Salt Lake City: 801-272-9900
Smile Ranch

Clear Aligners

- Click to schedule an appointment -

It was a happy day in 1998 when the FDA approved the first commercial clear aligners for orthodontics. Before that, braces were once the only act in town, but they didn’t work for everyone. People with metal allergies couldn’t do traditional braces, and many adults were wary of looking like tin-grinned teens.

When clear aligners came on the scene, it changed everything. Now, people could get the benefits of braces without the allergy risks, inconvenience, or wired-up look. If you’re considering clear aligners as an alternative to braces, we’re here to help you understand more about these amazing orthodontic appliances and whether or not they are right for you.

What Exactly Are Clear Aligners?

They are durable, removable plastic trays that fit over your teeth and apply force. A series of these trays are customized to each patient. As patients progress from one tray to the next (usually about every two weeks), their teeth become straighter and their bite problems are corrected.

What is Invisalign?

You may be wondering if there’s a difference between Invisalign and clear aligners. Invisalign was the first brand of professional clear aligners for straightening teeth. Since Invisalign debuted, several companies have popped up as competitors. However, Invisalign remains the most prominent brand and one of the most trusted by orthodontists.

We love Invisalign because it can handle tougher orthodontic cases than some of its competitors. We also love its SmartTrak system, which makes the Invisalign clear aligners easier to take in and out and more comfortable to wear.

Clear aligners Smile Ranch

Why Should I Choose Clear Aligners?

  • Transparent. Braces are functional, but not everyone likes their appearance. If you’re not up for the braced-up look, clear aligners are the way to go. Most people won’t be able to tell you have anything on your teeth at all. This is what attracts many adults to clear aligners. They may not want to show up to a business meeting or formal event wearing what is widely considered to be a high school “accessory.” Aligners do the same heavy lifting that braces do while still looking consummately professional.
  • Removable. Braces are a major commitment because there’s simply no removing them until you’re done with treatment. People love the flexibility to remove their clear aligners as needed. You can take them off to eat and brush your teeth. You can take them off on those occasions when you don’t want anything on your teeth (like when you have a job interview or gala and want to look like a million bucks). And because you can take clear aligners off to eat, you don’t have to modify your diet like you do with braces. Popcorn, corn on the cob, nuts, caramels, apples—not a problem with clear aligners. You should be judicious about removing your aligners. For best results, you’ll need to wear them for about 22 hours per day, but taking them off for brief periods is fine.
  • Better for oral hygiene. Oral hygiene can take a big hit with braces. Neither your toothbrush nor your floss will have an easy time getting around all of that hardware. That’s why risks for plaque and cavities surge for patients wearing braces. Clear aligners solve this problem because you can remove them when you’re eating. That means food won’t get stuck in your brackets or under your archwire. You can eat, brush, and put your aligners back on without worrying about food residue. Make sure that you keep up with your brushing and flossing regimen and keep your aligners clean, and you should face fewer risks for cavities than you’ll have with braces.
  • More comfortable than braces. If you’ve had braces, you probably remember the metal cutting into the insides of your cheeks and the sides of your tongue. Clear aligners and smooth and gentle. Save your mouth tissue, choose clear aligners. Beyond that, the aches and pains of tooth movement are usually less noticeable with clear aligners. While you will feel some discomfort when you move to a new set of aligners, it won’t likely be as painful as having your braces tightened.
  • Less Maintenance. While braces are more durable than they have been in the past, the brackets are still prone to breaking. And when a bracket breaks, you have to return to the orthodontist’s office for a repair. This takes time out of your busy schedule and puts mileage on your car. Clear aligners are generally lower maintenance. While they can break, this is rare because of the highly durable plastic they are made from.

How Will my Orthodontist Know How to Design Trays That Work for Me?

It starts with impressions, x-rays, and photographs. Using these visual representations, your orthodontist will draw on 3D digital modeling to track where your teeth are and where they need to be. Based on this modeling, your orthodontist will create a series of aligners using 3D printing.

The clear aligners are for overbites, underbites, teeth gaps, and more. They will gradually shift your bite into the perfect smile.

Clear Aligners Orthodontics in Utah

Are Clear Aligners for Adults Only?

Clear aligners for adults are a fantastic choice. In fact, their invention has opened the door for many adults to get the orthodontic care they need. While it used to be that you only saw kids and teens in the orthodontist’s chair, today, about one quarter of orthodontic patients are 18 and older. The low profile of clear aligners has a lot to do with that.

But it’s not just adults that are getting clear aligners. The New York Times reports that between 2013 and 2017, Invisalign sales for teenagers rose by 130%. Today, the number of tweens and teens getting Invisalign is outpacing the number of adults.

