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Clear Aligners



Invisalign uses a computer modeling technique to create a series of clear plastic aligners that fits over the teeth like contact lenses fit your eyes. They are created to be slightly straighter than your teeth are, so when you put the aligner over your teeth, they nudge the teeth slightly. In two weeks you get another slightly straighter aligner to go the next step. A full series may have 10 or 20 or more aligners. Often you get more than one series to get the best result.

The aligners are clear and smooth and can be taken off for eating and cleaning. They are not completely “invisible” since some plastic shows. Their thickness does affect speech at first, though your tongue will accommodate in short order. Often small tooth-colored “attachments” (like small brackets) are placed on the teeth to give the aligners more control. It takes some discipline to fit the aligners into your lifestyle, since removing them in public for eating and cleaning can be a bit of a hassle (again with the blessing and curse thing).

Don’t doubt that they work, though. Their effectiveness and efficiency rivals regular braces when they’re used in the right situations and planned properly. For more difficult cases, they can be used in combination with other techniques or (since Align loathes the word “braces”), with “adjuncts” (as in “add junk”). The company makes great effort to see that they’re used properly by training general dentists in their use. But a specialist in orthodontics can apply it to a broader range of cases by knowing the limitations of the appliance and having other techniques to incorporate.

For more information about Invisalign, click here.


orthodontist-clifton-nj-new-jerseyWhy I am NOT an Invisalign Preferred Provider


Align Technologies, makers of Invisalign, rewards providers (dentists) of their product with recognition status based on how many cases the doctor has sold over a given time period - like a sales quota. This "Advantage Program" means there is a temptation to recommend Invisalign to maintain one's status even if the case might be better handled with a different technique or by a different doctor.

I even know a doctor (an "Elite Preferred Provider") who has their patient's sign a waiver for expected results (and they do!) just because he knows it is Invisalgin people want, not the best results.

While I like and recommend Invisalign to many people where it is appropriate, I refuse to let their sales techniques get in between your and my judgement about what is appropriate for your case. Therefore, I refuse to participate in their "Advantage Program" and you will not see my name on their preferred lists - ever.




clear-correct-nj-new-jersey-bracesFor many years, Invisalign bullied its way around the industry, making it impossible for competitors to gain a foot hold. And even though, IMHO, Invisalign has the best manufacturing and design process, there are some advantages to the one company that comes close.

ClearCorrect gives a little more flexibility to the orthodontist in making changes to the treatment plan on the fly (like creating new aligners or replacing lost ones), and saves the patient a little bit on lab fees.

They are the David against the Goliath and are worth a look at. Click here

Smart Moves

smart-moves-clear-bracesThere are times when the best may be too good. Like times when you only need two or three aligners for some minor movements. There are a number of labs that create an abbreviated set of aligners for a very reasonable price - savings that I can pass along to my patients. They work terrifically if you know when to use them. Since they use a softer material for every other aligner, they are actually quite comfortable and efficient.

You can see their webpage here

Essix Aligners

essix-plus-clear-aligners-nj-new-jerseyThis is the "first" clear aligner. It is handmade in the dental office. Unlike the other methods that make the whole series from one impression, you need to take a new impression for each aligner (how analog!) Yet, if you lost your retainer recently, and you have to recoup a small movement (people can be sooo picky these days...), an Essix hits the spot. We mostly use them as retainers after orthodontics.

Only the really curious will want to bother with this site, but here you are.


orthodontist-clifton-nj-new-jerseyWe thank our patients for the trust they have put in our orthodontics practice the past 30 years (60 years if you include my Dad and Elaine).
I hope this website earns their trust again.

Barry Raphael, DMD

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