How are clear aligners made?

How are clear aligners made

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 15, 2024

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 15, 2024

Suppressing one’s smile is a way of life for some people. Even if they do smile, they typically do all they can to keep their lips together and keep their teeth hidden. According to ADA, 25% of people resist smiling due to the condition of their teeth. If you are one of them you surely have considered braces or invisible aligners to get that perfect smile haven’t you?

But what exactly is the hype about these aligners? And have you ever wondered how these clear transparent trays actually are able to move your teeth into alignment? How are clear aligners made? If you’re considering aligners you surely want to know everything about them. So let’s answer all these questions one by one.

Clear aligners are custom made


Clear aligners are the new way to straighten your teeth without braces. They are removable trays used to move teeth into position in the correct and proper alignment. As clear aligners are removable, the patient can take them out to eat, brush and floss their teeth, but is expected be worn throughout the day. Aligners are made of acrylic or clear plastic material, free of any sharp or hard materials that might irritate the mouth.

They are not the same for everyone and are fabricated and custom made particularly for you by your dentist; following a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth. These clear plastic trays are placed over your teeth and adjusted by the dentist to help move them into alignment. What’s the good part?- They are less noticeable than traditional braces because they aren’t visible when you smile!

How do clear aligners actually work?


Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners don’t require metal brackets and wires. Instead, you’ll wear each tray that fits perfectly in the spaces between your teeth. Your treatment with aligners from start to end is monitored by your dentist with the help of images and X-rays of your teeth.

As soon as your dentist tightly fits the tray onto your teeth; these aligners apply force on the teeth to position them in their correct place. Advanced computer softwares are used to create a plan for repositioning your teeth from their existing locations into the ideal alignment possible. Your aligners are then changed every two weeks as the force takes the teeth closer to their planned position.

Aligners typically take between 9-18 months for results to be seen depending on the severity of your case. During this time you’ll continue to visit your dentist every 2-4 weeks or so for adjustments to maintain proper teeth positioning and monitoring throughout the treatment time frame.

What are clear aligners made of?


Clear aligners are made of polyurethane, which is hard, acrylic, and thermoplastic and are completely BPA-free. This material is resistant to heat and impact, so it can withstand the pressure of your teeth as they move into their new positions. Clear aligners do not require bonding to the teeth, unlike braces, and can be completely removed on your will.

How are they fabricated?


Clear aligners are fabricated in specialized labs but the prerequisites are recorded by your dentist. They involve your dentist and lab technician. With the following mentioned steps, you can get a clear aligner from your dentist, only if you are the right candidate for it.

  • To begin, your dentist takes a correct impression of the teeth to create a mold and develop an appropriate clear aligner that fits well in the mouth, Or get a digital scan and a 3D imaging of your mouth.
  • Your dentist clicks photos of your teeth and mouth. Collecting records is critical for improving the aligners during the manufacturing process and determining that the clear aligners are created properly.
  • In the next step, your dentist takes X-rays to get a complete overview of the health of your teeth to create the right clear aligners.
  • The impressions(or scans) are sent to specialized labs for the production of 3D models. Clear aligners are then fabricated on these 3D models using a thermoplastic resin. This way your dentist delivers the appropriate clear aligner to you.
  • You might have come across the name, “Invisalign “while scrolling on google or Facebook. This brand of clear aligners uses advanced computer software to create appropriate clear aligners. Invisalign treatments prove to have better results and only certified Invisalign practitioners are permitted to deliver aligner treatments. Here, the desired movement of teeth is planned before the treatment, and accordingly, your clear aligner trays are fabricated and custom made for you.

Quality check of aligners

When it comes to your face, you tend to use products that are certified by quality check. Similarly, your teeth also need quality products rather than your DIY’s. A final quality check is performed to assure that all margins, borders, thicknesses, numbering, and arch shapes of your aligners are correct.

Quality check of the aligners do depend on the brands. Properly fabricated trays fit tightly on the teeth; however, too tight aligners can result in pain. In contrast, if the trays are poor fitting, they become loose and may interfere while chewing and swallowing and may not show results. Also, there might be some gap or space present between your teeth and the aligner which indicates inappropriate fit of the aligner during fabrication.

How to wear clear aligners?

How to wear clear aligners?

Have you ever observed your grandparents wearing dentures? They use two fingers to push the denture and press slightly to adapt it into your mouth. Aligners are to be worn in the same way for at least 22 hours a day. It is important to wash and clean your hands before inserting them into the mouth. Using two fingers; push the aligner inside the mouth and apply slight pressure on the last teeth to seat it properly.

  • Make sure to take your aligners out for each meal or snack – eating or drinking; anything other than water might damage or may make your aligners appear yellow and dirty.
  • Make sure to keep them clean and boxed in aligner holders when not in use. If you have made your mind to opt for aligners be ready to take full charge of your oral hygiene.
  • Brushing alone at times may not suffice and you need certain extra measure to keep your mouth healthy.
  • Make sure you maintain your oral hygiene with regular flossing ,bushing twice, tongue cleaning and oil pulling.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal or snack if possible, but if you don’t have a toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water and rinse the aligners under running water before replacing them.

While removing aligners; remember to remove them from the last teeth first and then from the front teeth to prevent breakage of aligners.

Which is the best clear aligner?


There are so many different brands, models, and service aligner companies dealing with clear aligners and promising the best results. In the end you don’t know which one is to be trusted and which one is worth it. Some brands aren’t even clear aligners to be honest and make it look like clear aligners are nothing but DIYs to straighten your teeth without a dentist. You might get attracted to them and it all leads to nothing but confusion. Also, you might have tried clear aligners because your friends got the best results from them. But the truth is, clear aligners aren’t for everyone. And even if it is right for you; the best aligners are the ones supervised and timely monitored by a certified aligner practitioners.

Bottom Line

The future of clear aligners is taking an interesting turn. This new and inventive technology made patients, doctors, and the general public go wow! Clear aligners help you look better, and smile more confidently like never before.

But clear aligners need prior consultation with your dentist before deciding whether or not they can work for you.

If you are considering aligners to get that perfect smile, you should certainly first find out if you are the right candidate for aligners or not. If you’re still confused and looking for an unbiased opinion head over to our DentalDost App and get a consultation by in-house dental experts available 24×7 for you( or you could simple take the self scan on your phone).


  • Clear aligners are easy to wear and more natural-looking compared to braces.
  • Unlike braces, they are made of thermoplastic acrylic material which causes less discomfort.
  • Special computer softwares are used to fabricate clear aligners.
  • Clear aligners require optimum maintenance of oral hygiene. Also, proper care is to be taken while wearing them, removing them, and when not in use.
  • The market is currently filled with many brands of clear aligners. But when it comes to your teeth; no one knows the best other than your dentist.
  • If you are considering aligners to align your teeth make sure you are the perfect candidate for clear aligner treatments to fetch you best results.
  • To get an unbiased opinion on which aligner treatment is best for you reach out to in house dentists at DentalDost or simply self scan your teeth on the DentalDost App
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Author Bio: Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.

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