There’s even a new product called Invisalign First designed especially for children who need orthodontic care but haven’t lost all of their baby teeth yet.

Clear aligners can help teens who are nervous about the mouth pain or appearance of traditional braces. And they can serve as a valuable bridge between child and teen orthodontic care.

Will My Case Be Too Complex for Clear Aligners?

We’ve heard all the questions: Can clear aligners fix my overbite, underbite, or the gaps in my teeth? After all, they’re just plastic trays?

With the expertise of our skilled team, there’s not much we can’t do with clear aligner orthodontics. However, there are a few factors that may make traditional braces a better fit for your care:

  • Tooth shape. Clear aligners like Invisalign may not be able to get a grip on teeth that are too short, round, or sharply tipped.
  • Tooth rotation/tilt. If your mouth is really crowded, some of your teeth may have had to rotate to fit into place. Other teeth may have had to tilt in or out. If the rotation or tilt is too great, aligners may not be able to move them sufficiently. While we have great success with clear aligners for gaps in teeth, if a gap is really large, aligners may not be the best choice.
  • Former dental work. On occasion, we have had patients with dental bridges that are not compatible with aligners.
  • Intrusion/extrusion. A dental intrusion is when your tooth is pushed into the socket too much and appears shorter than the other teeth. An extrusion is when your tooth is pushed out of your socket and appears longer than the other teeth. Braces are often more adept at raising and lowering the position of the teeth.

Are Clear Aligners Right for Me?

Once your orthodontist lets you know that you’re a candidate for clear aligners like Invisalign, the rest of the decision is up to you. The first question you should ask yourself is if you are willing to wear the aligners for around 22 hours each day. Clear aligners can generally straighten your teeth as quickly as braces can—and sometimes even quicker. But it all depends on your willingness to wear your aligners consistently.

If you are concerned about forgetting to wear your aligners, taking them on and off more than you should, or losing them, aligners may not be the best choice for you. But if you are confident that you can comply with your orthodontist’s recommendations, schedule an appointment to get started.

What if I Clench or Grind my Teeth or have TMJ?

Then you’re in luck with clear aligner orthodontics! The plastic trays provide a great buffer for those who tend to clench or grind their teeth. Most report that they do less of both while wearing their aligners.

And anything that helps straighten teeth, clear aligners included, can help alleviate TMJ. Straighter teeth means greater biting and chewing efficiency and less pressure on the jaw, which can help with TMJ.

How Much do Clear Aligners Cost?

Maybe you’ve dreamed of straightening your teeth in an inconspicuous way with clear aligners, but you have been told that they are much more expensive than traditional braces. Before you write them off, get an estimate for clear aligners in our Salt Lake City, Lehi, or South Jordan offices. Many patients are surprised to discover that the price of braces and clear aligners isn’t that different. Of course, this will depend on the complexity of your case, but clear aligners can be quite affordable.

What if I’ve Already Had Braces?

Many adult clear aligner patients have already had braces. But braces alone don’t set you up for a lifetime of straight teeth.

Orthodontics has evolved over the years, and doctors can now tap into many more resources (better imaging, 3D modeling, etc.) to give you a perfect smile. If you got braces a while back, you may not have been able to achieve the smile of your dreams. Clear aligners can finish the job your original orthodontist started, applying finishing touches that take your smile from good to great.

Another problem is that teeth can drift over time—especially if you haven’t been wearing your retainers regularly. Clear aligners can get your bite back to where it was when you first got your braces off—and often, they can get your smile looking even better.

Talk to one of our Smile Ranch orthodontists to make sure that you are a candidate for clear aligners in our South Jordan, Lehi, or Salt Lake City offices. If you just need a slight tune-up, you may only have to wear the aligners for several months.

Do I Have to Come in for as Many Checkups as I Would with Braces?

Unlike with braces, your orthodontist won’t need to tighten any wires with your clear aligners. However, they will still need to make sure your teeth are progressing as planned and that the next aligner is a good fit. So while you may have a few less checkups than you would with braces, you will still need to visit your orthodontist (roughly every several weeks).

Can I Drink with Clear Aligners in?

Yes, but avoid dark drinks that could stain the aligners (like coffee, red wine, colored sports drinks, etc.). You should also avoid hot drinks that could warp the plastic.

Make sure to brush your aligners with a soft brush and toothpaste at night to keep them clean.

Why Choose Smile Ranch for Clear Aligners?

With more than 25 years in orthodontics, it’s hard to beat our experience. We’ve turned every kind of misaligned bite out there into a masterpiece, and we can do the same for your teeth.

