Both of these brands offer clear, lightweight alternatives to traditional metal braces. They are beloved both by adults and fashion-conscious teens. They are so subtle, your Port Orange orthodontist may be the only person who knows you have them!
You have probably heard of Invisalign® before, while not everyone is familiar with Spark™. Before we get into the differences between them, let’s look at the positives both share – features that make them so attractive.
Pro: The Majority of Patients Can Qualify to Use Them
Kids, teens, and adults can all qualify for treatment. In general, patients will get the same level of results from their clear aligners they would get from braces. Some patients with the most severe misalignments and gaps will need conventional braces to get the results they want.
Of course, younger patients should be mature enough to care for their aligners. At Beauchamp Orthodontics, we always explain our treatments to kids and teens at their level – without talking down to them. That makes it easier for them to get great results, and easier for Mom and Dad to do their job.
Pro: Aligners Can Be Removed for Cleaning and Hobbies
Removing your clear aligners makes it easy for you to clean them and also helps with your dental care routine. Unlike conventional metal braces, it is very easy to floss when you have clean aligners. But most patients will need to leave them in place more than 20 hours a day, so it is crucial not to forget.
Sometimes, kids and teens who are involved in athletics will remove their aligners while they are on the field. This can make it easier to use a sports mouth guard. Mouth guards help prevent trauma to teeth, whether you’re sliding to home plate or absorbing a tackle.
Con: A Damaged Aligner Will Need to Be Completely Replaced
Braces have been used for generations, and there are very few things that can go wrong with them. If you get a bent wire, for example, it is usually possible to fix your braces at home with the right tools. If you need help, your friendly Port Orange orthodontist can usually resolve the issue in just a few minutes.
Because of the advanced technology used in both Invisalign® and Spark™ products, they work a little bit differently. After all, clear plastic aligners are manufactured especially for each patient based on a careful reconstruction of their mouth using three dimensional digital images.
That means if they crack or break for any reason, there’s no repairing them. Since your aligners are made especially for you, even a slight change in shape would completely change the way they work – and that wouldn’t give you the straight, healthy, and beautiful smile you want.
Luckily, all the images used in creating your aligner are kept on file with your orthodontist. So, you can get a new pair made, it just might take a while. As long as you have not been out of treatment for too long, you can easily pick up again right where you left off.
Con: Although Rare, Allergic Reactions Are Possible
Since aligners are made of plastic, it is possible – but very, very rare – for patients to have an allergic reaction. This kind of reaction is almost always mild, but it can cause irritation to soft tissue that’s in contact with the aligner material.
Any time you get started with an aligner, there is an adjustment period of a few days. During this time, you might experience mild discomfort and perhaps even some inflammation. Any discomfort should completely fade within just a few days.
Be sure to tell your orthodontist about any pain or concerns.
Pros and Cons of Popular Braces Alternatives
The most popular aligner brands have made it to where they are today because they are proven to get real results. That said, they are not identical. Both brands use their own special, proprietary technology and materials. And every individual set of aligners is completely unique.
Let’s look at the positive features that are unique to the two major aligner brands – Spark™ and Invisalign®.
Pro: Invisalign® Has Been Around Longer
We know how hard it can be to make the right healthcare decisions for your kids. Parents want to be sure they are getting proven products that will deliver exactly what they claim. In this arena, Invisalign® wins hands down thanks to its much longer history. It received FDA approval in 1998.
Invisalign® is extremely popular and it has been used successfully by millions of people all around the world. Invisalign® aligner systems have “knocked it out of the park” for kids, teens, and adults. Though Spark™ is an increasingly established and respected brand, it launched in 2020.
(In an official release, Spark™ parent company Ormco claims its product is recommended by 100% of patients surveyed.)
Pro: Spark™ Aligners Are More Resistant to Stains
While Invisalign® is the gold standard, Spark™ aligners have some performance qualities that are different – and, potentially, better. Research has suggested that Spark™ aligners are more resistant to stains, which can give them a more natural appearance for a longer period of time.
You might wonder whether stain resistance will really make a difference – and the answer is “it depends.” Tooth enamel is porous, which allows substances to penetrate deeper into it. Staining is most commonly from dark beverages, including the sodas kids love and the coffees most adults can’t do without.
If you are concerned about maintaining the appearance of your aligners, one useful thing to do is to drink from a straw. Drinking from a straw allows your beverage to easily bypass the teeth. Certain dental procedures (like tooth extraction) mean you should avoid using a straw until you have time to heal.
Pro: Spark™ Aligners Are More Transparent
Clear plastic aligners are terrific because they are so discreet. This is more important to some patients than others, but it is a selling point for just about everyone. Thanks to the new and improved technology in Spark™, they can make a credible claim to have the more transparent of the two products.
When it comes to appearance, greater transparency is better. This makes it less obvious that you have an orthodontic product. It also helps preserve the unique light scattering of teeth, which is the main reason they have a distinctly “natural” look compared to most pontics or dentures.
No Matter Which You Choose, Beauchamp Orthodontics Is the Port Orange Orthodontist for You
It can be tough to figure out the differences between Spark™ and Invisalign® from one article. When you visit us here at Beauchamp Orthodontics, you’ll get all the facts directly from Dr. Beauchamp. You can make an informed decision you’ll really be happy with.
Ready to begin? Set a consultation today to get started with your own clear plastic aligners.