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Vincelli Orthodontics Calgary & Canmore

Invisalign vs. 3M Clarity Aligners: Which is better?

Considering clear aligners to straighten your smile? How do you know which brand to choose? Here, our orthodontists in Calgary & Canmore discuss clear aligners and share the difference between Invisalign and 3M Clarity clear aligners.

Why get clear aligners?

Clear aligners are orthodontic devices used to change the positioning of your teeth. They are made of clear plastic and fit snugly over your natural teeth. As you wear them, they will put consistent force on your teeth, gradually shifting them to their new positions. Clear aligners are an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces for several reasons. They can be easily removed, allowing for convenience during orthodontic treatment. They are also clear and discreet, allowing you to achieve a straighter smile without the appearance of metal brackets and wires.

Today, we will discuss the differences between two types of clear aligners, the 3M™ Clarity™ aligners and Invisalign® aligners.

Invisalign Aligners Overview

To begin the Invisalign process, your orthodontist will capture 3D images of your mouth to create a digital impression of your teeth. These scans will be sent to an Invisalign laboratory, where your new custom-made aligners will be made.

Once your clear aligners have been created, you'll visit your orthodontist so they can check the fit before you begin treatment. Like all clear aligners, you must wear Invisalign for 20 to 22 hours a day, switching to your next set every two weeks. Consistency will help to ensure success during treatment. Invisalign can be used in standard to moderately complex orthodontic cases, and you can expect treatment to take around 12 to 18 months. However, this timeframe will vary from case to case. Your orthodontist will provide you with a complete treatment plan.

3M Clear Aligners Aligners Overview

There are two types of 3M Clarity aligners: Flex and Force. The Flex aligners are made from a flexible multilayer material and are recommended for rotation and proclamation (angled toward the lip). The Force aligners are made from a rigid multi-layer material and are recommended for expansion and vertical movement toward the jawbone.

Much like the Invisalign process, an orthodontist will create a custom, digital treatment plan for 3M clear aligners that predicts how your teeth will move. They will also provide you with an estimate of how long it will take to reshape your smile. A custom-made series of clear aligners will be created and provided to you. Each set needs to be worn for 20 to 22 hours daily, switching to the next set every one to two weeks. The overall timeline will depend on the treatment plan recommended by your orthodontist. Once your treatment is complete, you can enjoy your straighter smile.

What is the difference between 3M clear aligners and Invisalign?

While 3M Clarity and Invisalign are both similar in the way that they are clear aligner trays designed to straighten your teeth, they have some key differences. Here are some of the main differences between Invisalign clear aligners and 3M Clarity aligners:

  • Invisalign aligners have scalloped edges for a natural fit along the gumline, while 3M aligners are often made with straight edges.
  • Invisalign offers the Invisalign First system so orthodontic treatment can begin as early as six to ten years old. 3M Clarity aligners can be used for patients 13 years and older.
  • Invisalign is created with SmartTrack® material, which applies gentle, constant force while allowing for predictability and control. 3M Clarity aligners have Flex and Force options for more or less pressure during treatment, depending on the patient's needs.

3M clear aligners vs. Invisalign–which should I choose?

Both 3M Clarity aligners and Invisalign are designed to make orthodontic adjustments without the use of traditional metal braces. Each company uses different materials for their proprietary aligner designs. They are also both designed to have a discreet appearance.

The aligners you choose will depend on a number of factors, such as the specifics of your orthodontic condition and treatment plan, as well as which type of aligners are offered at your orthodontist's office. At Vincelli Orthodontics, we offer Invisalign clear aligners for teens and adults. We are happy to help you get started with our 30-second smile assessment and an in-office consultation to see if Invisalign might be right for you.

Ready to get started with Invisalign treatment? Contact our orthodontists at Vincelli Orthodontics today to request an appointment.

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