Clear aligners are an art form, and not every orthodontist can use them to achieve the ideal smile. We don’t just look at your teeth alone but consider your entire face to give you a smile that will complement your overall appearance. We marry advanced imaging with sophisticated 3-D modeling to create the aligners that will shift your teeth in all the right ways as efficiently as possible.

Our patients’ smiles are our best form of advertising. A compliment to you is a compliment to us, so we take our work very seriously.

You’ll also appreciate our unparalleled customer service. We’re known throughout the greater Salt Lake area for our kind and accommodating staff. They know that it’s a big step for both kids and adults to get clear aligners, and they’ll do all in their power to make you feel comfortable.

We also offer all kinds of extras like our “Smile Bucks” reward program with monetary incentives for complying with treatment (and even getting good grades in school). And, of course, our free, fresh-baked cookies will always be waiting for you.

If you’re tired of feeling self-conscious about your smile and are ready to explore a hassle-free alternative to traditional braces, contact Smile Ranch today about getting clear aligners in our Lehi, South Jordan or Salt Lake City office.

Smile Ranch Orthodontics

Smile Support Staff

With their extensive knowledge and friendly demeanor, our dedicated Orthodontic team ensures that every patient receives personalized attention and support throughout their orthodontic journey, making the path to a perfect smile as comfortable and smooth as possible. You can trust our exceptional orthodontic team to be your smile’s greatest advocates and partners in achieving the results you desire.

Smile Ranch Google Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stacy Olson

Three out of four kids have had braces through Smile Ranch in Lehi. They have been awesome to work with and have worked around our schedule. Thank you!!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Michelle Williams

We have been using Dr Jensen for a year. It has been a great experience. He is very knowledgeable and takes time to explain to his clients. Great staff and program.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amelia Miyasaki

We love Smile Ranch! Dr. J is fantastic, and the office staff is outstanding! The office is super efficient (three patients in and we’ve never had an unreasonable wait) but we never feel like a number, everyone is so helpful and friendly.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Whitney Rasmussen

Dr. J did my braces a few years ago and I was so amazed with his work. I absolutely love my smile and have received so many compliments on my teeth. I send everyone I know to the smile ranch, including my own kids who have just started braces!! 😁 woo hoo! They also have the best staff and make it so fun. Fresh cookies and rewards for the kids to earn smile bucks that turn into gift cards👍 We love smile ranch!!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Aubrie Haymore

We love Dr. J and all the staff! They are soooo kind and my sons bite has improved and we are so grateful! We love them and I’ll bring all my kids here!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rachel Gardner

I love Smile Ranch! I took my oldest daughter here over a year ago. Her teeth look great. Im now back with my 10 year old daughter and myself. Dr J is extremely good at what he does and his staff are amazing. The most welcoming, loving and positive energy. My daughter has anxiety and Dr J and his staff have been so great to talk with her and explain what they are doing. They have eased her worries. They stay on schedule, but you never feel they are rushing you out their door. They truly care about you as a person and take pride in a job well done. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Emily Chidester

I am on my fourth child having orthodontic treatment from Smile Ranch and couldn’t be happier. Initially I went to three other orthodontics for consults and felt that Dr. Alan Jensen was the only orthodontist with the experienced needed to care for my one of my child’s treatment. We have had traditional braces, expanders, and Invisalign. The care we receive from the doctor and staff each time we visit is wonderful. I know that my children are getting the best smiles thanks to the care at Smile Ranch.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amy Sackett
This is the best place ever! You are so loved everyone is invested on you. It’s the most personable kind environment. And homemade cookies every visit. What’s not to love about that.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Robyn Green

We love Smile Ranch! We’ve had nothing but positive experiences and everyone there is amazing and friendly. It feels like a second home, so comfortable and welcoming.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Betsy Broadwater

I love this office! Dr. Jensen and staff make it so easy! They’re so kind to my family and they do a great job. They’re super easy to schedule with. They have a fun office atmosphere and I love taking my boys in. They know what they are doing and they do it well. They give us (all of us!) cookies after every appointment, the office is nice and clean and we are going to miss coming in here now that boys are getting braces off! … and most importantly, my boys’ teeth look fabulous!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Julie Johnson

Happy, clean atmosphere with friendly staff. We appreciate the care and attention they give. We have been very impressed with Dr. Jensen and the hygienists and their expertise. We have been very happy with the results so far!

Scroll to Top

Salt Lake City
Request Appointment

Call now 801-272-9900 or
Complete the form, and we’ll contact you soon.

Request Appointment

Call now 801-768-2100 or
Complete the form, and we’ll contact you soon.

South Jordan
Request Appointment

Call now 801-254-2700 or
Complete the form, and we’ll contact you soon.