These days, it seems like everybody loves clear aligners. And why not?
These clear plastic aligners are the “clear alternative” to traditional braces. For the majority of patients, especially adults, they offer comparable results to metal braces. Visually, they are much more subtle – most of the time, only your orthodontist will know you’re wearing them.
Clear aligners can also be a whole lot more convenient than metal braces in some situations.
No matter what brand of aligner you use, you’ll be expected to keep them in for more than 20 hours a day to get the results you want. But you can also take them out whenever you need to. It’s not out of the ordinary to have them out for a few minutes or even an hour at a time.
This can be very helpful in all kinds of day-to-day situations:
- Keeping your clear aligners clean inside and out
- Participating in sports, especially full-contact kinds!
- Eating foods that might otherwise stick to your aligners
When you’ve got braces, it’s important to make some changes in your eating (especially when it comes to candy.) Likewise, it can take a while to get used to cleaning them, even though brushing and flossing are still the same. With a clear aligner, you can adjust to everything a lot easier.
But the top reason clear aligners have become so popular is how they look.
No matter who you are, clear aligners won’t cramp your style. And in most cases, the treatment timeline is about the same as with metal braces – maybe a little bit longer. Only the most severe tooth alignment and gap issues require braces instead of aligners.
Your friendly Port Orange orthodontist will help you decide if they’re right for you.
In lots of cases, even older teens qualify for clear aligners, so there are plenty of people getting started with them every single week. Once you’ve been “cleared” to use your aligners, though, you still have a big question to answer: Which brand of clear aligner will suit you best?
The Two Brands of Clear Aligner
If you’ve been thinking about clear aligners, you’ve probably heard of Invisalign®.
As the original clear aligner brand, Invisalign® has had years to build a reputation: It first hit the scene in 1997. Since then, millions of people all around the world have had the chance to enjoy terrific results.
To use the Invisalign® system, an orthodontist needs to undergo hundreds of hours of training and master the brand’s technology. Dr. Beauchamp is a leading Invisalign® orthodontist in Central Florida. Invisalign® is widely available, but it’s important to choose an experienced orthodontist you trust.
With an expert orthodontist, it only takes a few minutes to get the specialized scans of your mouth that you need for your custom Invisalign® trays. Instead of digital scans, physical impressions of teeth can also be taken, but this means the processing time will be a few days longer.
The main alternative to Invisalign® is called Spark™.
Spark™ is much newer, although the manufacturer (Ormco) has 60 years of expertise in orthodontics. Spark™ clear aligner products received expanded approval to treat young children in 2021. Prior, they were approved for adult use in 2020. The company also has operations in other countries.
When it comes to age and reputation, Spark™ might appear to be the underdog. But it has extremely high quality standards that let it stand toe to toe with the more established Invisalign®. Orthodontists need to complete rigorous training to be able to offer the Spark™ system, too. This ensures better patient satisfaction.
But what’s the difference between the two?
As the patient, here’s what you need to know:
Perks of the Invisalign® Clear Aligner
The Invisalign® brand has a reputation that’s second to none in the world of clear aligners. It not only pioneered the concept but has seen success with millions of patients all over the world. If you feel concerned about having the most proven treatment option available, Invisalign® may meet your needs.
The scanning process for Invisalign® is very quick, as is the manufacturing of the aligners. In some cases, Invisalign® may fit into the family budget better than Spark™. For instance, costs may be lower should your aligners become damaged and need to be replaced.
You can remove your Invisalign® clear aligner any time to eat, clean your teeth or aligner, or play sports. There is a large community of people who trust Invisalign®, so you never have to feel alone during the process. Likewise, you can rest assured that patients just like you have had great outcomes.
Invisalign® aligners are extremely easy to take care of. They have been used for younger patients longer than the alternative, so they have a clearer history and more research showing their ability to help teens with orthodontic worries. For this reason, they may be recommended more often for younger patients.
Benefits of the Spark™ Clear Aligner
The Spark™ Clear Aligner is considered ideal for adult patients. It was cleared for adult use first, so it has a longer history of results in this area. While some orthodontic conditions are too severe for the use of clear aligners, Spark™ has performed well in a variety of situations and has very positive reviews.
The biggest advantage offered by Spark™ is in its next generation manufacturing approach. Although its concept is similar to Invisalign®, it uses technology in new ways. The company claims that its product is more comfortable, less visible, and more resistant to staining than competitors’ offerings.
The aligners provided by both major brands are customized to your mouth’s exact dimensions, but the Spark™ Clear Aligners use smoother, scalloped edges, which can be easier for the patient to get used to. All aligners require a few days of adjustment, but the process could go more easily with Spark™.
If you are a frequent enjoyer of wine, tea, or coffee, then you will appreciate the extra stain-busting power of Spark™. Obviously, significant staining hampers the look of clear aligners since they become more visible. Spark™ is specially designed to prevent this from happening.
Last, but certainly not least, Spark™ may perform better in some orthodontic situations.
Some studies suggest that the TruGEN™ material used in Spark™ provides better contact surface area with the teeth. The overall effect is more efficient and consistent force spread over the teeth, so they’ll reach the desired “treated position” sooner. This has the potential to cut time off your treatment.
For some patients, check-ups with Spark™ are shorter and less frequent than those with Invisalign®.
Which Clear Aligner Option Is Best for You? Get the Facts from Dr. Beauchamp
There’s no “one size fits all” option when it comes to the best orthodontic care in Port Orange. Dr. Beauchamp will be glad to walk you through the possibilities and help you make an informed choice.
Schedule a consultation to learn more or get started.