Seeking discreet teeth straightening but overwhelmed navigating the dizzying array of “clear aligners” inundating the market? Does the gold standard Invisalign feel out of reach cost-wise? What about drifting to direct-to-consumer mail order aligners – can quality and convenience coexist? Could ClearCorrect aligners strike the ideal balance of professional oversight with budget sanity?
In this article, we delve into an in-depth exploration of Clear Correct aligners. We will examine the advantages and drawbacks of using ClearCorrect, discuss the various treatment options available, and provide insights into both the cost and expected duration of treatment. Additionally, we will review customer feedback to gauge user experiences and highlight what sets ClearCorrect apart from other brands in the market.
Who Is Behind ClearCorrect Aligners?
ClearCorrect was founded in 2001 by Willis Pumphrey Jr. to provide clear dental aligners. In 2017, as part of an effort to diversify, Straumann, a medical company with a long history of innovation in dentistry, acquired ClearCorrect. By acquiring ClearCorrect, Straumann entered the market for clear orthodontic aligners, enabling them to offer products across the spectrum of tooth replacement and alignment. The company expanded over the decades into a publicly traded firm comprised of multiple international brands.
PROs and CONs of ClearCorrect Aligners
- A doctor-directed approach
- More resistant to staining
- Cheaper than Invisalign
- Various pricing plans
- Wide range of treated malocclusions
- More durable material that reduces crack or tear propagation
- Follow-up visits to the doctor every 4 to 10 weeks
- More expensive than at-home aligners
- Mixed customer experiences
What Are ClearCorrect Aligners Made Of
ClearCorrect Aligners are crafted from ClearQuartz, a tri-layer material engineered for effective orthodontic control. This advanced material combines two layers of durable polymers with an elastomeric inner layer, ensuring both resilience and the gentle application of force. The outer layers are notably tear-resistant, offering four times the durability of single-layer polymers, while the low-porosity outer layer also aids in stain resistance. The inner elastomeric layer is designed to provide continuous and consistent force, crucial for effective tooth movement, and maintains its force over time. This composition results in aligners that are both robust and efficient in correcting dental alignments.
How Are ClearCorrect Aligners Different?
ClearCorrect distinguishes itself in the orthodontic market through a combination of advanced materials, precision engineering, and patient-centric design. Key features of ClearCorrect Aligners include:
- ClearQuartz™ Tri-Layer Material: This material combines two layers of resilient polymers with an elastomeric inner layer, resulting in aligners that apply gentle, consistent force. The outer layers are highly durable and four times more tear-resistant than single-layer polymers. The low-porosity outer material also enhances durability and stain resistance, while the elastomeric layer ensures continuous force application.
- Force Retention: ClearCorrect aligners retain significantly more of their initial force over time compared to competitors, leading to more efficient tooth movement. This sustained force application supports greater predictability in tooth movement.
- Performance Trimline: The aligners extend beyond the gingival margin and have been clinically proven to optimize force transmission for accurate tooth movement and enhanced root control. They are more retentive than scalloped aligners, reducing the need for retentive engagers.
- ClearControl™ Clinical Features: These features allow customization of treatment with options like engagers, bite ramps, cutouts for elastics, pontics, bars, and guides. This versatility enables the treatment of a wide range of cases, from simple to complex.
- Patient Experience: ClearQuartz material provides improved comfort by applying one-third less initial force on teeth. The aligners are designed for a comfortable fit and are more stain-resistant than leading brands.
See also: ClearCorrect vs. Invisalign Aligners
Who Is a Candidate for ClearCorrect Aligners?
ClearCorrect aligners are designed to address a wide array of malocclusions and dental misalignments. They can move all types of teeth, including molars. The success of these aligners in repositioning teeth, however, hinges on their ability to adequately grip each tooth. This can be particularly challenging in cases involving small or excessively pointed teeth, where establishing a secure and effective grip might be more difficult.
Here are some of the conditions they can effectively treat:
- Crowded Teeth: ClearCorrect can address most cases of tooth crowding, with attachments usually enabling a sufficient grip for alignment.
- Open Bites: These aligners are suitable for correcting open bites, where the teeth do not touch when the jaws are closed.
- Deep Bites (Overbites): ClearCorrect is effective in treating overbites, where the upper front teeth extend too far beyond the lower ones.
- Rotated Teeth: They are capable of correcting teeth that are rotated out of position.
- Crossbites: ClearCorrect can correct crossbites, where some upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth.
- Large Spaces and Existing Implants or Restorations: They can address large spaces between teeth and are suitable for use with existing dental implants or restorations.
- Midline Discrepancies: These aligners can correct discrepancies in the alignment of the midline of the teeth.
ClearCorrect offers a variety of plans tailored to meet diverse dental needs. From minor adjustments to comprehensive corrections, these plans are designed to cater to different levels of orthodontic complexity.
ClearCorrect’s FLEX treatment option is tailored for orthodontic cases that require a relatively small number of aligners, typically fewer than 15, along with 2 retainers. This option is particularly well-suited for addressing minor orthodontic issues, making it an ideal choice for those needing only minor adjustments or dealing with slight relapses from previous treatments. FLEX is also a great fit for single-arch treatments where basic tooth movements are necessary.
