Invisalign vs. Other Clear Aligner Therapy

By Premier Dental of Ohio

cosmetic dentistry

Invisalign is a brand name for orthodontic treatment (straightening teeth) with clear aligners.  Because it is the original and pioneer in the realm of clear aligner orthodontic therapy, its name has become the most well-known term associated with “invisible braces”.  Just as we might use the term Kleenex or Crayon to describe similar things that are not made by those brands, some people use Invisalign to describe other types of clear aligner therapy.  But just because they call it Invisalign does not mean it is actually Invisalign.

Other Types of Clear Aligner Therapy

There are two categories of these other types of clear aligner therapy.  One is guided by your dentist or orthodontist, and the other is direct-to-consumer, or what we call do-it-yourself.

  1. Dentist-Guided

Invisalign’s popularity and success ensure that there will be copycats.  ClearCorrect is the largest competitor to Invisalign, and there are a few others.  While we do not believe these options are as good as Invisalign at creating beautiful smiles, they are not bad options.  Being guided and overseen by a licensed dentist or orthodontist makes them acceptable, in our opinion.  We will elaborate on why they are not quite as good as Invisalign in a later section.

There are also many dental labs that offer their own version of clear aligner therapy.  Most often, these options allow for only minor tooth movements because they lack the complex software required for 3D tooth movement projections.

  1. Direct-to-Consumer

A newer option for clear aligner therapy is direct-to-consumer or DIY.  This includes brands like Smile Direct Club and Candid Co.  What the term direct-to-consumer means is that these companies make clear aligners to straighten your teeth without your seeing a dentist.  While we can understand how tempting it is to skip the dentist, this option is not safe.

We STRONGLY DISCOURAGE all patients from attempting to straighten their teeth with direct-to-consumer or DIY aligners!

Only licensed dentists and orthodontists have the education and training necessary to safely and predictably move teeth.  The internet is full of horror stories of patients who attempt moving their own teeth and end up with teeth that actually fall out!  The savings in cost are not worth the possible complications to which you put yourself at risk by attempting to straighten your teeth on your own.

The reason we keep using the phrase “attempting to straighten your teeth” is that direct-to-consumer aligners rarely achieve the results you want.  Many patients seek our help after attempting to straighten teeth on their own.

Why Choose Invisalign?

There are multiple reasons we think Invisalign is the best choice for “invisibly” straightening your teeth.  Here are just a few of them.

Invisalign has the longest, most successful history of straightening teeth.

Invisalign was the pioneer in clear aligner therapy.  Dentists and orthodontists have been straightening teeth for decades with Invisalign and achieving perfect results.  Over the years, Invisalign has continually improved the predictability of the movements prescribed by its aligners., and only Invisalign is proven to produce the best smile results!

Invisalign has the most dental providers in the world.

Because it has been around for the longest amount of time, and it has the highest success rates, Invisalign is the choice of the most dentists and orthodontists.  There are more Invisalign professionals in the world than any other type of clear aligner therapy.  This means that your local dentist and orthodontist are most likely to prescribe Invisalign for your teeth straightening needs.

Invisalign uses the most advanced technology.

Invisalign’s competitors cannot even come close to the technology used by Invisalign.  From their three-dimensional scanning technology to the treatment software to the CAD/CAM production of the aligners, Invisalign is not just on the cutting edge.  Invisalign creates the cutting edge in clear aligner therapy.

Invisalign provides its providers with high quality education.

Dentists and orthodontists must complete a certification process that involves a high standard of education in order to begin straightening teeth with Invisalign.  Invisalign also offers its providers continual webinars, classes and conferences to improve their understanding of and skills with Invisalign.

Invisalign lab technicians understand orthodontics.

Aligntech (the company that makes Invisalign) employs orthodontic lab technicians with the highest level of skill to work with each dentist and orthodontist on every single Invisalign case.  The lab technicians understand clear aligner therapy and the types of tooth movements that can happen when patients use aligners correctly.  Invisalign also has orthodontists on staff to advise the providing dentists and orthodontists with difficult or complex cases.

Whatever You Do, Do NOT Do-It-Yourself!

Direct-to-consumer clear aligner therapy companies make a lot of promises and seem to offer many advantages over dentist-guided clear aligner therapy.  They are much less expensive, which is the main draw.  On the surface, it seems like you are saving a bunch of money by cutting out the middleman.  But in this scenario, the middleman (the dentist) is the only one who knows how to move teeth safely.

The following list includes a few of the reasons a licensed dentist is an essential part of the teeth straightening process.

  1. The dentist must confirm that your teeth are healthy before any movement occurs.  Attempting to move teeth with large cavities can lead to toothaches and cracking.  Only healthy teeth can withstand the forces required to move them.
  2. The dentist must confirm that your gums and bones are healthy before moving teeth. The mechanism of tooth movement involves changes in the jawbones and gums.  Putting too much force on a tooth or putting the wrong angle of force on a tooth can damage and even destroy the jawbone around it.  This leads to teeth that are loose and at risk for falling out!
  3. The dentist must confirm that your jaw joints (TMJs) are healthy enough for tooth movement. Moving teeth always changes your bite.  Changes in the bite can be harmful to an unhealthy jaw joint.  Moving your teeth without the guidance of a dentist could lead to chronic pain and joint problems in the TMJ.

Are You Interested in “Invisibly” Straightening Your Teeth?

Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule an Invisalign consultation with one of our experts.  We create beautiful smiles with Invisalign every single day!  We would love for yours to be the next.

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