What are Teeth Aligners? Types, Benefits and Costs

Dreaming of a perfect smile? Clear aligners may be a great avenue for you to achieve your smile goals. Aligners offer a discreet way to straighten teeth, as opposed to traditional metal brackets.

 What are Teeth Aligners

Teeth aligners are clear and removable trays that are manufactured to fit the exact mold of your teeth. Through a series of aligners, tiny movements are incorporated into the trays to correct a misaligned bite and teeth. This article will give complete information about teeth aligners.

What are Teeth Aligners?

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry focused on aligning your teeth and bite. Orthodontic treatment can be performed by a general dentist or orthodontist. A common orthodontic appliance to straighten teeth are teeth aligners.

Dental aligners are an alternative treatment option to traditional braces. The main purpose of teeth aligners is to align teeth. They are designed as thin, clear, and plastic-like trays that fit snuggly to teeth and typically resemble bleaching trays or retainers. Aligners can be taken on and off to eat, floss, and brush your teeth.

Types of Teeth Aligners

There are several different types of teeth aligners. The type of teeth aligners that are best for your individual case can depend on factors such as your bite and dental practitioner’s recommendation.

Traditional Clear Aligners

Traditional clear aligners are sold by many different companies, such as Invisalign, Reveal, and Byte. The aligner trays are clear plastic-like trays that incrementally move the teeth. The aligners can be removed for eating and brushing/flossing. The number of aligners needed and the frequency at which the sets of trays are switched out depends on the individual’s orthodontic problem and the recommendation of the dental professional.

Invisible Aligners

Many aligners are created using a thin and transparent material, making them hard to see. They are also designed to fit snuggly to your teeth, allowing efficient movement of your teeth and for their appearance to be discreet.

Self-Ligating Aligners

Self-ligating technology can be applied to clear braces. Clear braces are made of a transparent ceramic material. Self-ligation allows wires to be held in the bracket slots and removes the need for elastic bands. The lack of elastic bands can help reduce the chance of teeth discoloration and food accumulation, making your teeth easier to keep clean.

Accelerated Aligners

Some aligner brands, such as Invisalign, offer incorporated technology to accelerate orthodontic treatment time. According to Invisalign, patients with accelerated Invisalign are expected to experience up to 70% faster treatment times than traditional Invisalign. Some accelerated technology includes oscillation equipment that produces vibrations that stimulate tooth movement.

Teen Aligners

Teen aligners, such as Invisalign Teen™, are specifically designed for teenagers who have developing smiles and jawbones. The aligners are typically made of the same material as traditional clear aligners. However, the treatment plan and certain features are often tailored to young patients with growth potential.

Phase-One Aligners

Phase-one orthodontics aims to treat orthodontic issues in a child early on to prevent much larger problems from occurring as adults. Treatment is typically initiated before all of the adult permanent teeth have developed and is often followed by a quicker second phase of orthodontics once the baby teeth have all erupted. Phase-one aligners are designed for comfort, are easy to remove to keep brushing and flossing simple, and can treat a wide range of issues like crossbites, deep bites, crowding, spacing, and much more. It is recommended to see an orthodontist around the age of 7 to determine if orthodontic treatment is necessary.

Aligners vs. Braces

Want to know more about the differences between aligners vs. braces? This section will help you learn more about these orthodontic appliances and determine which option is best for you.

Both aligners and braces perform the same function of correcting misalignments through continuous pressure. Aligners tend to be more discreet, as they are thin, clear, and precisely made to fit your teeth. In addition, braces are fixed orthodontic appliances, meaning they cannot be taken on and off until treatment is completed. Whereas aligners are removable, although they should be worn for the amount of time instructed by the dental professional.

Benefits of Teeth Aligners

The benefits of teeth aligners are numerous. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common advantages of aligners.

Personal Comfort

In general, aligners can be more comfortable than traditional braces. Some discomfort is normal, as the teeth become tender as they move. However, oral tissues such as your lips and inner cheeks tend to be less irritated with the smoother edges of aligners than braces.

Aesthetic Appeal

Traditional metal braces can be easy to catch sight of when you smile. Aligners, on the other hand, are less noticeable due to their transparent appearance and custom fit to your teeth.


With clear aligners, you typically do not have to visit your dental professional for check-ups as frequently as with traditional braces. You will be distributed a set number of aligner trays with the pre-planned tooth and will be instructed on when to switch them out at home. In addition, the appointments tend to be much quicker and simpler than with braces.


With aligners, you can still enjoy the foods that you like since they are removed when you eat. There are food limitations with traditional braces, as foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy can damage your teeth and brackets with traditional braces. Bracket breakages with traditional braces can increase overall treatment time and require extra visits for repair.

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is much easier to control with aligners since they are removable. Brushing, flossing, and removing food particles from your teeth is more efficient and effective than with regular braces. Braces tend to trap food, and if proper oral hygiene is not maintained it can lead to white spots, tooth decay, and many other oral issues.

How Much Do Teeth Aligners Cost?

Interested in knowing what teeth aligners cost? We will give you a brief overview in this section of the costs you can anticipate for teeth aligners.

The cost of teeth aligners can vary based on different factors. On average, aligners can range from $3,000 – $9,000. Insurance may offer coverage of aligner treatment, typically around $3,000 for orthodontic treatment for some insurances. Check with your dental provider to determine your cost and coverage.

How Do Teeth Aligners Work?

Interesting in learning how do aligners work? In this section, we discuss the process behind teeth aligners.

The process of getting teeth aligners can be relatively simple. At your first appointment, your smile is scanned into digital software that creates custom teeth aligners. Your dental professional will collect other diagnostic data, such as intraoral and extraoral photographs and X-rays to aid in treatment planning. Based on the expertise of dental professionals, a series of aligner trays are made with incorporated measurements that gradually move the teeth into their correct dental alignment.

Your second appointment will involve the delivery of a set number of trays. You may also have small clear attachments temporarily placed on your teeth to help aid in tooth movement. You will be given a set of instructions on how to wear the aligners, the specific amount of time to have them in (generally 22 hours a day), the frequency at which to switch to the next set of trays, cleaning instructions, and other necessary information. Your treatment time will depend on factors such as the complexity of your case and your compliance with wearing the trays.

Are You Up for Achieving a Straighter Smile?

Achieving a straighter smile can be simple. Gentle Dental offers state-of-the-art technology and expertise to perfect your smile.

Our team of expert dental professionals at Gentle Dental can provide you with quality orthodontic care to straighten your teeth. Call us today to learn more about the orthodontic services we offer for people of any age, including traditional metal braces, clear braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, Invisalign clear aligners, and more. We can help guide you to the best treatment options that are tailored to your specific needs.


Teeth aligners can be a great option to transform your smile. Having straight teeth can not only improve the appearance of your smile but also make brushing and flossing easier, improve chewing efficiency, reduce jaw problems and make your speech clearer along with many more benefits. Like braces, aligners use gentle pressure to control tooth movement but are nearly invisible. Speak with your dental professional today to see if clear aligners are right for you.