Posted on 01/08/2020

When clear aligner orthodontic treatment is discussed, most patients are familiar with the company Invisalign.  Today, there are other companies providing clear aligner therapies, including some "do it yourself" options which will be discussed later.  Invisalign, a forerunner in the industry, began marketing over 20 years and offers a comprehensive option to be used in place of traditional braces.  Many adults seeking Orthodontic treatment prefer this approach instead of the more visible fixed braces.  In its early years, clear aligners had significant limitations on what they could and could not predictably treat.  When used properly and on an appropriate case, the results were very good.  The opposite occurred when applied to the wrong type of case.  In this author's opinion, Invisalign continues to be the leader in the clear aligner market, and has continued to develop and advance its treatment capabilities.  The range of treatment that can be reliably achieved with Invisalign clear aligners has improved significantly over the past 20 years.

Today, Invisalign has treatment options for teens as well as pre-teens.  The advantages include easier hygiene, which is a significant complication with fixed braces.  When braces are not kept clean, there is an increased risk for permanent white scars to form on the teeth around the braces.   Clear aligners can be removed allowing for easier brushing and flossing.  Clear aligners are more comfortable with fewer irritations that can occur with traditional braces.  Patients who are active in contact sports have less risk of mouth injury if hit in the mouth when being treated with clear aligners.   While some parents are concerned about their child's ability to be responsible with the removable aligners, our experience is that the majority of our teen and pre-teen patients do well with that responsibility.  For those who do not, we still have the option to place fixed braces to finish the treatment.

Clear aligner therapy has lent itself to "do it yourself" companies that offer to provide clear aligners with no direct professional oversight of the patient in treatment.   Whenever teeth are being moved in the jaw bone, there are potential risks and complications that can occur with the teeth, the bite, and/or the surrounding gums and bone.  For these reasons, this author does not recommend taking on Orthodontic treatment without the direct supervision of a dental professional.  While the price may seem attractive for "do it yourself" aligners, the old adage that "you get what you pay for" rings true.  This can sometimes lead to the need for more expensive treatment to correct any problem that may occur from participating in this unsupervised care.

The days of Orthodontic treatment being synonymous with "metal mouth" are slowly becoming a thing of the past.  While braces aren't going away and continue to be an excellent treatment option, clear aligners make for a nice alternative to care.  For more information about clear aligner therapy with Invisalign for adult, teen, or pre-teen care, please don't hesitate to give us a call or visit our website at