FLEX effectively manages minor orthodontic adjustments such as slight arch development or expansion, minor rotations, crowding or spacing corrections, minor midline discrepancies, and subtle tooth movements like intrusions, extrusions, or labial crown tipping.
This plan operates on a pay-per-aligner basis, allowing patients to pay for the exact amount of treatment they need.
The Dental Health Component (DHC) of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) is a tool used by dental professionals to assess the need and urgency for orthodontic treatment. It categorizes orthodontic health problems based on their severity, typically ranging from Grade 1 (minor or no need for treatment) to Grade 5 (very severe need for treatment). The DHC considers various factors such as dental misalignments, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and the presence of open bites.
See also: Review of SureSmile Clear Aligners
The MINI treatment option is specifically crafted for very mild orthodontic cases, offering an effective solution for those needing only a small number of aligners. This plan includes up to 12 aligners plus one revision, perfectly suited for minor orthodontic issues classified within 1-2 of the Dental Health Component of the IOTN index.
Ideal for treating minor relapses from past orthodontic treatments, the MINI plan also focuses on the Aesthetic Zone, or the Social Six, making it great for enhancing visible aspects of your smile. It’s also a go-to choice for minor combination treatments, where a transition from traditional orthodontics to clear aligners is needed.
Designed for predictable dental adjustments, MINI is effective for minor arch development, slight rotations, small corrections in crowding or spacing, minor midline discrepancies, and very minor intrusions, extrusions, or adjustments in proclination or labial crown tipping.
With a flat-rate payment structure, the MINI plan offers a straightforward and budget-friendly option for those with minimal orthodontic needs.
The Straumann Group, the company behind ClearCorrect Aligners, has a history that originates from the 1950s in Switzerland.
ONE treatment option is designed for those with moderate orthodontic needs, fitting cases that require a specific range of aligners—more than 12 but fewer than 24. It’s an ideal choice for conditions that are classified within the 2-3 range on the Dental Health Component of the IOTN index.
The ONE plan is particularly effective for straightforward orthodontic concerns such as correcting simple crowding and spacing issues. It also efficiently handles the reduction of overbites and overjets and is adept at aligning tipped and rotated teeth. Furthermore, it’s useful for reclining proclined teeth, correcting crossbites, improving deep bites, and closing large spaces.
The ONE treatment option offers a flat-rate package that includes up to 24 trays, one revision, and one set of retainers.
The Two treatment option from ClearCorrect is crafted for moderate orthodontic needs, ideal for cases that require a substantial but not excessive number of aligners, specifically more than 24 and less than 48 trays. Falling within the 2-3 range of the Dental Health Component of the IOTN index, this plan adeptly handles moderate levels of dental correction.
Well-suited for tackling moderate crowding and spacing, the Two plan also effectively addresses overbite and overjet issues. It’s capable of making significant corrections in cases of moderate crossbite and is apt for mild to moderate adjustments of vertical discrepancies. Additionally, it’s an excellent choice for closing larger gaps between teeth.
Offered at a flat rate, the Two plan’s package includes up to 48 trays, two revisions, and two sets of retainers.
The THREE treatment option from ClearCorrect is tailored for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic needs, fitting cases that require a comprehensive approach with more than 48 but less than 72 trays. Aligned with conditions rated 3-5 on the Dental Health Component of the IOTN index, it’s designed for a wide range of complex issues.
This plan effectively addresses moderate to severe crowding or spacing, class II and III malocclusions, and vertical discrepancies, including deep bites and open bites. It’s also suitable for more challenging adjustments like anterior and molar rotations, uprighting molars, and correcting a deep Curve of Spee.
The THREE plan comes as a flat-rate package, which includes up to 72 trays, three revisions, and three sets of retainers.
ClearCorrect’s UNLIMITED treatment option is a comprehensive solution, specifically designed for patients with complex and extensive orthodontic needs. This plan offers an unlimited number of trays for a duration of five years, encompassing replacements, revisions, and retainers, ensuring continuous and adaptable care.
Ideal for a wide range of challenging conditions, particularly those rated 3-5 on the Dental Health Component of the IOTN index, UNLIMITED is tailored for cases that exceed the scope of standard plans. It is particularly suited for treatments that involve extractions or address skeletal conditions and is capable of managing complex combination treatments requiring auxiliary tools like expanders or distalizers. It is also equipped to handle difficult tooth movements effectively.
