Meyer Orthdontics in Brookings Blog

How do Clear Aligners (Like Invisalign) Work?

a healthy smile

When you think of braces, you likely imagine a mouthful of metal brackets and wires. These days, however, you can also consider clear aligners, a more flexible and less visible option for your orthodontic care.

You might be wondering why, if alternatives to braces such as the popular Invisalign exist, patients continue to receive brackets and wires to straighten their teeth. That’s because everyone’s teeth and jaw are different and require various types of treatment. While clear aligners might be a great option for one patient, it may not be the best for another.

Let’s find out more!

How do Clear Aligners Work?

With this type of treatment, patients wear a series of removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. Made of a flexible plastic created specifically for this treatment, the aligners are thin, clear, and fit snugly over your teeth.

Patients who have these receive a unique, digital treatment plan that maps out how the teeth move. Then, the aligners apply the right amount of force to the right place, based on the plan. As treatment progresses, your orthodontist will monitor the progress.

What are the Benefits?

The most obvious benefit of clear aligners is that people may not even notice you’re wearing them, since they’re virtually invisible. They’re also very convenient, because you can take them out for eating, brushing and flossing, or for special occasions.

Let’s face it – metal brackets and wires can be irritating and sometimes break. With clear aligners, that’s not something to worry about.

What are the Disadvantages?

Unfortunately, clear aligners aren’t going to be an option for all orthodontic patients. This treatment option works best for those with mild or moderately crowded teeth or have minor spacing issues. For patients with severe crowding, spacing, or bite problems, a more complex and hands-on treatment of traditional braces may be necessary.

For adults who had braces in the past but didn’t wear their retainer,  clear aligners may be a convenient option to return to a straighter smile. (Although it’s cheaper to just wear your retainer in the first place!)

Additionally, clear aligners aren’t as precise as traditional braces. When Brookings patients come to Dr. Meyer for traditional braces, he is able to make smaller, finite adjustments that clear aligners cannot make.

Finally, clear aligners are often more expensive than braces. If you’re considering investing in orthodontics, we offer flexible pricing and a free first consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you’re in the Brookings area and you’re unsure if you need braces or clear aligners, schedule a free consultation with us and we’ll help you determine the best plan of action for your orthodontic needs.