Do Clear Aligners Really Work to Straighten Teeth?

Clear aligners can help patients of all ages to straighten their teeth

Invisible aligners work impressively well when it comes to fixing your smile comfortably. One thing is for sure -not everyone can have treatment at home with their clear aligners mailed to them. It is undeniably true that Invisalign treatment is much easier than conventional braces, but it is still an orthodontic procedure and needs the eye of an expert.

At-home straighteners also go under the control of a doctor, with the difference that this happens via online meetings. An orthodontist does supervise your improvements and any inconvenience you may have. Some providers even offer a hybrid method.

Very well, then, but are clear aligners reliable? Is Invisalign better than braces? The first one is easy, yes! If your dental expert gives you the green light to submit to this type of orthodontic treatment, you can trust you’ll see results sooner than later.

The second answer is a little larger since many factors intervene in the process of straightening your smile and correcting your denture. It goes far beyond the looks, though this is important, too. Clear aligners are proven to correct a wide range of oral health issues, like

  • Malocclusion;
  • Overbite;
  • Underbite;
  • Spacing problems like gap teeth;
  • Mildly crooked teeth;
  • Mildly crowded teeth.

Clear Aligners vs. Traditional Braces

How can clear aligners fix your teeth? Step one is to examine your smile goals and problems and 3D-scan your denture. Step two is to design your first mold. The third step would be to learn how to wear the appliance. The final step is a checkup with your orthodontist to see how are you and your mandibles adjusting. After this, you should get new molds every two to three weeks to follow up on the teeth’ movement.

However, acrylic aligners cannot solve every problem. Some issues may require the assistance of traditional metal braces. Your Ann Arbor orthodontist will guide you on this, and you can find a treatment plan that suits your esthetic and medical goals.

If you are skeptical about the whole new technology thing and the results that can be achieved, it can be a good thing for you to know more about the materials and super-specialized tech that makes it all possible.

Molds are made of perfectly transparent acrylic resistant enough to last until you have to change to the next ones. They are 3D printed with the exact shape to fit your denture and yet precise enough to move your teeth. Most providers, like Invisalign, have their materials under a patent.

The 3D scan is a device you can witness face-to-face since it will thoroughly go in your mouth tooth by tooth. With the scan process, you can even see a realistic 3D design of the appearance your smile will have by the end of the treatment. The one used by Invisalign is called iTero Element; check it out.

In-Office and At-Home Clear Aligners

Let’s revise some basic differences along with the pros and cons that you will need to make an informed decision. These are decisive factors you have to take into consideration.

At-home or Mail-in Aligners

This a very practical option for people that travel much, so if you are the working-nomad type, this concerns you.

This alternative may seem riskier than the typical dental visit treatment and it doesn’t have to be this way as long as you make sure you are contacting a reliable team with reviews and testimony from other patients. Check if they mention the materials they use.

With this modality, you get to meet your doctor in an online meeting and you’ll receive your molds via mail to your address. It’s not unusual if your providers send you a 3D digital scan device since this is a very important part of the treatment.

We recommend a service that can include emergency visits to the dental practice in case anything goes wrong. It’s good to have the option.

Mail-in dental aligners can bring great results without having to move to your doctor’s office every three weeks. Follow the instructions carefully, and you shall show your new smile soon enough!

In-Office Invisalign Treatment

It’s not news that visiting the dental office is still the most trustworthy and effective modality. Again, mail-in treatment works, but can it be compared to meeting your orthodontist in person and having them see by themselves?

We mentioned that not every orthodontic patient can be treated from their home. Some cases require a close follow-up. Severe cases of overbite, underbite, and malocclusions show better results when there is a closer relationship between the patient and the orthodontist.

This is why we always recommend hybrid treatments, at least, and make sure your doctor is a state-licensed dentist.

Pros and Cons of Clear Alignment Systems

Time to address the pros and cons of each system. Our criteria are based on the specifications of different invisible aligner brands and providers.


If you are looking for a track record and good reviews, Invisalign is the best brand you can choose for your orthodontic treatment.

Pros: Invisalign has the technology and the experience to provide your doctor with effective and reliable scan systems as well as technical and customer support almost all around the world (definitely in Michigan too).

Cons: Since it is one of the first and most famous brands making clear aligners, their aligners can sometimes be a little expensive in comparison to others. You can contact insurance, though.


This brand offers mail-in/at-home service.

Pros: They have the more conventional treatment in which you need continuous wear of 22 hours per day, and they also have the At-Night aligner system in which you get to wear your dental aligners for at least 10 hrs. continuously.

Cons: Their process is 100% remote. This would be a pro for some, but we think it depends on you. With Byte, you’ll have to print your molds at home for your custom treatment plan. They’ll send you the impression kit.

Choose Your Treatment Today With Our Ann Arbor Orthodontist

Easily schedule an appointment in our Ann Arbor dental practice and see which treatment plan adjusts better to your goals and your teeth at SBK Orthodontics.