Aligning Teeth: Does one size fit all?

As technology improves, we are now able to do more laboratory work than ever. This means that in-house clear aligner production is increasing. It also means that the number of companies offering Clear Aligners direct is also increasing. We have mentioned before that there are risks associated with having aligners made direct and delivered to your door. Firstly x-rays are often not taken, and as a result, a worrying number of people are having problems during orthodontic treatment because of undiagnosed holes, losing teeth, bone loss and other issues which are more common at the moment because of the problems caused by the Covid crisis.

Direct to Consumer

If you do decide to go to a direct-to-consumer aligner company, be sure to have a thorough orthodontic examination beforehand and from the outset, you must make sure that you have the name of the qualified orthodontist that is overseeing your treatment. It would also be worth shopping around as often the difference in cost may not be as much as you think.


The problem with clear aligners is that any slight contact between the teeth as they are pushed can cause the teeth to stop moving in the way that the aligners are predicting your teeth will move. This is helped by having attachments placed on the teeth. It is also helped by having regular reviews with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth are tracking (moving) in the way that the aligner company thinks your teeth should move. If the teeth become tight, you may not always feel this, but sometimes space is needed between your teeth to reduce the small amounts of pressure that build up and can stop tooth movements.

A combination of clearing the tight contacts and use of attachments are two ways that seeing an orthodontist will be of more guarantee in moving your teeth. If they are not moving as expected, it is not uncommon to need another scan and some new aligners. You may want to discuss how you want your teeth moved, the clear aligner company may not fully understand what the issues are. If you want to have a personalised approach to moving your teeth, an experienced orthodontist can give you guidance as to the likelihood of success but also what the limitations are with different ways of achieving a result. It is important to remember that there is no ultimate way to align teeth and different people will want different results. There is no one size fits all approach.


If you are thinking of having aligners, whether it is Invisalign, Spark, Smile Direct or any other form of clear aligner, it is worth seeing an orthodontist first. Dev and Rob have developed methods for ascertaining suitability to aligner treatments and can offer other options that may suit you even better. You can book to see Carol, our treatment coordinator, free of charge.

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