Clear Aligners

Clear Aligners- What are they and how do they work?

Many people seeking orthodontic treatment today are interested in the possibility of clear aligner treatment instead of traditional braces. There are various reasons for this, but most patients that select clear aligners desire a more esthetic solution versus traditional metal braces and wires. Through direct-to-consumer marketing, patients have become more aware of the various clear aligner products like 3M Clarity aligners, Invisalign, and at-home treatments like Smile Direct Club. At their core, all these products are similar. They are all just clear aligners. So, what are clear aligners and how do they work?

Clear aligners are a series of thermoplastic trays that are custom made to progressively push misaligned teeth into the desired positions. To fabricate the aligners, a digital scan and photos of the patient’s current teeth are sent to the aligner company for processing. The doctor then programs the computer system to move the teeth digitally on the screen until he or she is satisfied with not only the final position of the teeth, but the path they will take to get there. Once the plan is approved by the doctor, the computer system will then divide the movement of each tooth into small increments of the overall planned movements, and an aligner will be fabricated for each of those steps. The aligner company will fabricate the series of aligners and ship them to the doctor for delivery to the patient. The doctor will then bond software programmed tooth colored composite resin attachments on the teeth. These attachments are critical for the overall success of the doctor managed clear aligner solutions. They provide something for the aligner to snap onto or grip throughout the treatment and are an important difference between doctor managed aligners and do-it-yourself aligners like Smile Direct Club which does not incorporate attachments at all. Each aligner is usually worn for one week at a time before progression to the next aligner in the series. Each aligner will then push the teeth a small increment toward the planned final position. Doctors usually deliver multiple weeks of aligners to patients and assess the progress after several weeks where they will deliver the next set of aligners until the planned movements are completed.

Clear aligners are an effective tool that can be an excellent alternative to traditional braces if used in appropriate cases. Skilled and experienced orthodontists or dentists know not to use clear aligners in every case, and patients should be aware that there are cases where clear aligners would be the wrong choice. Patients should expect their doctor to assess their condition and recommend the appropriate appliance to accomplish the desired objectives, even if it’s traditional braces and wires. Part of the doctor’s assessment will be the patient’s likelihood of compliance and ability to consistently wear and change the aligners based upon the plan. Aligner burnout is a real problem, and some patients lack the long-term attention and commitment to proper aligner management for them to be appropriate candidates for aligner therapy.

So, if you’re considering orthodontic treatment and desire clear aligners, be realistic about your expectations. Be honest with yourself about whether you’ll be 100% committed to managing the aligners as per the doctor’s orders. And finally, understand that in many cases, clear aligners are a good approximation of braces, but braces are sometimes needed for a short period of time at the end of treatment for the doctor to confidently finish the treatment to meet their high standards.

If you’re interested in clear aligners, give Weaver Orthodontics a call at (910) 725-3216 or contact us to schedule a free consultation.


Introduction to Orthodontics at Weaver Orhthodontics in Southern Pines, NC

Welcome to Weaver Orthodontics. We are proud to serve the Sandhills area including (Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Aberdeen, Whispering Pines, Carthage, West End, Pinebluff, Cameron, Sanford, and Seven Lakes, North Carolina).

This video is an introduction to the world orthodontics. It covers what education it took for Dr. Weaver to become an orthodontist; which is a dentist that specializes in orthodontics. The video will next highlight some of the benefits of orthodontic treatment and why Dr. Weaver might recommend orthodontic treatment for you or your child. As an orthodontist, Dr. Weaver is concerned not just about the appearance of your teeth, but the proper health and function as well. Dr. Weaver is highly trained to recognize, diagnose, and treat bad bites as well as common cosmetic problems. There are numerous dental problems that could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Dr. Weaver has the training and tools to treat whatever orthodontic problems are present. Whether you desire traditional braces and wires, or clear aligners like Invisalign, Dr. Weaver can help you achieve the improvement you desire. The video will next list some of the common problems that Dr. Weaver looks for, including:

Crossbites, Excessive overjet, Underbites, Deepbites or Deep Overbites, Openbites, Impacted teeth, Bite shifts, Under bites, Improper jaw bone growth, Teeth Crowding, Teeth Spacing or Gaps

Some patients present with one or maybe even many of these problems. No matter the complexity, Dr. Weaver is trained to identify the problems and he has the experience to know how to fix them. Dr. Weaver is board certified by The American Board of Orthodontics. This means he has passed rigorous examinations, both written and oral, certifying that he is qualified at the highest standards of the orthodontic profession. Whether you are an adult with completed growth or a young child with early developing orthodontic problems, rest assured that no matter the complexity, from simple to severe, Dr. Weaver will be able to provide an individualized treatment plan to create not only a beautiful smile, but a functionally healthy bite as well.

