Investing in the smile you want is about self-improvement and boosting your confidence, which is something, hopefully, that we’re all striving for. Today, it no longer takes a mouth full of metal to get straighter teeth, so more people are considering straightening their teeth with clear aligners. But the investment still isn’t cheap, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve researched the cost, quality, and duration of different treatment options.
Before you get started, there are a few important things to know which will ensure that your teeth straightening goes off without a hitch, and will leave you more confident in the process. Luckily, companies are getting frank about the pros and cons of clear aligners, and are showing people how they truly stand against traditional teeth-straightening methods. Let’s jump right in.
#1: They’re invisible
Gone are the days where people are walking food magnets. Clear aligners are discreet, recommended by dentists all over the world, and that spinach you ate for lunch doesn’t get stuck in your braces for the rest of the day. After a 3D scan or “snapshot” of your mouth, you can get a custom invisible aligner treatment made by real doctors. You can easily remove your custom clear aligners to brush, eat, and drink, whereas, with traditional braces, you’re at the mercy of wires and brackets that restrict what you eat altogether.
#2: More comfortable than traditional braces
Scrap the notion that pain is beauty. Traditional braces have a tendency of pricking you, giving your lips reason not to want to smile at all. Something called a “metal device” doesn’t belong in your mouth. It belongs in a scrap yard, as far away from your mouth as possible. Having invisible aligners means an overall more comfortable experience. In the past, braces were required for more complex teeth and jaw movements, but with attachments and bands, clear aligners can now produce the same results.
#3: Faster than traditional braces
Clear aligner treatment takes about 6 months for most mild cases. This is huge. Twenty short years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to run into someone who wore braces for 2+ years. That’s just “the way things were” if you wanted your teeth straightened, and when invisible aligners were first created, and you wanted your treatment faster, it would come at a price.
#4: You’ll save money
Today, opting into a clear aligner option means saving more money and improving yourself without breaking the bank. When choosing a clear aligner brand, you might consider opting into a treatment that allows flexible payment plans where you can pay for your treatment over time instead of one lump sum. In addition, the rise of direct-to-consumer or dental partnership business models has pushed the price down significantly. Clear aligners now generally cost about 65% less than traditional braces or Invisalign.
#5: It’s a complex procedure (super important)
Plenty of DTC clear aligner companies encourage a “do-it-yourself” model of treatment in which patients take their own impressions at home and never actually see a real dentist. But that doesn’t always lead to the best results. This is what Dr. Jerome Tummillo of Center City Emergency Dentistry in Philadelphia, PA, had to say about the direct to consumer model:
“I’ve had patients that used impression kit companies come to me with poor results and dental complications that could’ve been avoided had they been seen by me first.”
That’s why new upstarts like Orthly and OrthoFX have pioneered a new clear aligner option that blends traditional doctor visits and DTC convenience. These companies understand that teeth straightening is a complex medical procedure and work directly with dentists to give patients affordability, the expertise of a real doctor, and the results that they deserve.
Remember to do your homework before choosing an aligner brand. Find one who uses real doctors, properly reviews your treatment plan with you before starting treatment, and gives you a smile you actually bargained for.