The majority of clear aligners typically require constant wear for a minimum of 22 hours each day, with removal allowed only for eating and teeth brushing. However, an alternative option exists in the form of at night aligners offered by some aligner providers like SA Aligners.
In this guide, we’ll provide comprehensive information on aligners designed for night time use, identifying the providers offering this option, and exploring their effectiveness in comparison to the traditional all-day wear option.
What are night-time aligners?
Nighttime clear aligners are specifically designed to be worn during the night, but it’s essential to clarify that this doesn’t imply wearing them solely while sleeping. With night-time aligners, the daily wear time is reduced from 22 hours to a minimum of 10 hours continuously. While this still surpasses the average adult’s nightly sleep duration, it requires adjusting to wearing the aligners for a couple of hours before bedtime, planning your teeth brushing routine accordingly.
Although you may be asleep for the majority of the time while wearing them, night-time aligners are generally considered less cumbersome. However, they may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those who have experienced issues with teeth grinding during sleep—a concern shared with all-day aligners.
Are they made differently from regular aligners?
The variation in the composition of night-time aligners compared to regular aligners depends on the aligner provider. Some providers offer the same aligners but with a different wearing schedule, spacing them out more. For instance, while you might switch aligners every two weeks with all day aligners, you could extend that to four weeks for night-time only aligners.
On the other hand, certain aligner manufacturers provide thicker aligners. Due to their increased thickness, these aligners have the capacity to move your teeth more significantly than regular ones. The advantage of this is that thicker aligners do not need to be as discreet, allowing for more substantial adjustments in tooth positioning.
However, there is a risk that teeth may shift back during the day. While thicker aligners won’t necessarily halve the treatment time, they do enable more substantial progress between each set of aligners, potentially reducing the overall treatment duration.
Margins of aligners are also manufactured differently for example straight or scalloped. The scalloped one follows the contour of gingiva and the straight one is extended beyond the marginal gingiva offering more retention.
How long is treatment time for night-time SA Aligners?
The duration of night-time aligner treatment will consistently be longer compared to using them throughout the day, as explained earlier. The limited time during which the teeth are actively being shifted into their new position (or maintained there) increases the likelihood of gradual regression to their original alignment.
This can be likened to pushing a ball up a gentle hill. Continuous pushing will eventually get it to the top. However, if you opt for more significant pushes with extended breaks in between, there’s a chance it may roll back slightly – a two steps forward, one step back scenario. Heavy continuous forces may also cause bone resorption. Over time, the ultimate goal of achieving a new smile is still attainable, albeit through a different approach.
Are night-time aligners just as effective?
In general, night time clear aligners can be equally effective as those worn throughout the day, granted you adhere to the treatment plan. While longer wear durations are beneficial, it is imperative to strictly adhere to the minimum requirement of 10 hours per night continuously. It’s crucial not to be tempted to cut corners by wearing them exclusively during sleep.
Remaining consistent with the treatment time should yield comparable results, but you may need to exercise patience before progressing to the retainer stage. Moreover, wearing the retainer is essential to maintaining the achieved results and preserving your new smile.
Can anyone use night-time aligners?
When embarking on clear aligner treatment, your initial assessment involves either an in-office 3D scan or a manual putty impression. This assessment provides aligner experts with a snapshot of your current smile and an estimation of the potential success of the treatment. It also helps determine if aligner treatment is suitable for you, as aligners have limitations and may not address all dental issues; some cases may require more intensive treatments.
Concerning night-time aligners specifically, eligibility typically depends on individual needs and suitability. For those suited to aligner treatment, night-time aligners should be an option. While a small number of individuals may be suitable for all-day aligners but may not respond well to the relatively prolonged tenure of night-time aligners, this information is usually communicated during the initial stages. Patients can then decide whether to proceed with all-day treatment if needed.
Do night-time aligners cost more?
With nearly every provider of night-time aligners, opting for this alternative typically incurs an additional cost. This expense can vary, sometimes being a modest amount, particularly with providers offering affordable all-day options initially. Conversely, in certain cases, it may result in an increase of a few hundred dollars in the total cost, especially if you choose a monthly payment plan that includes additional interest charges. The cost is slightly more as the treatment duration is comparatively lengthy and you need more number of aligners.
Generally, a decision must be made – whether to invest in a quicker resolution for your smile with all-day aligners or pay a bit more and wait a bit longer to avoid the constant wearing of aligners throughout the majority of the day.
Why would you choose night-time SA Aligners?
There are several reasons why individuals might opt for night-time SA Aligners over the all-day alternative.
- The primary reason often pertains to cosmetics and confidence. While all-day aligners are nearly invisible and significantly less noticeable than traditional wired braces, some people prefer a more private approach to their alignment treatment. Night-time aligners allow for increased privacy, as they are worn only at home overnight, minimizing visibility to family members.
- Convenience is another factor. All-day aligners cannot be worn during meals or while drinking anything other than water. For those who enjoy frequent coffees or prefer snacking throughout the day, the constant removal and reinsertion of aligners may become tedious. Night-time aligners offer a simpler routine – brush your teeth early, put them in a couple of hours before bedtime, and forget about them until morning.
- Additionally, individuals may choose night-time aligners if their profession or hobby makes all-day aligners inconvenient. While wearing all-day aligners generally has minimal impact on speech, there is an adjustment period. If clarity of speech is crucial in your line of work, initial challenges may arise. Similarly, for individuals engaged in contact sports, wearing aligners that may not fit properly in a gum shield could pose difficulties, potentially compromising the effectiveness of the treatment or causing damage.
If you fall into any of these camps, you might prefer to choose a provider that offers night-time aligners.
Night-time SA Aligners may not be suitable for everyone as they typically involve a higher cost and an extended treatment duration. However, they prove beneficial for those concerned about wearing aligners throughout the day for any reason. Ultimately, night-time aligners can deliver equally remarkable results as the all-day option.
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