A few decades ago, anyone needing straight teeth would wear a hallmark metal brace.
But times have changed, and technology has offered up a new answer. Enter the clear aligner market. It’s now so popular, the industry will be worth a staggering $26 billion by the end of this decade.
But when we talk about clear aligners, do we mean Invisalign? Or is that something different?
You’ve probably heard both terms. So to answer that question, we’ve put together this guide. Read on to learn the difference between clear aligners vs. Invisalign.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Orthodontists first invented clear aligners in the 1990s. They designed them as an alternative to conventional metal braces. The thinking at the time was that people wanted a more cosmetically-pleasing option. And that gave birth to the invention of aligners.
The main feature of aligners, of course, is their invisibility superpower. Orthodontists designed them as unnoticeable.
Manufacturers produce them using transparent plastic. And they are custom-made. Each one offers a precise fit for the patient’s unique shape and size of teeth. It’s almost like a tailored suit, measured to size.
The general rule with clear aligners is that they stay on your teeth throughout the day. That’s roughly 20-22 hours, meaning you wear them when asleep. You only take them off for eating or brushing your teeth.
They work in a rather clever manner. The tight fit gently and subtly shifts the position of the teeth to their new, desired place. And every two weeks, you get a new aligner set.
So throughout an entire treatment, your teeth will gradually change shape. They will appear straighter, and gaps will disappear. The result is a straight, neat smile.
It’s easy to see why clear aligners have overtaken metal braces as the orthodontic treatment of choice.
They are more convenient, they look better, and they are practical. They are particularly popular with adults who want teeth straightening but don’t want a brace they associate with teenagers.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign was the original clear aligner of the 1990s. These aligners use the modern technology of 3D printing. It was one of the first examples of this type of technology making it to the mass market.
Invisalign treatment soon became a well-known service. Many dentist surgeries had brochures and display units telling patients about this brand-new technology. It became popular with patients looking for a practical way to give them a better smile.
The key selling points were the invisible brace and the custom fit before and after pictures also made a compelling case to hopeful dental patients.
You wear Invisalign aligners day and night, removing them for eating and brushing. And you change your set every two weeks to help slowly push the teeth into their new position.
Gradually, you’ll start to notice a change in your teeth. And after that, you may find other people see it too. You may even receive compliments.
Invisalign is convenient for busy professionals looking to improve the appearance of their teeth.
They don’t interfere with your day, are easy to keep clean, and won’t be visible. So it’s no surprise this brand has become a worldwide success story in the past quarter of a century.
Similarities Between Clear Aligners and Invisalign
There is considerable overlap between clear aligners and Invisalign. That’s because Invisalign is a type of clear aligner and refers to a brand name with specific technology. But overall, the features are broadly the same.
Both offer an alternative to traditional metal braces. And both are made of clear plastic that you replace every two weeks. Both offer custom fits for the teeth.
And each type of aligner offers the same convenience: removable, comfortable, transparent, and easy to clean.
Differences Between Clear Aligners and Invisalign
Since Invisalign is a brand name, it offers proprietary technology you might not find in other transparent aligner brands. For example, Invisalign provides a technology called SmartTrak. They claim this makes their aligners more comfortable and easier to insert and remove.
You will also find a price difference. As Invisalign is the market leader, other transparent aligner brands may offer a lower price for their product. If you do a price comparison, you must compare like-for-like.
They may differ in terms of timescales, finished results, and whether they include both upper and lower sets of teeth.
Some transparent aligner brands also operate remotely. That means you’ll take a mold of your teeth and send it via mail instead of doing this as part of a dental consultation.
Clear Aligners Vs. Invisalign: Which Are Best?
The benefits of aligners are evident. But is Invisalign better than other clear aligners? The short answer is that it comes down to personal needs and preferences.
Since Invisalign is a leading brand, the technology can handle a broader range of orthodontic issues.
So if you have severe alignment problems with your teeth, it might be your best solution. Plus, the extensive network of experts means there is always a specialist ready to face even the most complex situation.
On the other hand, if your budget is limited, a low-cost aligner brand might be your preferred choice. That could be a good option if your teeth are relatively straight and you only need a little bit of cosmetic improvement.
Some people also prefer remote services, which other brands offer.
However, it’s worth noting that without a face-to-face consultation with a professional orthodontist, you are at more risk of your alignment not working as well as you’d hoped.
If you want the best results, there isn’t a proper substitute for an in-person consultation.
If you aren’t sure about the best option, you could visit our dentist team for a consultation and get our professional advice. With an examination, we can arm you with the assessment you need to make an informed decision.
Getting the Perfect Smile
In the world of clear aligners vs. Invisalign, your perfect smile is the ultimate winner.
Every smile is unique, so why not tailor your orthodontic treatment to suit your needs? Don’t wait – book your consultation with Sing Orthodontics today. Let’s embark on your journey to a healthier, straighter smile together!