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Clear Aligners Treatment - Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Aug 31, 2020

What is clear aligners treatment?

Many people may have misaligned tooth arrangement. Such people may feel the need for moving their teeth to position with the aid of some orthodontic devices. Clear aligner is one of them.

Clear aligners, which are an alternative to traditional braces, are designed in such a manner that it helps in guiding the teeth into their proper position. Just like the braces, clear aligners control tooth movement by using a gradual force, but without any metal wires or brackets.

The clear aligners are manufactured from strong plastic materials and are designed to perfectly fit into a person’s mouth. In cases where a series of aligners are necessary, then each aligner helps in moving the teeth in increments until the desired movement is achieved.

Clear aligners should be worn for at least 20 hours each day for desired results and maximum effectiveness. Each of these aligners should be worn for a period of three weeks before changing to the next one. The time for the completion of the treatment varies from person to person and mostly depends upon the severity of each case.

For some people, the treatment using clear aligner can be as short as three weeks, but for others it may take longer than six months. However, to sum up, the aligners offer treatment within a much shorter time span than the treatment offered by traditional braces.

Clear aligners are a better option for individuals who long for a straighter smile, but do not want to wear traditional metal braces. Clear aligners are easily removable and hence enable a person to brush and floss after meals. They are more comfortable and less likely to irritate the gums and cheeks of the person using them and also protect tooth wear from grinding.

How is the treatment done?

Clear aligners help people with distorted tooth arrangement to achieve straight and uniform teeth. These aligners function by slowly shifting a person’s teeth at small intervals. Each new tray is designed to be very slightly closer to the ideal position of the person’s teeth. When a new aligner is placed within the person’s mouth it will be tight and as the teeth shift to fit into the new tray the older aligner stays no longer tight.

In order to get a personal clear aligner made, a person needs to consult with a Board Certified Orthodontist. It is important to find out whether he or she is an eligible candidate for clear aligners before beginning. Depending on the complexity of a person’s teeth arrangement and how perfectly he or she desires their teeth to be, some professionals might not be able to achieve this with aligners alone or it might be impossible to accomplish this with just aligners.

After the orthodontist finds the person as eligible for clear aligners, then a digital impression is taken of the person’s teeth. Sometimes a traditional impression can also be taken, but in most cases the orthodontist uses a digital system. After the impression is taken, it is the work of the orthodontist to design the aligners appropriately.

The orthodontist then designs the aligner to get to the desired result of the person concerned. Once the design is approved, then a 3D printing technology is used to fabricate the aligner. Once the clear aligner is ready, it can be worn by the person for adjusting the position of their teeth.

Clear aligners are preferred to traditional braces because of their better oral hygiene and for their ability to be removed for short period of times. However, the expenses for making a clear aligner are far more than traditional braces.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any person having distorted dental arrangement and wish to straighten their tooth alignment to their desired position are eligible for this treatment. However clear aligners are more effective for adults than children.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person, having straight and well aligned dental arrangement is not eligible for clear aligner treatment. Moreover, in cases where a person’s teeth are too distorted then for such a person clear aligners do not provide effective results. Such a person needs other methods, such as traditional braces to accomplish their desired results of tooth alignment.


Are there any side effects of using clear aligner?

Clear aligner treatment for positioning the dental arrangement of a person using clear aligners is absolutely safe and it bears no side effects at all. However, during the initial days of using clear aligners, a person is likely to feel some soreness in their jaws as the bone softens and the teeth move.

Initially the aligners may not fit right as the teeth need to shift into the position that the aligners want them to be in. In spite of all these a person undergoing this treatment needs to wear the clear aligners for at least 20 hours every day to achieve their desired results.

What are the post-treatment guidelines while using clear aligner?

Wear clear aligners daily for at least 20 hours a day to achieve the desired results. A person can put off their aligners during brushing or flossing their teeth after meals. A regular usage of the aligners guarantees better and effective results. The person undergoing this treatment needs to visit their doctor after every 6 weeks in order to monitor the improvements accomplished by this treatment.

How long does it take to recover?

The time taken for recovery depends on amount of distortion that a person has in his/her dental arrangement. The time of recovery also depends on the desired position of the teeth that a person wishes to get. However, on an average the treatment for positioning ones teeth using clear aligners usually takes a time of about 13.5 months to achieve the desired results.

What is the price of clear aligner treatment in India?

The treatment for getting well positioned teeth using clear aligners is costly enough. The price of clear aligner in India may vary greatly depending on the type of bite problem that a person may have and the brand of clear aligners that an orthodontist chooses. However, on an average, the price of clear aligners ranges from Rs. 1,50,000 to Rs. 2,50,000. This treatment is available in all major cities of India.

Are the results of clear aligner treatment permanent?

Yes, the results of the treatment of misaligned tooth arrangement using clear aligners is permanent, provided the aligners are worn for at least 20 hours every day. The results of this treatment starts showing up within 4 weeks and on an average it takes about 13.5 months for the complete treatment to be accomplished.

What are the alternatives of clear aligners?

The treatment for positioning misaligned tooth arrangement using clear aligners though effective enough, appears to be too costly for common people to afford. Clear aligners are at its best for correcting issues of misaligned teeth. However, if the high price of clear aligners is a matter of prime concern, then a person can use traditional braces as an alternative for clear aligners.


  • Drake CT, McGorray SP, Dolce C, Nair M, Wheeler TT. Orthodontic tooth movement with clear aligners. ISRN dentistry. 2012 Aug 14;2012. [Cited 23 July 2019]. Available from:
  • Rossini G, Parrini S, Castroflorio T, Deregibus A, Debernardi CL. Periodontal health during clear aligners treatment: a systematic review. European journal of orthodontics. 2014 Dec 29;37(5):539-43. [Cited 23 July 2019]. Available from:
  • Guarneri MP, Oliverio T, Silvestre I, Lombardo L, Siciliani G. Open bite treatment using clear aligners. The Angle Orthodontist. 2013 Jan 30;83(5):913-9. [Cited 23 July 2019]. Available from:

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Written ByDr. Vikram Singh AtwalPCAD,MCID Implant,BDS,Advanced AestheticsDentistry
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