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Invisalign vs At-home Clear Aligners

Invisalign vs. At-home clear aligners

Traditional orthodontics, with their metal brackets and wires, have been replaced by clear aligners — a more aesthetic option that can be done in a dental office or at the convenience of your own home. Today, we will be discussing the different types of clear aligners so you can decide what works best for you.

A tale of two clear aligners

Currently, there are two main types of clear aligners available: in-office aligners and at-home aligners. Both aligners are made from vacuum-formed, BPA-free plastic, capable of producing tooth movement. However, the similarities stop there.

Without a doubt, the most well-known in-office clear aligner is Invisalign®. Created in the 1990s, it provides accurate, fast, and comfortable movement of teeth. Before starting your Invisalign® treatment, you must make appointments to complete 3-D scans and take photographs and impressions of your teeth. These pre-journey steps are necessary to fabricate your custom aligners. ‘Buttons’ of composite resin are often placed on your teeth for the aligners to adhere and produce the desired movement. New aligners are received every two weeks for different phases of tooth movement, and you will need to attend regular checkups until treatment is complete.

As you can imagine, between the diagnostic requirements (scans, photos, molds), the successive trays, the additional appointments, and the time and energy spent attending them, it all adds up to a pretty penny. Invisalign® treatment can rack up to on average about $5,000 (and in some cases up to $8,000). This hefty cost is limiting for many who are just unable to afford it, often to the detriment of their self-esteem and oral health.

This is where at-home aligners come in. At-home aligners are a simpler and more affordable option for those who want to fix their smile without breaking the bank. After filling a quick 30- second online test to assess suitability, an impression kit is sent right to your door. Easily take your impressions and mail them back to the lab so a team of orthodontics can make your treatment plan. Once you approve the plan, all stages of your aligners are manufactured and mailed back to your home. These aligners are changed every two weeks and worn for at least 22 hours every day to provide the desired results. The number of trays and treatment time varies for each case, and there are routine check-ups with a dentist or orthodontist who will track your progress. Aside from eliminating the need for in-person appointments and scans and faster treatment time than Invisalign, they are also much easier on the pocket. Most at-home aligners cost no more than $2,500 in total and considering the savings made on time and energy and the convenience of having treatment done at home, it sounds like...

The Better Choice

Half (or less) of the cost of Invisalign, with little to no effort on your part? Seems like a no- brainer to me! Although at-home aligners are not able to correct all orthodontic problems, where they can be used, why not save some time and money, and try them for yourself. You may just have a reason to smile again.

References Hill, A. (n.d.). Clear Aligners: How They Work, Popular Brands & Costs. NewMouth. 1. Swain, E. (n.d.). How Does Invisalign Work? NewMouth. 1. Hill, A. (n.d.). Teeth Straightening Kit. NewMouth. 1. Norris, T. (2018, May 30). How Much Does Invisalign Cost and How Can I Pay for It? Healthline.

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