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Invisalign® vs. 3M Clarity Aligners


For many years, Orthodontists only had one tool to align your teeth, braces. Orthodontists and patients had no other choice. With the creation of clear aligners, that all changed.


Invisalign® was the first company to introduce a clear aligner to the market, and it changed orthodontics forever. This new treatment gave orthodontists and patients a less noticeable option. However, Invisalign® is no longer the only clear aligner brand on the market.


There are well-known companies that back newer brands of clear aligners. 3M produces one of the new aligner systems, called “Clarity Aligners.”


Let's look at the differences between the Invisalign aligners and the 3M Clarity Aligners and why we at Maldonado Orthodontics prefer the 3M brand.


The Difference Between Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Aligners


The first difference between the two aligners is the manufacturers. The company that produces the aligners and the plastics for Invisalign is their parent company, known as Align Technology. This plastic is very rigid and only allows for specific tooth movements.


Conversely, 3M has decades of plastic manufacturing background and uses those impressive manufacturing abilities on the Clarity Aligners. They use two of their plastics, designed in-house, with two different rigidity levels. They can treat more alignment problems than Invisalign® using both plastics.


In addition, Invisalign® has no exclusivity with its product and dentists. They offer their aligners to dentists and orthodontists, no matter their level of skill. Orthodontists are dentists who went to an additional 2-3 years of training in order to learn how to effectively straighten teeth and correct bites. Orthodontists have the training and skills necessary to use these aligners to their fullest potential.


3M Clarity Aligners only offer their products to certified orthodontists that they approve. Like certain tech providers, they only want people with the necessary training to use their technology. This way, you know the person selling you the product has the experience to use the product appropriately.


Effectiveness Comparison of Invisalign® and 3M Clear Aligners

Both aligners can treat various types of tooth and jaw misalignments. If a tooth is not in its proper place, both Invisalign® and 3M Clarity Aligners can move it back to its correct location.


Both systems also use elastics and specific connectors that help attach them to the mouth. However, the similarities end there.


The 3M alignment system allows for the inclusion of other intervention strategies.


Orthodontists can also use the Clarity Aligners in tandem with Braces or InBrace to fix other severe alignment issues. In contrast, Invisalign® systems make it difficult to include separate systems in treatment.


Appearance Comparison of Invisalign® and 3M Clear Aligners


Both aligners are technically clear, so they are tough to notice, even for a trained eye. However, the 3M Clarity Aligners have more options for how the aligner fits. They can cut the edges of the aligners to have a scalloped or straight cut. Straight cuts provide more support for moving teeth, and scalloped cuts fit gums better. Both styles look great and work for the benefit of the wearer.


Once you work through the system of 3M aligners, you only have to wear a retainer at night while sleeping. This retainer makes sure the result you achieve is maintained for life.


Final Thoughts On Invisalign® and 3M Clear Aligners


Clear aligners are an innovative piece of technology that has helped countless people create beautiful smiles that build confidence. Invisalign® is an excellent brand of clear aligners that started the trend and was the first to help people achieve their perfect smiles. However, 3M has provided updates to the clear aligner system.


At Maldonado Orthodontics, we use the 3M Clarity Aligners because they provide an effective solution for correcting both significant and minor alignment issues. Call us today at (504) 455-5581 to see if the 3M Clarity Aligners are right for you!



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