Aligners

There are several different types of aligner systems in use today.

The best known commercial brand at this time is Invisalign, but there are many others. At Oasis, we even manufacture some custom aligners in-house.

Aligners

The biggest advantage of aligners is their aesthetic appeal. It is important to understand, however, that clear attachments are still needed on the teeth to achieve tooth movement. These look very much like clear brackets.

Invisible braces on green background. Open teeth.

The fundamental difference between aligners and clear brackets is that aligners do not require any wires. Both metal and clear brackets cannot move teeth unless there is an archwire connecting them. With aligners, there is no wire; rather the teeth are moved incrementally: each aligner moves the teeth by a certain distance, and is then replaced by another aligner until the final result is achieved. Depending on the complexity of the bite problem, you could require anywhere from a handful of aligners to over 100. Also bear in mind that some types of orthodontic problems (like deep bites, severe rotations, etc.) may not be corrected predictably with aligners alone, and could require a period of fixed braces as well. At Oasis we call this the hybrid approach.

The biggest challenge with aligner treatment is that the doctor is 100% dependent on patient compliance. Since nothing is attached to the teeth, the doctor has no control over tooth movement – they are completely dependent on the patient wearing the aligners faithfully, 24/7. If you are someone who easily loses items, or misplaces their glasses or contact lenses, aligner treatment may not be for you. Bear in mind that you need to remember removing and re-inserting aligners before and after every meal, and brushing them to keep them clean. You need to be committed, or the treatment outcome will not be successful!

From the perspective of the environment, aligners have the greatest negative impact of all appliance systems, as plastic cannot biodegrade. If a typical treatment plan calls for 30 sets of aligners (30 for the top teeth and 30 for the bottom), there are 60 aligners heading to landfill for every patient. With over 7 million Invisalign patients treated to date worldwide, there are close to 500 million aligners in landfills today, and thousands more being added every week.

Man inserting clear aligners

Compare

At Oasis we want to work with you to determine which appliance system best suits your needs, all the while ensuring that the best outcome is achieved!

Metal brackets

Learn more

Clear brackets

Learn more

Aligners

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AestheticsIcon of a check markIcon of a check mark Icon of a check mark Icon of a check markIcon of a check mark Icon of a check mark Icon of a check mark Icon of a check mark Icon of a check mark
Coloured elasticsYesYesNo
Required complianceModerateModerate100%
Predictability of outcomeHighHighVariable
Environmental impactMild; will eventually degradeMild; will eventually degradeSevere; plastics do not degrade
Risk of breakageMinimalMay fractureCan break and be lost
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