What is a clear aligner?
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and are designed to help guide teeth into their proper position.
How does clear aligner treatment work?
Similar to braces, clear aligners use a gradual force to control tooth movement, but without metal wires or brackets. Each aligner moves the teeth in increments until the desired movement is achieved.
What are your clear aligners made of?
The aligners are made of a strong plastic material and are fabricated to fit each individual’s mouth.
Are clear aligners more hygienic than braces?
Hygiene is an issue with any orthodontic therapy. Clear aligners have the advantage of being removable, so there aren’t any dietary restrictions like the “no taffy, no hard candy” rule for fixed brackets. Flossing isn’t an issue, because the aligners can be removed; no threading between the teeth and wires is required. Brushing is simple. Additionally, a lot of reports show that clear aligners have a far less chance of leaving cosmetic dental issues behind, like “white spot lesions” and enamel deficiencies from erosion around fixed brackets.
I’m worried I’ll forget to wear my aligners. With braces I don’t have to think about it, because they’re always on.
That’s true, compliance is an issue with all orthodontic cases. Clear aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day for the best results. But let’s talk about compliance with braces for a moment. If a patient doesn’t practice good hygiene, which is really hard with braces, a lot of bad things can result. Also, if a bracket breaks or comes off the tooth, the force is disrupted and teeth stop moving as predicted. If you can’t get into the orthodontist for an appointment when needed for any reason at all, tooth movement is delayed. By contrast, if you don’t wear your aligners for the required amount of time…your teeth don’t move as predicted. But nothing else really happens. Brushing and flossing is easier, and dietary restrictions are non-existent. Our advanced AI can detect if teeth aren’t moving as predicted, and we’ll alert you to that fact and keep you on your current aligner set until you’re ready to advance to the next step.
I’ve heard clear aligners can be uncomfortable. Should I be worried they’ll hurt?
In general, the discomfort with clear aligners is less than with traditional braces, because the force applied to the teeth is gentler. It is possible that patients will experience some degree of pain or discomfort during their treatment.
In most cases, pain or discomfort will occur when the aligners are first fitted and when aligner trays are changed, about every two weeks. For most, discomfort is minor and will subside within a few days. Whereas braces are “tightened” about every 4-6 weeks. With this longer time between adjustments the pain can be more significant.
How do I know if Clear Blue Smiles treatment is right for me?
We offer a free smile assessment. Simply fill out our online form, submit a couple photos, and a Clear Blue Smiles orthodontist will review your information and let you know if your smile could benefit.
What is the length of treatment? (mention fastest and the maximum time possible)
The average time for Clear Blue Smiles clear aligner treatment is 12 months, but can be as short as six months; or as long as 24 months. Each case is evaluated individually to determine the proper treatment length.
Will I know who my orthodontist is and how to reach them?
Yes! Once you are a patient you will have a Clear Blue Smiles patient account where you can access all of the contact information for your orthodontist.
Are there office visits required during treatment?
We use advanced technology and a convenient app where you upload progress photos. So, the only time we require an office visit is at the beginning when you have to get the proper diagnostics done by a dentist or orthodontist. We do this because digital scans and professional input are much better for creating your treatment plan than messy impressions you do at home.
In some cases, if our advanced AI detects that your teeth aren’t moving as quickly as we predicted, we may ask you to go back to where you first got “scanned” to receive another digital scan (painless, and takes about 5-10 minutes), so that we can revise your treatment and make sure we get you back on track for your best outcome.
How will I know if my treatment is progressing as planned?
You will always be able to login to your Clear Blue Smiles account to see the progress of your treatment. Unlike going to an orthodontist office, you can see your records and check on your progress at any time and from anywhere, without an appointment.
What happens if I lose an aligner?
We understand this can happen and will replace the aligners that you lose. Keep in mind we can’t replace the time you’ve lost in tooth movement!
How old do I need to be to use clear aligners?
We treat patients as young as 13 years old as long as they have lost all of their baby teeth. The best way to know if you are a candidate is to take our free, online Smile Assessment.
Why should I choose Clear Blue Smiles over my local orthodontist?
We bet we can beat your local orthodontist’s price, and if you’re a candidate for our treatment, you not only get incredible treatment at a great price, but you also get to do it from home without monthly office visits! If you’re not a candidate for our treatment, we will tell you and then refer you to local orthodontists.
At the very least, if you have already received a quote from an orthodontist, go through our free smile assessment and let us have a chance at beating the price. You have nothing to lose!
How can I get Clear Blue Smiles treatment if you aren’t in my state yet?
We are rapidly expanding, and will likely be in every state by the end of 2021. If we aren’t in your state yet, send us a text, chat or email and we’ll let you know when we are in your state.
Do you ship internationally?
Right now, Clear Blue Smiles treatment is only available in the United States.
What is a Smile Center?
