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What are dental aligners?

Orthodontic dentistry has come a long way over the past few decades. For people who were concerned about the crooked or uneven appearance of their smile, but didn’t want to deal with the stereotypical “mouth full of metal” look of traditional braces, there are now more alternative methods available than ever. 

Clear aligners (also referred to as teeth aligners, orthodontic aligners, clear braces, invisible braces, or invisible aligners) are orthodontic mouthpieces which fit tightly over your teeth. They are made of clear material which makes them less noticeable than metal braces, but work much the same way. Dr. Chung is one of the leading dentists in the New York City area for providing invisible aligners to help his patients get the even, dazzling smile they want.

Why get clear aligners?

People turn to clear aligners to help resolve a wide variety of issues involving the alignment of their teeth. Essentially any issue that could be treated using traditional braces can also be addressed using removable braces. These include overbites, underbites, crossbites, or open bites (when the front teeth on the top and bottom do not connect even with the jaw fully closed). Transparent dental braces are also used to straighten crooked teeth and correct crowding or overlapping of teeth.

While all of these issues can cause people to be embarrassed about the appearance of their smile, they are not always solely cosmetic problems. Problems with the spacing of your teeth or the alignment of your bite can also cause pain, difficulty eating or chewing, damage from grinding your teeth, and a higher risk of tooth decay and gum infection.

How do you prepare to get orthodontic aligners?

Your first appointment will be a consultation during which Dr. Chung will examine your teeth, discuss what you are hoping to get out of aligners, and work with you to decide on the best invisible braces treatment plan for your needs and goals. You will be given key information on upkeep and maintenance, as well as what to expect from your treatment.

The same day, a fitting will be performed so that your custom dental aligner trays can be created. This will involve an x-ray and digital scan of your mouth.

What can you expect from clear braces?

It usually takes around 2-3 weeks after the initial consultation for your first set of dental aligner trays to be made. You will then go in for a follow-up appointment in which Dr. Chung will check the fit of your first set of trays and give you instructions for taking care of them going forward. If no issues are apparent, you should be set after an appointment of just ten minutes or so.

After a few weeks, you will return for another appointment to make sure that everything is progressing as planned. 

What is the followup and recovery like for clear aligners?

There is no recovery time necessary for invisible dental aligners, although there is likely to be some discomfort for a few days at a time after putting in each new set of trays. Follow-up appointments will occur roughly every six weeks after you are initially fitted, throughout the course of your clear aligner regimen. The duration of invisible braces treatment will depend on how complex the initial problem was, but on average will take around a year, with some people seeing the desired result in half that time.

Are clear teeth aligners covered by dental insurance?

Many dental plans cover clear aligners in the same way that they would cover traditional metal braces and other orthodontic procedures. We can help work with your insurance provider to figure out your level of coverage.

Which types of clear dental aligners are used by Dr. Chung?

Dr. Chung works with the brands Invisalign and Reveal.

Are there related services to transparent aligners?

Dr. Chung has extensive experience and expertise working with NYC dental patients to help them get the great smile that they want and deserve. Our office also provides cosmetic dental services such as veneers and crowns, as well as a full slate of family dentistry procedures.

Before and After Photos

Meet Dr. Christian Chung, D.D.S

Dr. Christian Chung grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. He moved to New York City and attended New York University where he received both his undergraduate degree and his degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. Upon graduation, he completed his residency at St. Lukes Roosevelt... Learn More »