checkup and Retainers

Once your treatment is complete and you’ve attained your desired smile, your dentist will hand you a retainer. Retainers are usually required to be worn at night to maintain the treatment results. They prevent the teeth from shifting back to their incorrect positions.

What are Clear Aligners vs Braces Differences?

Clear aligners and braces are both treatment options to fix misaligned teeth, but there are many differences. Here are some major ones:


The most important difference between braces and clear aligners is how they appear on your teeth. Traditional braces have metal brackets and wires that are pretty visible and can look unappealing. You can also opt for less noticeable ceramic braces. However, clear aligners made of transparent thermoplastic will always be the most discreet option. 


If you ask what clear aligners are majorly preferred for, the most common answer you’ll get is their removability. You can take them off to brush your teeth, eat, or attend special events. Braces, on the other hand, are permanent for the duration of the treatment. They can only be removed by your dentist if the need arises.


Braces are not the most comfortable option when it comes to fixing your misaligned teeth. Brushing your teeth can be difficult, and you’ll keep catching food in them as well. These things aren’t a problem with clear aligners. Also, braces hurt for a few days after your orthodontist fixes them or adjusts them. While the pain does go away after a few days, you can completely avoid it with clear aligners.

Fewer Consultations

Braces require regular checkups with the dentist at least once a week. The dentist observes the progress and adjusts the braces so your teeth can continue to change their positions. Clear aligner therapy also requires regular checkups, but usually they are just bi-monthly. This is mainly because you don’t need a dentist to change your aligners. You can just do it yourself.

Treatment Complexity

Clear aligners are great for minor misalignment issues, but if the case is more complex, they might not work. For such cases that require significant teeth repositioning, braces work better. This is because the metal brackets being attached to each tooth offer more precise repositioning.


Now, you may be wondering what are clear aligners and braces going to cost you. Well, clear aligners cost more than braces because fabricating a set of clear aligners requires lab work. On average, clear aligner therapy can cost you between $3000-$5000. Braces usually start around $1800, but if the misalignment is severe, the cost can even go up to $5500.

What are Clear Aligners That You Should Get?

Montclair, NJ, we’ve delivered exceptional treatment resultThere are many clear aligners available in the market, but you should always go for the most reliable ones. One of the most popular aligners used is Invisalign, made of polyurethane resins. In fact, in a survey among practitioners who used aligners, 81.25% of them preferred Invisalign over other types.

The high quality and consistent results of Invisalign aligners are something our orthodontics department can vouch for as well. With our services of Invisalign Dentistry in s to countless satisfied patients.


Misaligned teeth may seem unappealing, but they are nothing you can’t fix. With the right Invisalign aligners, you can have your dream smile in no time. So contact us at Dr. Arthur Yeh & Associates to book your appointment today. 

Our services of Invisalign in Montclair, NJ, are handled by some of the most skilled and experienced dentists. With treatments tailored to meet your specific needs, we are dedicated to giving you a premium treatment experience.

Contact us to regain your smile!