Invisalign vs. ClearCorrect
Orthodontic treatment has seen many positive developments in the recent decade. Gone are the days when the only option to straighten your teeth was metal braces. Today, several types of clear plastic aligners are available. The goal of the clear aligner is to put gentle pressure on the teeth, shifting their position. They are made from a transparent plastic material which makes them invisible in the mouth, unlike traditional metal braces.
Another change in orthodontic treatment in recent years is the number of adults who are seeking it. These days about one-quarter of all orthodontic patients are adult patients. The development of clear aligners might be one reason for the upswing in the number of adults getting orthodontic treatments. Another reason for the increase is the fact that more adults are beginning to realize the importance of a healthy smile when it comes to their overall levels of confidence.
Almost 80 percent of adults who have straightened their teeth stated that it was one of the most valuable transformations they have ever done. More than 90 percent of adults who have straightened their teeth said that straight teeth affected their confidence positively while around 75 percent indicated that they saw at least some positive impact on their life as a result of the teeth straightening.
If you are considering clear braces to correct an issue with your bite or the alignment of your teeth, you have multiple options to consider. Take a look at the two of the more popular clear aligner options available, Invisalign and ClearCorrect, and see which one is right for you.
During Invisalign treatment, you wear a clear plastic aligner over your top and bottom teeth. The aligners gradually shift your teeth, helping to straighten them or change their position so that your bite becomes better aligned. Usually, you wear each set of aligners for 22 hours a day, for five to seven days. After five to seven days, you switch to a new set of aligners. Although treatment time frames can vary, the average person wears their aligners for six to 12 months.
Invisalign’s clear aligners are FDA-approved. They are made of plastic that is BPA- and BPS-free, and that does not contain gluten or latex. This material is called SmartTrack®. It is made exclusively for use in Invisalign aligners, and it is thin and flexible. SmartTrack® is known to provide a more secure and comfortable fit compared to other types of aligner materials.
Invisalign treatment always starts with a consultation with an Invisalign-trained provider. A dentist who provides Invisalign does not have to be an orthodontist, but they have to be a registered Invisalign provider. To be one, the dentist has to pass a comprehensive Invisalign training course and have treated patients with the aligners. The status of the provider is then determined by experience and the number of patients the dentist has treated with Invisalign, i.e., VIP, silver, platinum, diamond and plus. During the consultation, the provider will take either an impression or a digital scan of the teeth to put together a treatment plan, showing the patient “before” and “after” simulation of the teeth movement.
The treatment plan will detail how your smile will change while you wear the aligners. Also, you will find out how long the treatment process will take and how much it will cost. Once you decide to start the treatment, Invisalign will fabricate your custom aligners.
Invisalign Treatment Options:
Invisalign Full: Full Invisalign treatment is the most common treatment option that delivers excellent results and focuses on treating the entire mouth. It includes unlimited aligners and is meant to correct any malocclusion issues from mild to severe, e.g. spaces, open bite, crowding, crossbite, overbite.
Invisalign Lite: Invisalign Lite offers a shorter treatment option suitable for mild malocclusion cases. It includes up to 14 aligners.
Invisalign Express 10: A more affordable option for less complicated ortho treatments. It is appropriate for lesser malocclusion issue like crowding, spacing and may be helpful as a primary treatment to restorative or cosmetic procedures. Invisalign Express 10 includes up to 10 sets of aligners.
Invisalign Express 5, Invisalign i7: Least expensive Invisalign options meant for very minor crowding, spacing issues. Invisalign Express 5 provides up to five sets of aligners. Invisalign i7 includes up to seven aligners.
Although you will most likely need to switch out aligners every week or so during your Invisalign treatment, you will not have to return to the dentist’s office so often. Many people see their provider every six weeks or so for checkups. Patients who have questions or concerns between check-ups are encouraged to call their doctor to discuss their concerns.
