There are currently lots of adds on social media promoting a range of clear aligner products by numerous companies. Several of these clear aligner products offer the convenience of never having to step foot into a dental office and on the surface can appear to be a cost effective alternative to Invisalign treatment. However, lets be clear, not all clear aligner systems are created equal.
We obviously think Invisalign clear aligners are the best clear aligner product available. We have done our own research prior to using Invisalign clear aligners as our clear aligner system of choice. We encourage you to also investigate this yourself so you are happy with whichever option you ultimately choose to straighten your teeth. Here are our thoughts and opinions related to clear aligners.
- Read the fine print
Here are examples from online clear aligner products
“ you are solely responsible for determining the suitability of any of our products or the information provided to you on our Site or otherwise, and your use of those products or information is at your own risk”
“ we take no responsibility for, and will not be liable for the products causing you any adverse effect of any kind”
“Clear aligner therapy is unpredictable. XXXXXXX does not guarantee a successful treatment outcome.”
Don’t like the end result? Too bad. These companies have deemed that YOU are capable of knowing that the product is suitable for your individual circumstances. Unfortunately only a trained dentist can make this determination. There are situations where clear aligners are not a suitable option, or only under strict supervision, here are some examples
Active gum disease. If there is damage to the bone and soft tissues as a result of gum disease, any orthodontic movement could result in tooth loss. This needs to be assessed by your dentist.
Unerupted teeth. Trying to move teeth around unerupted or impacted teeth will not be successful and can even result in damage to the tooth roots. The presence of unerupted teeth can only be assessed by seeing a dentist.
Presence of tooth decay. Holes in teeth will only get bigger if left untreated, until eventually the tooth needs to be extracted. It doesn’t make economic sense to pay for clear aligners, only at the end of it to need a tooth to be extracted because of decay. Better to sort it out prior to treatment, and if an extraction is needed then this can be factored into the overall treatment plan.
- Do the most important part of the treatment yourself
“take your dental impressions from the comfort of your own home.”
The impressions are probably one of the most important parts of the teeth straitening process when clear aligners are used. The clear aligners are made on molds made from the impressions taken of the original teeth. If these impressions are not perfectly accurate, the result can be poorly fitting aligners. The fit of the aligners is important. Tooth movement is achieved by pressure being placed on the tooth on very specific points. With invisalign treatment (and some other clear aligner systems) pressure can also be applied to small “buttons” placed in very specific places on the teeth. If pressure is not placed on the tooth in the correct place due to ill-fitting liners then the planned movement will not occur. This can result in an outcome that is not expected by you. There is also a risk of damage to the teeth and gums.
- Are you straightening all the teeth or just the front teeth
There are clear aligner systems out there that only straighten the front six teeth. These can be an appropriate option in some circumstances, if all you want is to straighten your front 6 teeth. However you need to be aware of the consequence of only moving 6 front teeth. What happens to the tooth next door on either side? You may end up with 6 straight front teeth, but the next tooth probably will not be in alignment with the ones you have just straightened. This may/may not be acceptable depending your individual circumstances, but you should be aware of this before you proceed.
People usually undergo orthodontic treatment because they want the perfect smile. The reason is purely cosmetic. However there are health benefits as a result of orthodontic treatment to consider also. Having straight teeth makes them a lot easier to keep clean, reducing the risk of gum disease. Gum disease can result in early loss of teeth. It has also been shown to increase the risk of cardio vascular disease. Therefore having straight teeth can impact on your overall health.
The cost difference between treating 6 front teeth and all of your teeth may not appear to be so great when you take these health benefits into consideration when choosing which option is best for you.
- Not happy with the end result?
How an unhappy customer is dealt with varies product to product. If you are not happy with the end result and you want more trays, all the products we have looked at will provide extra trays at further cost. When this is taken into account the cost effectiveness of these DIY options is not so attractive.
If you have an adverse outcome you may have no options available to you for rectification.
Undergoing treatment through a suitably trained professional gives you the peace of mind that the treatment prescribed to you has been deemed the most appropriate for you, in consultation with you and taking into account your personal circumstances, needs, wants and clinical evaluation.
With Invisalign treatment we offer refinements (extra trays) at no cost. The price we quote you at the consultation is the price we charge you to get the outcome that both parties have agreed upon. No matter how many trays are required, or how long the treatment takes, or the number of appointments needed. Our aim is to provide the desired outcome, not just supply a certain number of trays.
If you would like to see what the final result will look like before you make the decision to start with Invisalign treatment, we can organise a FREE 3D simulation for you in our surgery. Phone 1300 687 882 Just let us know when you book your simulation that you read this blog post. Book online or call either surgery during business hours.