Unless you’ve just woken up from a 20 year sleep, you’ve heard of clear aligner therapy? You haven’t? Well, maybe you know it by one of its trade names: Invisalign.
Invisalign, invented in 1999 has come a long way since it’s initial rollout. It used a series of engineered clear aligners that move teeth in stages. Invisalign is the most widely known brand, but there are multiple options and companies including “in house” versions of clear aligner therapy produced right within the orthodontist’s office.
Does it work as well as braces? It depends who you ask.
When I started working with Invisalign back in 2003, I was a general dentist. Wait…a General Dentist doing orthodontics? You see, Invisalign was sued early on and had to allow ANY dentist to use their product to move teeth. Yep!! You read that properly. Invisalign can be used by folks like me (who went to 2-3 years of specialty training to learn how to move teeth faster and with less complications) or a general dentist who took a two day course. Is it any wonder why every week I see patients who have been told by a dentist that they’re not candidates for clear aligner therapy? But Dr. Krieger, why are so many patients told by actual orthodontists that they aren’t candidates for Invisalign, or that it’s not as effective as braces? To understand, let’s go back in time…
When I was in dental school earning my general dentist’s license, there was virtually no education on orthodontics and Invisalign hadn’t even been invented yet. Even most current dental schools give their students very little tooth moving education. The same holds true for orthodontic residencies. The majority of faculty don’t usually do a lot of Invisalign, so the orthodontic students don’t get to do a lot of Invisalign. As I mentioned above, anyone with the 2 day course can advertise themselves as an Invisalign provider but that doesn’t mean they do much of it or take a lot of education about it. As a matter of fact, I recently learned from an Invisalign representative that half of all orthodontists don’t even perform 1 case of Invisalign every 3 months. Invisalign and clear aligner therapy in general require experience from performing cases and the more you do, the better you get. Usually….
Clear aligner therapy moves teeth beautifully if you’re trained properly to do it. It isn’t something you can just order, give to the patient and expect to see great results. One must get significant training to make it work properly. I’ve taken as many courses and fellowships as I can get my hands on and I’ve even traveled the world to visit the best clear aligner docs to learn from the masters. So, when I set my clear aligner cases up, I’m doing it with all the education and knowledge I’ve invested in my career. That means that I can look any patient in the eye and tell them that their case can be confidently finished with clear aligners. Sure, in some cases (very few) braces can be quicker, but that’s rare in my practice.
Does clear aligner therapy cost more than braces? In our office, we do not charge more for clear aligner therapy. Some offices do, and that’s understandable considering the increased overhead, but we do more than almost any provider in North Texas and we simply don’t want patients to have to decide on their treatment of choice based on price.
So, if you or your child (yes, we routinely and successfully use clear aligners on kids and adolescents in our practice) have crooked teeth and are looking for the smile of your dreams, please go to https://kriegerorthodontics.com and click on the “New Patients Book Now” button on the lower left side. You can also call us at 972-899-1465 or email us at info@Kriegersmiles.com to schedule a free consultation. You can also always reach out to me personally with any questions you may have at my email Doc@kriegersmiles.com.