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  • Writer's pictureDr. Mark Feinberg


What Does Invisalign Aligners do?

Unless you have been living under a rock or even on a desert island like Tom Hanks in Castaway, you have probably heard about Invisalign aligners. Align is the manufacturer of Invisalign and has spent an enormous amount of money marketing directly to consumers effectively bypassing doctors. This strategy has been very effective for increasing the profits of Align as a corporation but in too many situations has fallen short in terms of patient outcomes. In our practice alone we see about about one unhappy patient a month that has received substandard aligner care. This care typically is delivered by a general dentist or by a do it yourself(DIY) “aka Smile Club” without any doctor oversight.

There is some good news in all of this. First the good news, it has brought more consumers in to the orthodontic marketplace to seek out orthodontic care. The bad news is that Align has masterfully brainwashed the public on the virtues of clear aligner therapy. It is always a dangerous thing when a company is driving care not the health care practitioner. This is certainly not in the best interests of the patient.

Here are the benefits of Aligner therapy.

For one thing , aligners whether it is Invisalign or SureSmile aligners (plastic is plastic, they both move teeth) are a nice, clear esthetic option.

Secondly, aligners when treatment is planned properly by an orthodontist(a specialist with the knowledge, skill sets, and expertise) can be quite effective at moving teeth with great results.

Let’s consider some of the downsides of Aligner Therapy.

Case selection is very important. Not every patient is a good candidate for aligner therapy and in this situation the treatment outcomes may be disappointing or even damaging. Oftentimes the front teeth look fine but the teeth don’t fit together well. The patient may be unaware of this and years later will suffer the consequences. The removable aspect also has a downside…they can be removed at the patient’s discretion. If the aligners are not worn as prescribed(all the time, except when eating) teeth will not move in the direction planned and so the final outcome will be poor. So cooperation is really really important with aligner therapy. Another issue with aligners is that they just fall short in accomplishing certain types of tooth movements like turning teeth predictably(especially upper lateral incisors) or teeth that are significantly rotated. Also they do not do a great job of moving teeth in certain vertical and angular directions or teeth that require a movement called torque. In the situation just described, braces that are fixed to the teeth do a much more effective, quicker and more efficient job of moving teeth in the directions just described.

Understanding Clear Aligner Therapy 

Clear aligner therapy alone can be very effective and predictable in many situations and it may be right for you. However, when aligner therapy falls short, Mark Feinberg Orthodontics can provide another very effective solution…it’s called Hybrid Therapy. This approach has the benefit of ensuring our patients receive the highest quality of care and predictable outcomes in the shortest amount of time possible. If you are looking for the optimal comprehensive solution, not just the social six(front teeth)than consider Hybrid Therapy.

Mark Feinberg Orthodontics is the only orthodontic practice in our entire Southwestern Connecticut area which can provide this level of care to patients. It’s the perfect marriage of short term SureSmile fixed braces followed by aligner therapy. A sparkling smile and perfect bite await you. In the second part of this blog we will examine Hybrid Therapy in more detail.

Want To Know More About Personalized Orthodontic Care? Call Mark Feinberg Orthodontics Today!

When you are looking for an orthodontist, you want to search for an experienced professional who is board certified, attended the best specialty training program, and is active in their professional organizations and communities. When you meet Dr. Mark Feinberg, you’ll find he is exactly that. He brings that knowledge and experience to his patients, young and old, providing exceptional orthodontic care. Feel free to call us if you have any questions about the information we have shared or if you would benefit from orthodontic care at 203-892-6822. Dr Feinberg will examine your teeth and get you started on the best treatment plan for creating a lasting shining smile.

If you have any questions about early treatment, don’t hesitate to contact our office, Mark Feinberg Orthodontics. Also please feel free to request a copy of our resource guide on early orthodontic care.

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