Straightening a patient’s teeth isn’t overly difficult, but if you mention the word “braces” around a teenager in your house they’re likely to run to their room and lock the door. The same can be true for adults who never had their teeth straightened when they were teens and are considering the possibility now.
The metal bands, wires, and rubber bands involved with traditional orthodontics aren’t exactly popular.
That’s why we’ve recently added the SureSmile® orthodontic system to our Broadway Family Dentistry treatments. SureSmile® uses clear aligners instead of traditional metal or ceramic bands to straighten the teeth of our Minot patients.
What is SureSmile®?
SureSmile® is an orthodontic treatment utilizing clear aligner trays to move the patient’s teeth. The SureSmile® system combines powerful treatment planning software with computer-assisted design and state-of-the-art manufacturing. The SureSmile® system creates the most exact fit with each aligner tray to deliver the exact tooth movements needed in the shortest possible time.
Our patients love the freedom of the clear aligner trays that are basically invisible. We love the precision and design control we can deliver with SureSmile®.
What is the difference between SureSmile® and Invisalign?
These systems have a lot in common. Both use clear acrylic aligner trays to move the teeth. Both systems move the teeth without using metal bands and wires and all that traditional orthodontics entails.
We’ve adopted the SureSmile® system at Broadway Family Dentistry to bring the flexibility of treatment planning to our patients.
Am I a candidate for SureSmile® clear aligners?
SureSmile® cannot be used for patients who require more dramatic tooth movement. It can handle mild to moderate orthodontic movement. Most typical cases can be handled with SureSmile®. At Broadway Family Dental we use SureSmile® to correct these problems:
- Gaps between teeth
- Crowded teeth
When you come in to see Dr. Hirst or Dr. Jensen, we analyze your bite and anatomical factors to determine if your particular situation is right for SureSmile®.
How does the SureSmile® process work?
The process follows these steps:
- Scan — When you come to our Minot offices, we make a digital 3D scan of your teeth. This takes less than 2 minutes. No goopy impressions needed.
- Planning — Using SureSmile’s precision software, we design a new smile, plotting the necessary movement of each tooth. We’ll share the plan with you and you’ll be able to see exactly how your smile will change.
- Fabrication — We send your data to the SureSmile® manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas. Using a combination of 3D printed models and robotic laser trimming, SureSmile® achieves a level of precision with each aligner that ensures the fastest movement. Your aligners are made using the latest materials from Essix plastic.
- Aligner delivery — When your custom-made clear aligner trays arrive at Broadway Family Dental, you come in and we explain the system. You wear each aligner for two weeks, 20-22 hours every day. At the end of the two-week period, you switch to the next aligner in the succession. We then give you your first set of aligners and you’re off and running toward a straight, beautiful smile!
Throughout the process, you’ll periodically come in and Dr. Hirst or Dr. Jensen will check your progress. We’ll then give you the next series of aligners. This continues until your teeth are in their final positions.
How do I clean my SureSmile® clear aligners?
Keeping your SureSmile® aligner trays clean is not difficult. This is even more evident if you compare trying to keep your teeth clean with traditional braces. We’ll provide detailed instructions for you, but here are the basics.
When you take out your SureSmile® aligner trays to brush and floss your teeth, you also brush the aligners with your toothbrush and some toothpaste. If you want, you can also soak your aligners in denture cleaner or Retainer Brite to keep them clean and sanitized. You could do this when they are out while you are eating dinner. One unusual method that some people really like is to use a clear anti-bacterial soap to gently clean the aligner trays with your fingers.
How long will I need to wear my SureSmile® clear aligners?
To get the movement we want in the timeframe expected you’ll need to wear your aligners 20-22 hours every day. You’ll only take them out to eat and to brush and floss your teeth.
Can I wear aligners with braces?
No. If you’re wearing traditional braces, you cannot wear these aligners over the top of them. However, if you’re tired of braces that have been on your teeth seemingly forever, we can take off your bands and wires and finish your treatment with SureSmile®.
What are the advantages of the SureSmile® system for straightening my teeth?
Our patients love SureSmile®. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Virtually invisible — The clear plastic aligners are almost impossible to see, even when a person is talking to you at close range.
- Comfortable — No wires to poke your cheeks or bands to rubs your lips and tongue.
- No eating restrictions — No need to have your corn on the cob cut off or to avoid eating chewy foods.
- Easy hygiene — When it’s time to brush and floss, you simply remove the aligners.
- No tightening pain — No need to come in for painful monthly tightening. Simply change out the aligners every two weeks and put in the next pair in the series.
- Greater flexibility — Playing trumpet in the band? Take the aligner out when playing.
- Little or no impact — Traditional braces are challenging cosmetically and for home hygiene. SureSmile® allows you to eat, brush, and live normally.
Will I need to avoid certain foods with SureSmile® clear aligners?
One of the great things about SureSmile’s use of clear acrylic aligners to move your teeth is that you can eat normally. You don’t have to stop eating apples or have your corn on the cob cut off as with traditional braces. Because you simply remove the aligners to eat, you can eat whatever you want and when you’re finished you put the aligners back on.
How long will it take SureSmile® to straighten my teeth?
Every patient’s scenario is unique, but our average patient time for SureSmile® is one year. Thanks to the system’s precision design and fabrication processes, the fit of each aligner tray is perfect. Plus, the system plots the most direct course of tooth movement. Less severe movement can take less time; more severe movement may require more time. If, when we come to where we charted your final position to be, we feel more movement is needed, we can simply order a few more sets of aligners.
Is SureSmile® painful?
Traditional braces would not be deemed comfortable by anyone. Beyond the poking from stray wires and the rubbing of lips, cheeks, and tongue, there are also the “tightening” sessions when the wires are tightened and new rubber bands applied. These can require over-the-counter pain medication for a couple of days afterward.
In contrast, the SureSmile® aligners are comfortable on your teeth — no wires or bands. There are no “tightening” sessions; you simply replace the two aligners every two weeks with the next pair in the series. When the new aligners are put in, the initial adjustment is nowhere near the same as a tightening session with traditional braces.
- The SureSmile Aligners really exceeded my expectations. When I initially went for my consultation, I was not sure what to expect. Dr. Jensen and her team walked me through my entire proposed treatment plan along with what to expect. The turn around to get the aligners was quick, and Dr. Jensen walked me through the treatment plan and expectation for wear. I began wearing them 24/7 aside from meals as directed. From the start, I felt my teeth moving, and although my treatment plan was 6 months, I saw movement and improvement well before that. Each time I went for a checkup, I felt I knew I was progressing and what my next steps were. There was immense care from Dr. Jensen and her team from the start to now where I am wearing my retainers nightly. I am very happy with my decision to get the SureSmile Aligners.- A.P.