Additionally, the UNLIMITED plan is an excellent choice for treatments that span multiple phases and for patients who might face compliance challenges due to potential interruptions, such as military service, pregnancy, or extensive travel.
|Grade of DHC of IOTN index
|Revisions and recent relapse cases
|Very mild cases
|Moderate to severe cases
|Number of Aligners
|Payment for the exact number of trays (up to 15)
|up to 12 trays
|up to 24 trays
|up to 48 trays
|up to 72 trays
|an unlimited number of trays for 5 years
|Number of Revisions
|unlimited for 5 years
|up to 2 sets of retainers every six months
What The Process Looks Like
The treatment process with ClearCorrect aligners involves several steps:
- Initial Appointment: The first step is to find a ClearCorrect provider and determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the treatment. During this appointment, the provider will evaluate your smile, typically using an intraoral scanner to take dental records and assess your overall oral health. This is also the time to discuss payment and insurance options to make the treatment more accessible.
- Developing Your Treatment Plan: Once your candidacy is confirmed, ClearCorrect works closely with your doctor to develop a digital treatment plan. This plan outlines the strategy for moving your teeth and the specific techniques your doctor will use. Importantly, your doctor can share this treatment plan with you, allowing you to preview your planned smile before starting the actual treatment.
- Beginning Your Treatment: After your custom aligners are prepared, your doctor will check their fit and provide you with detailed instructions tailored to your unique treatment plan. The key to successful treatment is wearing the aligners for approximately 22 hours a day.
- Regular Orthodontist Visits: The treatment requires regular orthodontist visits, every 4 to 10 weeks. During these visits, the orthodontist monitors progress and makes any necessary adjustments.
- Post-Treatment Retention: After completing the treatment, the final stage involves wearing retainers. This is crucial for maintaining the alignment of the teeth and ensuring the long-term stability of the treatment results.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The duration of treatment with ClearCorrect aligners varies based on each individual’s specific orthodontic needs. Generally, the treatment time can range from 12 to 24 months. However, for patients with mild malocclusions, the treatment often progresses more quickly, with many completing their treatment within a shorter timeframe, typically between 12 to 18 months.
How Much Do ClearCorrect Aligners Cost?
The cost of ClearCorrect aligners depends on the specific treatment plan chosen, ranging from the Flex plan to the Unlimited plan. Generally, the price for ClearCorrect aligners varies between $2,000 and $6,000. This pricing positions ClearCorrect as more affordable than Invisalign but more expensive than at-home aligner options like Byte.
Can Insurance Cover ClearCorrect Aligners?
ClearCorrect Aligners can potentially be covered by insurance, particularly if you have dental or orthodontic coverage. Many insurance plans are likely to cover either a portion or the full cost of the treatment, especially when you are under the care of a specialist. However, insurance policies and the extent of coverage can vary significantly.
Does ClearCorrect Really Work? Customer Reviews
Customer reviews of ClearCorrect aligners vary, highlighting a range of experiences with the product. While some users report effective teeth straightening, especially in cases of crowding, and appreciate the regular dental check-ins, others note that the trays are thicker and less flexible compared to Invisalign, which may affect comfort.
Concerns are also raised about issues such as delayed shipping and simpler attachment designs, leading to fit problems with the trays.
When analyzing the strengths and limitations of ClearCorrect aligners, we see a system poised to enable broad orthodontic correction through advanced materials and customizable clinical features. This suggests potential for efficient realignment in capable hands. However, patient experiences reveal inconsistencies jeopardizing outcomes despite competitive pricing.
Specifically, the tri-layer ClearQuartz material and performance innovations like sustained force retention over time and extended gingival coverage indicate engineering rigor that distinguishes ClearCorrect. Highly customizable options ranging from precision cutouts to engagers and pontics also underscore versatility across use cases from simple crowding to trickier malocclusions. Satisfied users confirm effective straightening, especially around crowded anterior teeth.
However, thickness and rigidity issues noted by some highlight production variability challenges that may compromise comfort and seamless fit. While ClearCorrect makes commendable inroads expanding access to specialist-caliber orthodontics, execution growing pains remain. Thus, ideal candidates are those with basic or moderate needs able to comply with the doctor-oversight model to ensure properly fabricated, responsive trays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ClearCorrect Aligners safe?
Yes, ClearCorrect Aligners are safe. They are FDA approved and are free from bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, ensuring they meet safety standards for orthodontic use.
Does ClearCorrect accept insurance?
Yes, ClearCorrect aligners can potentially be covered by insurance. If you have dental or orthodontic insurance, it’s possible that a portion or even the full cost of your ClearCorrect treatment could be covered. However, insurance policies and coverage can vary, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider and discuss the options with your dental office.
Does ClearCorrect fix an overbite?
Yes, ClearCorrect aligners can treat overbites. Their effectiveness depends on the severity of the overbite and the specific treatment plan. For more significant overbites, additional treatments might be combined with ClearCorrect aligners.
Are ClearCorrect aligners cheaper than Invisalign?
Yes, ClearCorrect aligners are typically more affordable than Invisalign, although prices can vary depending on individual treatment needs.
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Alansari, R. A., Faydhi, D. A., Ashour, B. S., Alsaggaf, D. H., Shuman, M. T., Ghoneim, S. H., Linjawi, A. I., Marghalani, H. YA., Dause, R. R>, Adult Perceptions of Different Orthodontic Appliances, Patient Prefer Adherence. 2019; DOI: 10.2147/PPA.S234449. Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6916694/