Call our office at (910) 725-3216 to schedule a time to meet with Dr. Weaver and discuss your desires for a healthier and prettier smile.


Weaver Orthodontics: A Hometown Family Practice

I’m Dr. Russell Weaver. Prior to opening Weaver Orthodontics I was an orthodontist with the U.S. Army for almost a decade. My military career spanned 21 years of active duty service and included time in the U.S. Navy as well as the U.S. Army.  My wife Jessica and I first moved to Southern Pines in 2005. Since then, the Army stationed our family (now including our two daughters) at Ft. Bragg three different times for a total of 10 years over a 15-year time span. In the second half of 2018, we began the final planning for my retirement from the Army in June of 2019. Jessica and I had been planning for this exciting transition out of the Army for several years, but had expected to purchase an existing practice on the east coast. However, early on in the process of searching for the right practice, it became clear that the available practices were either not what we were looking for or were not in a suitable location for our family to permanently settle. After 6 months of looking at existing practices, an opportunity to start our own practice in Southern Pines began to materialize. An office space was available right in the heart of the Southern Pines business district and next to one of my Army colleagues, Dr. Jose Cangas, a pediatric dentist, owner of The Dental Derby. Our whole family was overjoyed at the idea of planting permanent roots in an area that, in many ways, already had become our home. Things took shape rapidly and Weaver Orthodontics was born right here in Southern Pines in July of 2019. Jessica and I designed and built this practice with local families in mind and utilized as many local products and services as possible in constructing the office. From DAK’s office furniture in Carthage, Not Just Linens in Vass, Legacy Home Construction in Southern Pines, and Luxury Upholstery in Aberdeen, almost every inch of Weaver Orthodontics has been touched by local businesses. We are proud of using local businesses as well as having a family owned practice located in a place we have called home since 2005. Weaver Orthodontics is now the practice of our dreams; a home town family practice dedicated to serving families in the local area.


Initial Orthodontic Financial Consultation

Hello. My name is Randi. I am the treatment coordinator at Weaver Orthodontics. My goal is to help make the process of starting your orthodontic treatment as informative and understandable as possible. I am here to help you from the moment you make initial contact with our office expressing interest in treatment, throughout Dr. Weaver’s evaluative process, during treatment initiation, and beyond.

Our goal at your initial consultation visit is to answer the following questions.

  1. Do I or does my child need orthodontic treatment?
  2. If yes, when is the right time to start treatment?
  3. What does that treatment entail and how long will it take?
  4. And finally, how much will it cost, what will my insurance cover, and what will be my out of pocket expenses?

Dr. Weaver will answer the first three question by the end of your first visit and we will cover the details of his clinical exam in another blog post. I’d like to focus this post on the fourth question because we understand the question of orthodontic treatment costs can be a major source of stress for many people. I want to try to help you know what to expect from me on the financial side of your new patient consultation.

One component of the financial discussion is insurance coverage. Dr. Weaver is a participating provider with several major dental insurance companies including MetLife, Delta Dental, United Concordia Dental, Cigna, and SunLife. The list is growing too. While you may not see your insurance company on this list, please know that Dr. Weaver has a participating provider relationship with other insurance companies. Some of the major insurance companies listed above have relationships with other insurance companies and we are able to offer the same contractual prices.  In my role as treatment coordinator I will ask questions to gather demographic information, as well as questions regarding insurance coverage. These questions allow us to verify orthodontic coverage with the insurance company and help us understand your policy so we can explain individual plan details. Policies can vary between family members, so it is important for us to know the specifics of each policy for each individual. The information we receive from the insurance company helps us inform you of what your insurance will and will not cover of Dr. Weaver’s treatment plan. Our goal is to provide you with 100% of the financial details by the end of your initial consultation visit so you will know exactly what your insurance will cover and what your own out of pocket expenses will be. It will not be an estimate. The quoted price will be precisely what your costs will be for the entirety of Dr. Weaver’s proposed treatment. I will go over the proposed treatment with you and explain every detail of what is included in the costs. I will also discuss with you any discounts available, additional appliance fees, or any other special costs. There will be no hidden fees or costs. By the end of your consultation visit, my goal is to make sure you have all the information you need to make a fully informed decision as to whether you desire to proceed with treatment or not.

I look forward to meeting you and hope I can make your experience with Weaver Orthodontics a comfortable and rewarding one. Do not hesitate to call our office and ask for me, Randi, directly at (910) 725-3216.

Have a great day.