A Smile Center is a local dentist or orthodontist near you that has partnered with Clear Blue Smiles to perform patient diagnostics. You have no obligation to this dentist or orthodontist after they perform the diagnostics. However, you’re more than welcome to keep going to that Smile Center if they identify preventative or restorative dental work that you need.
Do I have to pay to go to the Smile Center?
No! We want to ensure you receive the best smile possible and so we do not charge you for diagnostics work…or at-home impressions kits (YUCK!). While some clear aligner companies might charge you for an at-home impression kit, we don’t even charge you for professionally completed diagnostics*. That’s how important it is to you to ensure you get the best treatment plan for your smile.
*The ONLY time you’ll be charged for diagnostic is if you qualify for treatment, apply for financing, get your diagnostics, and decide that you don’t want to proceed with our treatment. In that case you may be charged $525 for the diagnostic records. But honestly, why wouldn’t you want to proceed at that point? We have everything we need to give you a great smile at a great price!
Why do I have to visit a Smile Center?
You know how the other guys make you mix up the purple goop and take an at-home impression? We don’t do that. We have you visit one of our Smile Centers to get professionally completed, digital diagnostics so we can develop the best treatment plan for your smile. Additionally, because our diagnostics are so thorough, we can truly tell if you’re a candidate for treatment, and if so, we’ll know the best way to proceed.
How many times will I have to visit the Smile Center?
Just once! We aren’t kidding about making your treatment as convenient as possible!
One catch, if during treatment our advanced AI detects something that needs closer attention, you may need to visit the original Smile Center that took your diagnostics for a quick digital photo of your teeth, so that we can revise your aligners. This isn’t very common, but it could happen.
How do I find the Smile Center near me?
You don’t have to worry about this! Complete your free Smile Assessment on our website and once we’ve determined our clear aligners can benefit your smile, we will let you know where the closest Smile Center is located.
What if there isn’t a Smile Center near me?
We will let you know which Smile Center is nearest to where you live. However, if you’d rather see your own dentist – or any other dentist – you can. Simply take our Patient Transfer Form to the dentist of your choosing and they will take the diagnostics needed to create your treatment plan.
What if I change my mind after I visit the Smile Center?
We get it, sometimes you need some more time to consider this decision. Take your time. And let us know when you are ready.
How long will it take after I visit the Smile Center to get my clear aligners?
You want a new, improved smile very quickly. We get it. Who wouldn’t? Patience, young grasshopper. We’ve got you. We need a little time to get everything perfect, but we’ll likely get your aligners to you within a couple of weeks of your very first appointment. In the world of orthodontics, that’s FAST.
What does it cost to get started?
Nothing! You do not need to buy an impression kit or any other starter kit. We offer a free Smile Assessment on our website to determine if you can benefit from our treatment. If you do, we’ll let you know and go from there.
What does treatment cost?
Clear Blue Smiles treatment starts at $2,480 and does NOT exceed $4,480. There are NO hidden costs or surprise fees.
Do you accept my insurance?
A: We do not process insurance, but it is possible that your insurance has an orthodontic benefit you can apply to the cost of treatment. Many dental insurance plans cover clear aligner treatment the same way they cover traditional braces. Your insurance may pay for a certain percentage of your treatment, or it may pay for a certain dollar amount.
To find out about what coverage you have, ask your benefits manager at work, call your insurance plan’s customer service line, or look through your benefits package for “orthodontic treatment.” Orthodontic treatment is sometimes covered by health insurance, rather than dental insurance, or by orthodontic coverage that you can purchase separately.
Do you accept HSA or FSA?
Yes, you can use your HSA or FSA. We can process your HSA/FSA debit card like you would any other credit or debit card.
What if I start treatment and decide to quit?
Why would you want to quit? But seriously, if you do, we will send you all remaining aligners you’ve paid for and send you on your way…but we’ll miss you and wonder if your smile is as perfect as we think it should be.
What does your partnership between Clear Blue Smiles and the Ocean Blue Project have to do with my teeth?
Clear Blue Smiles is passionate about leaving things better than we found them…from your smile to the environment. The dental industry hasn’t had the best track record in terms of environmental sustainability, and that needs to change.
We believe it’s our duty to not just have a neutral impact on our world, but to make it better. That’s why, for every patient, we are working with the Ocean Blue Project to remove up to 100 times the amount of plastic and waste in the world’s oceans, streams, and beaches than what we produce.
We know plastic is great for moving teeth, but terrible for the environment. Clear Blue Smiles is all about sustainability…creating a sustainable smile for you, and creating a sustainable world for us all to enjoy!
Can my clear aligners be recycled?
For now, aligners don’t fall into a category of plastics that can be recycled. But you know what we can do? We can “upcycle” them. We are working on a special project with our partners at the Ocean Blue Project to figure out how to make this happen. You would send back your used aligners to use in postage paid bags we supply. Then we’d “upcycle” them to be used as buttons on clothes, or pressed into molds to make other things. We hope to have more details soon on this project!