What is Clear Aligner Therapy?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Clear Aligner Therapy or “CAT”. Clear Aligners Therapy (CAT) has gotten a lot of attention over the past 5 years, primarily due to Invisalign’s popularity. They are the most common CAT brand. Dr. Gilreath provides Platinum Level Invisalign as well as our own Gilreath Clear Aligners as services to our patients. They are both great services and both can produce incredible results.
What is Clear Aligner Therapy?
CAT is the process of moving teeth using a series of digitally designed custom made plastic trays that are worn around the clock (except when brushing and eating). They provide light but constant forces on the teeth, allowing them to push teeth into the proper positions without using brackets and wires. The concept of moving teeth with plastic trays has been around since 1971, but not until digital technology advanced in dentistry, was the procedure quick, easy and predictable.
Why choose Clear Aligner Therapy over Traditional Braces?
There are several reasons you may want to choose treatment with clear aligners:
- You don’t want to show metal in your mouth with traditional braces.
- You want to remove the appliances when eating and brushing.
- You want to be able to remove the appliances in social situations, like for a date or a job interview.
- You are afraid of the potential permanent staining of your teeth that can happen if you are not an avid cleaner around brackets.
When is Invisalign not Invisalign?
Have you heard of Kleenex? Of course you have. Kleenex is a brand of bathroom tissues. We could say, “can you hand me a tissue?” but we just as often say “Can you hand me a Kleenex?” How about cotton swab vs Q-tip? Most often we say “Q-tip” regardless of whether you are using that brand or a generic brand. The reason for these examples is the brand name has become synonymous with the product type. This is the same with Invisalign. Invisalign is a brand name of a type of Clear Aligner Therapy. But there’s also Clear Correct, Smile Direct Club and many more.
So, when someone says they want Invisalign, are they asking for the Invisalign CAT brand or are they only asking for Clear Aligner Therapy? It depends on the person. Invisalign is the most popular brand of CAT available. It is also the GOLD STANDARD because of the added features (including tooth movements not possible with all other CAT systems). The manufacturers of Invisalign have put in a lot of time and money into research and development of moving teeth with clear aligners.
When to use our own “In-house” aligners?
Gilreath Clear Aligners can provide excellent results in minor crowding. However, in situations involving more than 5 aligners, Invisalign is usually more appropriate. These are cases that involve very difficult tooth movements and bite issues. The primary reason for this is the use of various attachments that Invisalign uses on teeth for difficult movements. Dr. Gilreath can let you know which treatment approach is better for your particular situation. Likewise, even if you are a great candidate for GCA, if you want the Invisalign brand, we are happy to provide you with that service.
What about Do it Yourself ortho?
As a final note, It goes without saying that Dr. Gilreath nor Gilreath Family Dentistry, does not recommend ANY products on the market designed to straighten your teeth at home without oversight from a dental professional.
This is dangerous on so many levels and we discourage you from pursuing this option. The potential for damage to your teeth and bite is significant. There have been many cases in which people doing home treatment lost teeth, killed the nerve in some teeth, made their bite worse, got “TMJ” issues etc. We don’t think it’s worth getting into these troubles, just to save a few hundred dollars!
To find out more about Gilreath Clear Aligner treatment, please contact us for a no-cost, no obligation consultation.