How Clear Aligners Completely Changed the Landscape of the Orthodontic Industry


The orthodontic industry is one that has encountered major innovation over the years, applying new technologies to help people get the straighter smile that they desire. Although braces have been in use since 1819,  there are newer technologies in the market for correcting malocclusions. One technology that has made a significant impact on orthodontics is clear aligners. To learn more about clear aligners and why they’re such a game changer, let’s take a closer look at how clear aligners have changed the landscape of the orthodontic industry.

After Braces: The Creation of Clear Aligners

While it can be argued that clear aligners were being developed long before the 1990s, they truly made their debut in 1999. Clear aligners were a significant shift away from traditional braces. Rather than requiring your patients to be outfitted with brackets and wires in order to address malocclusions and move teeth to their desired position, clear aligners used a tray system that gradually shifted teeth to where they needed to be. Of course, clear aligners have undergone their own changes in such a short time as well. Now that technology has advanced to provide better dental and orthodontic care overall, you can use this technology alongside clear aligners to help your patients achieve their goals more effectively.

What Are the Benefits of Clear Aligners in Comparison to Braces?

When there are several alternatives to choose from for teeth straightening, understanding how one technology works in comparison to other options can demonstrate why it has had such an impact on the industry. Here’s why clear aligners have managed to be a standout product for patients.

Clear aligners make it possible to clean teeth effortlessly.

Maintaining oral hygiene is not only essential to oral health but for aesthetic purposes as well. Regardless of whether braces are applied to lingual and/or labial surfaces, brushing and flossing can be more difficult for your patients. Clear aligner trays eliminate this difficulty by allowing your patients to completely remove their trays in order to clean their teeth more thoroughly.[1]


Clear aligners are a reliable form of treatment.

Clear aligners are effective at treating malocclusions. Patients want to know that the treatment option they choose to straighten their teeth will work. While clear aligners may be a newer technology than braces, that doesn’t mean that they don’t work. While treatment may vary depending on severity and issue being resolved, clear aligners can help your patients achieve a better smile. Additionally, the sequence of aligner trays to be used is usually planned from the onset of treatment. This is game-changing because it gives patients greater visibility and control over their experience and treatment.

Clear aligners might provide your patients with a faster treatment process.

There are a lot of factors that go into orthodontic treatment, all of which will ultimately determine treatment time. That being said, clear aligners can sometimes be more effective in comparison to braces. Whereas treatment time tended to require around 12 months when clear aligner technology was first developed, some cases may be able to be treated in as few as six months – or even less time.[1] For patients looking to address their malocclusions fast and in such a way that their treatment is not visible, this can be a desirable option.


Modern technology can make the clear aligner process even more seamless.

When one thinks about the process of getting braces, one may typically envision traditional impressions, bonding brackets to teeth, and frequently tightening wires. With clear aligners, patients can avoid a great deal of this process. Impressions can often be taken digitally, with orthodontists designing treatment plans digitally as well[1] – significantly improving how doctors can customize their patient’s aligner experience. Then, with your support, patients wear the trays for their predetermined amount of time, come in for regular checkups to ensure that they’re on track, and continue as expected with very few involved treatment processes. This can be a major benefit for modern orthodontic practices.


There’s a wide range of clear aligner tray options for patients to choose from.

Today’s patient has plenty of options when it comes to clear aligner systems. From those that arrive directly on their doorstep to those that are monitored by orthodontists, patients have greater visibility and control over what the treatment process looks like. Naturally, better outcomes are achieved when clear alignment treatment is supervised by an orthodontist. When one compares clear aligners to braces, it’s clear to see why they’ve gained such popularity among patients and have changed orthodontics as we know it. Braces are still a very effective treatment for malocclusions, but clear aligners can often simplify the treatment process, make it easier for patients to care for their teeth while in the process of straightening them, and may help them expedite the process of treating malocclusions.

Overall, there’s an excellent case to be made for choosing clear aligners for the treatment of malocclusions in your practice, and these helpful tools are likely to be used for many years to come.

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