Invisalign Clear Aligners vs. DIY Aligners

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) or Do-It-Yourself (DIY) orthodontic clear aligner options are rapidly growing in the Vancouver area, and British Columbia in general. The idea of DIY aligners that straighten your teeth without all the added layers and costs that come with Invisalign clear aligners and professional dentists or orthodontists sounds appealing. Sadly, many patients don’t fully understand what they are signing up for and may be dissatisfied with their results.

Invisalign Clear Aligners vs. DIY Clear Aligners

DIY Clear Aligners: what you need to know

DIY clear aligners utilize a similar technology to Invisalign clear aligners, so it may seem like you’re getting the same thing. But here’s what you need to know – you won’t have the direct care of a professional dentist. You are in charge of your own orthodontic treatment. What’s that mean?

  • Your back teeth cannot be moved with DIY clear aligners – even if they need to be.
  • Attachments that are needed in order to make certain teeth movements possible are not used with DIY aligners. This limits the types of teeth straightening that is possible, and the fit of your teeth in your mouth as well.
  • Minor recontouring of the teeth, which is often important, is not possible.
  • Additional costs are likely if new sets of clear aligners are required.

Here’s what that means for you in plain English.

Attachments – These are tiny orthodontic devices temporarily bonded to your teeth and are crucial in order to make certain teeth movements possible and achieve the best results. Without a dentist, attachments are impossible when using DIY aligners. And your back teeth won’t be moved at all.

Teeth Recontouring – IPR (interproximal reduction) or slenderizing of some teeth is also required for ideal results and straight teeth in most cases. Once again, only a dentist can do this for you.

Additional Costs – Without a dental professional regularly monitoring your progress “in person” and creating a customized plan to your needs, you may require additional clear aligner sets. For each additional set, that’s another additional cost that wasn’t priced into your initial treatment fee. You end up paying more for progress that could have been happening all along.

All the things an orthodontic professional would do to improve your treatment and results – these don’t happen with DIY clear aligner services. They’re up to you. If things aren’t going the way you expected and progress isn’t happening, all you get is a 1-800 number.

Here’s the truth: if you want complete results, your best smile, and straight teeth, you need a dental professional.

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“Moving teeth without in-person supervision can lead to permanent harm.”

-Dr. Chung How Kau*

Invisalign Clear Aligners get you results, faster

Everyone starts with the best of intentions that everything will go according to plan. When things go off course, which they often do, a dentist can help you get things back on track. With DIY clear aligner systems, the best that can be achieved is a call to a 1-800 number. The risk is entirely in the patient’s hands. Orthodontic treatment, just like other dental and medical treatments, should only be done under direct supervision of a professional.

Nothing compares to the expertise of a dental professional when it comes to helping you achieve the great smile you deserve.

We want to help.

Dr. Brawn has over 30 years of dentistry experience in the Vancouver area. We’re the only practice in Canada – let alone Vancouver – to specialize exclusively in accelerated Invisalign treatment, so you can be confident you’ll see results. Proper treatment planning and diagnosis can only happen with direct care and oversight – you get all of this and more as a patient of Dr. Brawn at our downtown Vancouver practice.


DIY aligners gone wrong?

If you started or even completed, a DIY clear aligner program and you aren’t happy with your outcome, we are pleased to offer you a discounted treatment fee to help you achieve your perfect smile. Get a free consultation today.


Invisalign in half the time

If you’re considering DIY clear aligners, the price is probably tempting, we get it. At Dr. Peter Brawn, we believe that everyone deserves a smile they love. We work with each of our patients (and their insurance) to make getting that smile with us as affordable as possible. Even better news, we include necessary refinements (additional sets of aligners) as part of your fee.

Come talk to us – we’ll give you a completely free, commitment-free consultation. You’ll get a simulation of what your smile can look like after your treatment – at no cost to you. We’ll walk you through a treatment plan customized to you and how you’ll get your best smile much faster with us than what the DIY companies offer.

Most of our patients finish treatment within a year – general orthodontic treatment, including other clear aligners, takes 1.5x to 2x longer on average. Don’t waste your time in endless check-ups and waiting around for a great smile – get Invisalign clear aligners in half the time.

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*=Dr. Chung How Kau is the Chairman and Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a colleague of Dr. Peter Brawn as well as an OrthoPulse researcher. Read more about the potential risks of DIY aligners on NBC News.


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