Frequently asked questions

Looking for an answer to your questions? We have lots of answers below.

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Before treatment

  • Does teeth straightening with clear aligners hurt?

    A little bit of discomfort with your first aligner is totally normal as it’s starting to move your teeth in your mouth. Sometimes changing from one aligner to the next can be a little uncomfortable, but it will settle over time. Some people find it helps to take a mild painkiller for the first few days of wearing aligners – if the pain doesn’t improve contact your dental practice.

  • How long will it take?

    On average, it can take anywhere from three months to a year to straighten teeth with clear aligners. Every case is different and will depend on how much your teeth need to move. Your dentist will be able to tell you how long your treatment is likely to take after you have had a digital 3D scan of your teeth. Some cases can take over a year.

  • What is the process of teeth straightening with clear aligners?

    The process of clear aligners begins with a consultation to make sure you are suitable for teeth straightening. If everything is ok we’ll perform a digital 3D scan of your teeth so we can plan your treatment. Once you and your dentist are happy with the plan we will produce the aligners and you will come back for a fit appointment. You will then see your dentist regularly until the end of treatment.

  • Can I see how my teeth will look before I go ahead?

    Yes, the dentist will be able to show you how your teeth may look after clear aligner treatment on your 3D scan.

  • How soon can I get clear aligners?

    Our next appointment for clear aligners will depend on the practice but we aim to see you as soon as we can. After your first appointment you can expect to start clear aligner treatment within two weeks.

During treatment

  • Will I need an injection?

    It’s unlikely that you will need any injections as part of your clear aligner treatment. The only time you may need a local anaesthetic is if you need treatment to improve your oral health prior to teeth straightening, such as a filling.

  • How many appointments will I need?

    The number of appointments you will need for teeth straightening will depend on the length of your treatment, as recommended by your dentist. In general, we try and keep appointments to a minimum and all of our practices offer early morning and evening appointments to suit a busy lifestyle. You can expect an appointment to make sure you’re suitable for treatment and a scan, a fit appointment and regular reviews once you’re on your treatment journey to check progress.

  • What is an attachment?

    Your dentist might tell you that you will have attachments on your teeth during treatment. These are just tiny tooth-coloured bumps created from dental composite (what we use for a filling). They are easy to place and work with your aligners to create pressure on the teeth to move them into place. They will be fully removed at the end of your treatment.

  • Where will the attachments be?

    If your dentist recommends attachments during your teeth straightening they will show you where these will be on your digital scan. They will be strategically placed on teeth to give the best straightening result.

  • Will I have a lisp?

    There is a chance you may have a very slight lisp when you first begin aligner treatment. Speech changes can happen with any treatment to the teeth but will return to normal once you adapt to wearing the aligners.

  • How long do I have to wear them for?

    You should wear your clear aligners for around 22 hours a day. They need to be removed each time you eat or have a drink other than water, once you’ve finished eating, give your teeth a brush, rinse your aligner and pop it back in.

  • Can I whiten as well?

    Whitening can be provided as part of your treatment and whitening gel should only be prescribed by a registered dental professional. Speak to your dentist if it is something you are interested in.

  • Who will I be seeing?

    During your clear aligner treatment you will see a registered dentist who will oversee your treatment. You may also see a treatment co-ordinator who will answer any questions you may have about teeth straightening, as well as our dental nurses and reception team.

  • Can I eat and drink with the aligners?

    Unlike braces, you’ve got the all-clear to eat whatever you want. Just make sure you take out your aligners before eating anything. Once you’ve finished eating, give your teeth a brush, rinse your aligner and pop it back in.

    Whilst you’re wearing your aligners, it’s best to stick with drinking cool water. Hot liquids will warp and damage your aligners, whilst other drinks can encourage cavities and stains. If you’re going to drink anything other than cool water, just take your aligners out.

  • What is interproximal reduction?

    Interproximal reduction (IPR) is sometimes necessary in teeth straightening to provide more room for the teeth to move into. It involves removing tiny sections of enamel from the sides of the teeth to create spaces that help correct crowding.

  • How often do I need to change my aligners?

    You will need to change your aligners every one to two weeks.

  • How many sets of aligners will I get?

    Every clear aligner case is different, but it is usual to have between 10 and 20 sets of aligners over the course of your treatment.

  • Do I still need to see my normal dentist?

    We will check your oral health at the start of treatment, but you can go back to seeing your usual dentist after your clear aligner treatment is complete or for regular check-ups.

  • What oral hygiene should I follow during my aligner treatment?

    Good oral hygiene is very important during clear aligner treatment. You should continue to brush twice a day and floss with tape or interdental brushes as usual. You should also brush after eating and before replacing your aligners and keep the aligners themselves clean by brushing them with a soft toothbrush.

Finance

  • Can I spread the cost of treatment?

    You can spread the cost of clear aligners using our flexible finance options. We will work with you to organise an affordable payment plan.

  • Do you offer finance?

    Yes, we offer flexible finance for our clear aligners. Your dentist or treatment co-ordinator will explain all of the options to suit your circumstances.

  • Will I have a credit check?

    If you would like to use finance to pay for your clear aligner treatment you will have a credit check, as with any other finance application. This will be carried out by our finance partner V12.

Aftercare

  • Will I have to wear a retainer afterwards?

    After finishing your teeth straightening you should wear a retainer at night to prevent your teeth from moving again. We will provide a free removable retainer at the end of treatment. In some cases, it is recommended to have a fixed retainer, which is a wire fixed to the back of your teeth, at an extra cost. The most important thing is keeping your perfect smile.

  • What is a retainer?

    A retainer prevents your teeth from moving after they have been straightened. You can have a removable retainer, which is very much like a clear aligner, that you wear at night. You can also have a fixed retainer which is a discreet metal wire bonded to the back of your teeth to keep them in place.

  • What happens when I finish clear aligner treatment?

    After your clear aligner treatment is complete you can go back to your usual dentist and follow any oral health and retainer advice provided. If you would like to talk to us about perfecting your smile, we can also arrange teeth whitening.

  • Will my teeth move again after treatment?

    If you do not wear your retainers, it is possible that your teeth could move positions after treatment. If you lose your retainer or if it is damaged let us know straight away.

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