After completing Invisalign treatment, patients are strongly advised to wear a retainer to maintain their teeth in alignment. The company that produces Invisalign also produces a line of retainers, Vivera Retainers. They are made of the same material as the Invisalign aligners. Other retainers are available but tend to be made from less durable materials, such as acrylic.
Clear Correct Overview
Clear Correct has many things in common with Invisalign. It is a method of straightening the teeth that involves wearing a clear plastic aligner for a set period. Usually, a person will need to wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day. The aligners are also transparent.
As with Invisalign, Clear Correct treatment requires a periodic change of the aligners. How frequently a person needs to replace the aligner and how many aligners they end up needing during the treatment depends on the severity of the problem and the type of treatment a person chooses.
Clear Correct has three treatment options:
Limited 6: The Limited 6 treatment option provides a patient with six sets of aligners to wear. Usually, Limited 6 treatments are offered for people who only need to straighten their teeth slightly or who want to correct a minor issue.
Limited 12: With the Limited 12 plan, a patient gets 12 sets of aligners.
Unlimited: The unlimited plan provides a patient with as many aligners as needed to correct the issue fully. A patient is likely to see the most significant improvement or most dramatic change to their teeth with the Unlimited treatment plan. This plan also has the highest price tag of any of the options.
The process of starting treatment with ClearCorrect is somewhat similar to the process of starting an Invisalign treatment. First, a person will schedule a consultation with a dentist who offers ClearCorrect. During the consultation, the dentist will make an impression of the person’s teeth. The impression is then sent to ClearCorrect, along with a prescription for the custom aligners. Clear Correct uses a 3-D printer to produce the aligners, which are then shipped to the dentist’s office for the patient to wear.
Invisalign vs. ClearCorrect
Although Invisalign and ClearCorrect are both clear plastic aligners that are designed to straighten the teeth and correct issues with the bite, they are not identical. There are several crucial differences between the two. Understanding the differences between ClearCorrect and Invisalign can help you choose the invisible aligners that are best for you.
One of the perceived differences between Invisalign and ClearCorrect is the cost of the treatment. Clear Correct treatments are advertised to start at $2,000 while Invisalign treatment costs typically are known to start at $5,000. ClearCorrect can seem like the more budget-friendly choice compared to Invisalign, but let’s compare apples to apples.
The $2,000 price tag of Clear Correct treatment is typically referencing the less costly option like Limited 6 which includes just six aligners. The full, unlimited treatment option with ClearCorrect will be much more expensive.
The $5,000 price of Invisalign treatment, on the other hand, is referring to the Invisalign Full, the unlimited option. Thus it is worth remembering that you might get considerably less for $2,000 with ClearCorrect than you would for $5,000 with Invisalign.
With the recent introduction of Invisalign Express 5, Invisalign i7, Express 10 and Lite the price difference is no longer relevant since now the patients have the same treatment options at the same price points available through either company.
Depending on dental insurance you have, there is a possibility that your policy will offer some coverage for either Invisalign and Clear Correct orthodontic treatment, helping to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. Invisalign providers and ClearCorrect providers also often offer payment plans to help make covering the cost of the treatment with clear braces more manageable.
2. Aligner Thickness
Another difference between Invisalign and Clear Correct is the thickness of the aligners. ClearCorrect aligners are made from a slightly thinner material. The lighter material of ClearCorrect aligners may appear to be less visible.
The ClearCorrect’s thinner material can also mean that the aligners are not as sturdy or durable as Invisalign aligners and sharper at the edges. That means they might break more easily than Invisalign, which can interfere with your treatment plan and progress.
3. Comfort in Mouth
The materials used to produce ClearCorrect and Invisalign aligners are not the same, although they might have been at one point in time. Today, ClearCorrect uses a plastic material that Invisalign was using many years ago.
