What are refinements and why do you need them during your Zenyum Invisible Braces journey?

10 May 2024

Zenyum aligner case and invisible braces

If you’ve started your Zenyum Invisible Braces journey, chances are you might have heard your treating dentist mention the word ‘refinements’. But do you know what refinements are, what they mean and whether you actually need them? 

Read on to learn more about the reasons why your teeth may not move according to plan and why refinements are necessary.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your treating dentist for medical advice specific to your condition. Zenyum does not provide medical advice and our systems are doctor-directed treatments.

What to expect at the end of your Zenyum Invisible Braces journey

Once you’ve finished wearing the full set of aligners, you’ll upload a few photos of your smile before visiting your treating dentist for a final appointment. Be sure to wear your last aligner set until your dental visit. 

At the end of your clear aligner journey, you may need refinements for some final adjustments to your smile. And to keep your smile in good shape, it’s important to wear retainers to helpyour teeth stay in their newly aligned positions.


Refinements may be prescribed by your treating dentist if there are any additional adjustments to be made. A new set of photos and 3D scans are taken, so that the most accurate model of your teeth is captured. This is used to create a refinement plan by your treating dentist to shift your teeth to their desired places.


Zenyum clear retainers against a blue and green background

After wearing all your aligner sets, your treating dentist will assess your smile to see if your teeth have shifted according to plan. If it has, your treating dentist will recommend that you start wearing retainers to maintain your new smile. 

After all that hard work you’ve put in, retainers can help keep your teeth straight. It’s important to wear retainers as teeth generally take at minimum a year to adapt to their new positions based on the complexity of your case.

Why are refinements required in orthodontic treatment?

Sometimes your teeth may not have completely shifted as planned. That’s where refinements come into the picture – to help move your teeth into their desired positions. This involves wearing additional aligners to correct your teeth, so you can get the smile you’ve always wanted. The process of refining your teeth is different if you’re wearing traditional braces or clear aligners.

Refining teeth movements in traditional braces treatment

For those who opt for traditional braces, the treating dentist will place brackets onto your teeth and attach an arch wire to move them. Minor adjustments are also made during each appointment by bending wires to align your teeth.

Refining teeth movements in clear aligners treatment

Refinements are a normal part of your clear aligner journey and are done to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

There’s a couple of reasons why your teeth may not move according to plan. Some of these include not wearing your aligners for the amount of time required, or if you have naturally stubborn teeth. Other contributing factors include your oral and gum health condition, the presence of a previously traumatised tooth, or your bone structure. 

To move teeth with clear aligners, 3D scans are used to capture an accurate model of your smile. Every aligner set you wear will help your teeth shift gradually to their new positions.

Towards the end of your clear aligner journey, no physical wires are used to make any minor adjustments to your smile. Thus, to move those teeth, additional refinement aligners are printed to help straighten your teeth according to the dentist prescribed plan. 

How are refinements done in Zenyum?

Because we want to help you get the smile you deserve, refinement sets are generally offered in Zenyum to every customer at no additional cost* within the treatment expiry period.

*T&Cs apply.
Infographic of Zenyum's refinements process

At the end of your Smile Journey, the treating dentist will have a final look at your new smile to see if your treatment goals have been met. Your treating dentist may prescribe refinements if your teeth need some help to be shifted into their new positions. 

Here’s an overview of the refinement process in Zenyum: 

  1. Your treating dentist takes 3D scans and teeth photos to produce your refinement aligners. A fee of about S$100 is paid to the clinic for these rescans. 
  2. Then, your treating dentist submits a prescription to Zenyum to create your refinement plan. 
  3. The treating dentist reviews and approves the plan, with the entire process taking an average of 7-14 days depending on the complexity of your case. 
  4. You’ll receive the treatment plan to see how we’ll be transforming your smile. 
  5. Once you approve, your refinement aligners will be produced and delivered to the clinic. This takes an average of 3-4 weeks. 
  6. Visit the clinic to collect your refinement aligners and see if they fit. At your dentist visit, additional procedures like IPR and other minor adjustments may be done if required.

FAQs about Refinements

How common are refinements?

It’s a normal part of any clear aligner journey and they’re needed to help your teeth achieve their ideal final positions. Not everyone needs refinements. However, you may need it to further correct the alignment of your teeth. If you don’t need refinements, your treating dentist will recommend that you start wearing retainers to help keep your new smile straight.

If you’re not satisfied with your smile even after completing your clear aligner journey, please let your treating dentist know. Sometimes, your treating dentist may recommend that you go ahead with refinements as your teeth may not have shifted according to the plan. If you don’t want refinements, that’s perfectly okay. Just let your treating dentist know!

Your refinement aligner sets are generally free if your treating dentist prescribes this within your treatment period*. However, if this happens after the treatment period, you’ll need to pay S$500 to proceed with refinements. 

*T&Cs apply.

A rescan is required to get the most up-to-date image of your teeth. Rescans are done to capture the current position of your teeth so that the treatment plan can be created accurately.

While you’re waiting for your refinement aligners to be produced, please wear your final set of aligners as advised by the dentist. 

If your last set of aligners has broken, kindly seek advice from your treating dentist. They may advise to wear the previous set nightly or purchase a temporary set of retainers. For more information, please get in touch with the Zenyum Customer Care team for administrative assistance.

The listed prices are meant to be taken as a guide – please consult your dental clinic for the exact prices.

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Young girl holding Zenyum aligner case and invisible braces

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