Invisalign or Aligner Treatment

Invisalign is one of many labs that produce a clear aligner to help straighten teeth.  Dr. Bentele prefers aligners from Clear Correct (www.clearcorrect.com).  Clear Correct is manufactured in the United States instead of Mexico like Invisalign, can be provided at a lower cost and midcourse corrections are easier to accomplish.  Aligners work in a CAD/CAM process.  A computer generated model of the mouth is generated and the teeth are moved no more than a third of a millimeter for each aligner tray.  As the tray is placed in the mouth it squeezes the teeth into a new position over a 3 week period and then a new tray is inserted.  The evaluation process is very important for aligner treatment.  There is a high dissatisfaction level with aligner treatment mainly because of two problems.

1) Overpromising/underperforming.  Aligners can work well for minor treatment cases.  Conventional orthodontics will be a much better choice for more severe cases.  There is a high consumer interest level in Invisalign treatment because of a big marketing budget and a desire for something that sounds too good to be true.  (What did your mother tell you about that?) An experienced orthodontist is your best ally to determine if you are a candidate for aligner treatment or if you would have a better outcome with conventional braces. 

2) The second problem with aligners is the need for 22 hour a day wear.  Even in an appropriate case they will not work unless the patient is committed to the wear schedule.   As long as expectations are reasonable and objectives achievable, aligners can be a great choice for adults who want to improve their smile without braces.


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