Let’s do a little history first to know what we are talking about.
Many types of removable appliances were used to orthodontically move teeth many decades before Invisalign treatment came around.
Eventually, labs started manually making clear plastic trays that had certain teeth deliberately offset into an improved position. Then, if a patient wore a series of these trays, we could get the teeth to move in a choreographed manner to straighten the teeth.
The process was very successful.
Invisalign and many other companies have just done this with CAD-CAM technology instead of doing it manually.
The use of Clear Aligner Therapy (CAT) took off like crazy thanks to the success of the process and much marketing.
Suddenly adults that wanted their teeth straightened but would never agree to wear braces had a great option.
Eventually, we found that we could successfully treat teens and most orthodontic cases with CAT.
The advantages of CAT are fantastic and numerous:-
- They look and feel great. But, on the other hand, I’ve found seeing patients of mine socially and not even able to tell if they were wearing the aligners or not.
- They are more comfortable with that option. There are no wires and metal brackets to irritate lips, cheeks, and tongues, just smooth plastic surfaces.
- Clear aligners are much more hygienic. But unfortunately, we have had a few patients who have had to get gum surgery due to prolonged experience with braces as a result of the gums getting very irritated.
- Depending on the company the dentist chooses to use, the dentist can have a lot of control and ‘reboot’ the case as many times as needed to accommodate difficult movements.
One of the most significant advantages most of our patients at Dillon Family Dentistry appreciate is that the cost can be significantly more affordable and provide painless dental care. We use a variety of vendors that all offer comparable products and services. Contains different sliding fee schedules to find a system that can ‘right-size’ the case to the patient.
This can be a considerable advantage, especially when combining treatment with cosmetic bonding, crowns, and veneers. This is a benefit that local dentists and family dentists most commonly deploy. Not only can this save a lot of treatment time, but it can also save money as it would require a less complicated treatment.
Many orthodontists don’t frequently entertain and present all combined therapy options.
Another advantage of combined treatment is that we can often leave the teeth in a more natural smile that would not require as much of a strong need to wear retainers for years.
The disadvantages of CAT are few but can be significant for certain patients:-
- Certain rotations and vertical movements of teeth are very difficult to achieve with CATs. This is where the strong wires and elastics can help put extra forces on teeth to facilitate these movements.
- CATs are also limited in affecting the arch form and take care of horizontal relationships between the jaws.
We are more successful in treating these difficult movements with traditional braces and appliances. These are all great cases that can sometimes be treated successfully with CAT but may require braces.
So, what to do? When to choose whom to see and what option is best for you?
As a general cosmetic dentist in Bryn Mawr, I am more likely to give you more treatment options and different perspectives than you might get from going to an Orthodontist. I did my first Invisalign case over 20 years ago and was doing other forms of CAT decades before that. So, coming to us for a consultation is a great place to start.
Like all disciplines in dentistry, I am grateful that there are specialists that can take care of the most complex cases.
I am more than happy to refer tough cases out. I will even send my orthodontist some cases to be treated with CAT, if I feel that there are levels of complexity that would benefit the overview and skills of a talented specialist.
The challenge is if you start there, you might get presented with one treatment plan while there might be others that would feel more right for you.
So, as you can see, Dillon Family Dentistry is the perfect place to begin your orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign in Bryn Mawr, PA.
We will offer no-pressure consultations and give you all possible options.
Call us at 610-525-5497, and Joanne will take great care of you!
Dr. David M Dillon, DMD
Dr. Dillon is a 3rd generation dentist, his family has been serving the Bryn Mawr area in dentistry for over 50 years.