Invisalign VS 3m Clarity Aligners…What’s the Difference?
Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Clear Aligners give our patients the freedom to straighten their teeth without the need for metal, or traditional, braces. Are you ready to better your smile? Lets talk about Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Clear Aligners.
We are proud to offer Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Aligners. As experts in multiple brands of clear aligners we are able to offer the option of invisible aligner treatment to our adult and teenage patients.
What do aligners do?
Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Aligners invisible aligners are designed to treat a number of common orthodontic issues, including:
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth (due to tooth loss or irregular tooth development)
- Misaligned jaws (overbite or under-bite)
- Crooked teeth
The Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Aligner treatment system works to straighten your teeth through a series of removable invisible aligner trays. Your aligner trays are based on 3D models of your teeth which we make via scanning your teeth in office. We will use the models of your teeth to guide your teeth into the desired alignment. The aligners are virtually invisible once placed in your mouth. They are also removable and can be taken out during meals and to brush and floss.
For the most effective results, you should wear aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. You will wear each aligner set for one to two weeks, or as recommended. Be sure to never eat or drink anything besides water with your aligners in, as they can stain. To care for your aligners, simply rinse them each night and brush them gently with a soft-bristle brush and toothpaste. You may also use denture cleaner to clean your aligners.
Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Aligners offer many benefits over traditional braces, including:
- Eat your favorite foods: You can eat all your favorite foods without worrying about breaking traditional braces. Just remove your aligners during meals and enjoy.
- Improved oral health: You can still brush and floss your teeth normally without brackets and wires getting in the way.
- Fewer visits to the orthodontist: You will only need to see our doctor for a checkup every six to eight weeks to pick up your next batch of aligners and check how your teeth are tracking.
- Lifestyle: Remove your aligners during recreational sports and other physical activities to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. You can also take them out during social events, making them excellent for patients who experience anxiety about their orthodontic care.
What’s The Difference Between Invisalign® / 3M Clarity Aligners And Braces?
Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Aligners are designed to treat mild to moderate orthodontic issues. For more complex or extensive orthodontic issues, we may recommend traditional braces, or a combination of 3M clarity aligners and Traditional Braces.
The one advantage to 3M aligners over Invisalign is the ability to do a “combination” treatment. 3M oral care portals allow us to track and map out how the combination of clear aligners (typically on the top teeth) and traditional braces (typically on the bottom teeth) will effect your teeth and straighten your smile over time. Combination treatment is an excellent option for patients with severe lower crowding, but less issues on their top teeth.
3M Clarity Aligners also differ from Invisalign in other ways too! Although both aligners are ultimately “clear,” 3M aligners are more low profile. The 3M aligners come in more of a matte “clear color” which make them less noticeable while in your mouth. All aligners require attachments, which are tooth colored bumps we bond to your teeth to help the aligners move your teeth in a faster and more efficient way. These attachments with 3M aligners are more low profile and smaller, and predominantly on the back teeth vs their Invisalign competitor.
What Does Invisalign® / 3M Clarity Aligners Cost?
Your treatment time and costs will vary depending on your needs. Our team will give you a breakdown of all treatment fees during your consultation. To make our treatments as accessible as possible, we also offer flexible financing options. Be sure to ask how we can help you get the treatment you deserve.
Aligners and COVID19, Changes in Protocol
During this (hopefully temporary) period of social distancing and quarantine you may be wondering what do about the clear aligners you are wearing for your orthodontic treatment if you can’t see us for regular appointments.
Keep wearing your aligners as instructed.
Many patients in aligners have several weeks or even months of aligners to wear! If worn properly, treatment can continue moving forward without delays. Depending on how many aligners you have, you may need to pick up more from our office (please call us to make an appointment and we can bring them out to your car for you.) If you are done with all of your aligners, your treatment MAY be complete or you may be ready for a revision scan to create additional aligners to finish your treatment. Until we can see you in the office to assess this and take a scan of your teeth you may have to hold for a time in your last aligner. If this is the case, keep wearing your last set of aligners but only about 8-12 hours per day instead of the usual 20-22 hours. This will help extend the life of these aligners until you can be seen again. It is critical to continue to wear a set of aligners until more aligners can be delivered, otherwise your teeth most likely WILL move, and significant delays in your treatment progress can occur. You should always keep the previous stage or two of aligners and if necessary go back to these until new ones can be made.
Wash Your Hands When Inserting or Removing Aligners and Retainers
Keep your aligners clean and take good care of them.
It goes without saying that you will want to continue practicing good oral hygiene including twice daily brushing and flossing, but cleaning the aligners themselves will help keep you and your teeth healthy. Bacteria and viruses can accumulate on aligners. Brushing them with regular toothpaste for two minutes will usually suffice but additional soaking in an aligner or denture cleaning product or even white vinegar can also help. As always, you should wash your hands before you handle your aligners but also after if you have had your fingers in your mouth to prevent the spread of germs. This is even MORE important now than ever. IF you are out and do not have access to antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content please wait to take your aligners in or out of your mouth until you do. Take care when removing the aligners using good technique to avoid breaking them. In general it is best to start dislodging the aligners from the tongue side and carefully peeling the aligner off, trying flex it as little as possible.
Keep wearing your elastics.
Some patients also wear elastics with their aligners and continuing to wear them as instructed will keep treatment moving forward. If you do run out of aligners before you can be seen and you need to move to 8-12 hours of aligner wear you will then need to wear your elastics the same amount of time.