Invisalign has since gone on to develop its own, patented thermoplastic material, SmartTrack®. SmartTrack® was developed after eight years of research and after testing nearly 300 different materials. The material is meant to make the aligners easier to take on and off and more gentle and comfortable when worn in the mouth. Additionally, the material is designed to speed up the treatment time and to improve the results you get from Invisalign.
4. Company Experience and Expertise
Invisalign is the older of the two companies, by nearly 10 years. The company that produces Invisalign was founded back in 1997, and its aligners were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998. By 2001, it had produced around one million aligners. Meanwhile, ClearCorrect was founded near the end of 2006 and received approval from the FDA in 2009.
Invisalign has not only been around longer than ClearCorrect it has also developed — and patented — more processes than its competitors, which help to give it an edge and advantage when it comes to expertise. The company holds several hundred patents that cover not only the material used in its aligners but also the process providers use to map out patient’s teeth and to put together a treatment plan that will offer the best improvement of a person’s teeth.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Invisible Braces?
For the most part, almost any adult with an issue with the alignment of their teeth or bite can be a good candidate for invisible braces. Invisalign and ClearCorrect can both fix the same problems with the bite or alignment of the teeth. A few of the particular problems that invisible braces can help correct include:
Overbite: When a person has an overbite, the top front teeth overlap the front lower teeth. Most people have some amount of overbite, and it is not a problem. An overbite can become an issue when it is severe, and the top teeth are too far forward over the bottom teeth. If that is the case, then a person can experience discomfort in the jaw. The teeth can also become worn because of an uneven bite pattern. Invisible braces help to move the top teeth back, correcting an overbite.
Crowding: Sometimes, a person’s jaw might be too small for all of the permanent teeth to fit correctly. Crowded teeth can overlap each other, twist to one side or another or be pushed towards the front of the mouth or the back. Maintaining proper oral hygiene can be difficult when teeth are twisted or too close together. Brushing and flossing may not be sufficient to eliminate the bacteria between teeth which increases the risk of dental decay or gum disease. Clear aligners can help correct crowding by realigning the teeth.
Gaps and spaces: In some cases, people have space between their teeth, creating small a gap between them. Food can get stuck in the gaps. Some people also feel self-conscious about having spaces between their teeth. Invisible braces help correct spaces and gaps in the teeth by gently pushing the teeth closer together.
Crossbite: In the properly aligned mouth upper teeth cover the lower teeth. A crossbite occurs when some of the lower teeth cover some of the upper teeth. A crossbite can cause excessive wear on the teeth and even lead to chipping or breakage of the teeth over time. It can also contribute to receding gums, which can increase the risk of gum disease. Under the treatment of the experienced doctor, Invisible braces can be used to help correct some types of crossbite by repositioning the affected teeth.
Open bite: When a person closes their jaw, and part of the upper and lower teeth do not come into contact, they have an open bite. An open bite can make it difficult to chew. It can also affect a person’s speech and self-esteem. Clear braces can help correct some types of an open bite under the supervision of the expert provider.
Your Invisalign Dentist in NYC
Which clear aligner is right for you — Invisalign or ClearCorrect? For several reasons, Invisalign comes out on top. They were the first ones to develop and introduce invisible aligners as a treatment for misalignment of the teeth and bite. The company has been working on developing and improving its aligners for the past few decades and now offers one of the most comfortable materials available. The patented material used in Invisalign aligners helps to shorten the treatment by as much as 50 percent. Since the procedure was introduced, more than five million people have corrected their teeth and bites with Invisalign.
At 209 NYC Dental, Dr. Sang (Ben) Ahn is a Platinum VIP Invisalign dentist. He provides Invisalign care and treatment, and completes hundreds of cases annually. Dr. Ahn is a highly skilled diagnostician and a master in creating a proper orthodontic treatment with over 15 years of experience, treating malocclusion with Invisalign. To learn more about Invisalign and to see if it is the right treatment for you, contact 209 NYC Dental to schedule a free consultation today.