If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth, you may have come across clear aligners and Invisalign. You may even have narrowed your treatment down to these two options and are now weighing clear aligners versus Invisalign and which one is best for you.
Let’s take a look at the difference between clear aligners and Invisalign, and the pros and cons of both. Of course, this is general information only, so a visit to your local dentist will help give you advice specific to you.
What are clear aligners?
Clear aligners are a type of dental appliance that gradually shifts teeth into their desired position. They are made from medical grade polymers and transparent plastic materials, which makes them barely visible when worn in the mouth. This gives them the appearance of being ‘invisible’ braces.
The no-show nature of clear aligners are what attracts so many adults to this method of helping correct their smile.
Clear aligners are custom-made for each patient, and come with a series of trays that must be worn in sequence over several weeks or months. Each tray gradually moves the teeth into position by applying pressure to the desired areas. This process happens slowly, which is why they are often referred to as ‘slow-acting braces’.
They are primarily used on adults and older teens, however, some teens may be candidates for clear aligners.
Who is a candidate for clear aligners?
You may be a candidate for clear aligners if you have:
- An overbite or deep bite, where your top, front teeth extend further than your lower front teeth.
- An open bite, which is where your teeth don’t come together when your jaw is shut.
- Gaps or spaces between your teeth.
- Crowded teeth, where there is not enough space for your teeth to develop naturally.
- An underbite, where the lower front teeth overlap your top front teeth.
- A crossbite, which is a little of an overbite and an underbite.
Again, your dentist is the best person to assess if you’re the right candidate for clear aligners. When being assessed for clear aligners, you’ll see digital imaging of what your teeth look like now, their journey with the aligners and what they should look like after your course. This will help you and your dentist to make the best decision.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner.
Yes, but before you say it, while all Invisalign are clear aligners, not every clear aligner is Invisalign.
Invisalign is a clear aligner system created by four, then, Stanford University students. While none of the four were studying orthodontics or had any orthodontic experience. It was Zia Chishti’s idea that there was another solution to braces that led to the idea of the clear aligner solution, now a frequently sought-after option for adults than braces.
Invisalign provides options for adults and teens, with assessment available for eligibility. Like any other clear aligner, you’ll go through a course of different aligners over a set timeline pre-determined with your dentist.
Who is a candidate for Invisalign?
As a type of clear aligner, Invisalign can help correct:
- An overbite.
- An underbite.
- An open bite.
- Crowded teeth.
- Gaps or spaces in your teeth.
Or generally help patients achieve a straighter smile. Invisalign claims more than 14 million people have used their system to date.
Is Invisalign better than clear aligners?
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner, so it may not be a case of is Invisalign the right choice for me, but are clear aligners right for me? Not all patients will be best suited to clear aligners and may need to pursue other orthodontic treatment.
Being assessed by your dentist is the best way to determine if Invisalign, clear aligners, braces or other orthodontic treatment may be for you. While many people are drawn to the lower cost of clear aligners over braces, it may not be the case for your situation. This is why it is very important to visit your dentist to weigh up your options that best suit you and your oral health.
When considering dental treatment options, clear aligners and Invisalign are both popular choices for straightening teeth. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each option before making your decision, as this will help ensure you choose the right type of braces for your individual needs.