When Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen hit the market, they were revolutionary. It was the first time patients could really straighten their teeth without braces. It was also the only option for clear aligners for quite a while. Though I still offer Invisalign and I’ve perfected thousands of smiles with the treatment, I’ve expanded the clear aligner offerings here at Fresh Orthodontics.
Now, I’m a Brooklyn Spark clear aligners provider. This Invisalign alternative gives my patients another option to choose. The high-tech aligner system fits with my mission to achieve excellent results comfortably, efficiently, and conveniently. If you’re not familiar with the Spark™ clear aligner system, you’re in luck, because I’ll be covering everything you need to know about this smile solution.
What are Spark Aligners?
Spark clear aligners come from Ormco™, a company that has been making orthodontic supplies and solutions for the past 60 years. The aligners are crafted with a new clear aligner material called TruGEN™. Free of BPA, mercury, phthalate and latex, TruGEN stains less and is more transparent, making Spark aligners less noticeable than the other clear aligners on the market.
How do Spark orthodontic aligners work? I design your treatment plan on a 3D model of your mouth using cutting-edge software. I can even show you what your new smile will look like before you start treatment. I send my specifications to the Ormco lab and a series of custom aligners is created just for you.
Each set of Spark aligners is unique and pre-programmed to achieve specific tooth movements. You’ll wear your aligners for about 22 hours per day and, as you do, they’ll exert gentle, sustained force to incrementally move the teeth into place. You’ll change to a new tray every week, and your smile will gradually straighten and your bite will improve.
Spark Aligners vs. Braces
Clear aligners used to only be reserved for mild cases. However, thanks to innovations in materials and treatment planning, they can treat a wider range of cases than ever before. For most patients, the choice between clear aligners and braces comes down to personal preference. We can treat almost all situations equally well with braces or clear aligners.
The benefits of Spark clear aligners vs. braces include:
- Spark aligners are clear and virtually invisible, making them less noticeable than braces.
- The aligners are removable (this can also be a con if you tend to lose track of things easily).
- There are no food restrictions since you’ll take your clear aligners out to eat and drink.
- You can brush and floss as you normally would, because, again, you’ll remove your aligners before diving into your oral hygiene routine.
- Spark dental aligners are made from smooth plastic and don’t have any brackets and wires, so there will be no irritation or poking.
- Because no hardware is involved, there is nothing that can break on the aligners (no repair appointments!).
- Without brackets and wires obscuring your teeth, you’ll be able to see your progress in real-time, which can be motivating.
- The aligners won’t interfere with things like playing sports or a wind instrument.
Spark Aligners vs. Other Aligners
When comparing Spark aligners vs. other clear aligners, the main difference for the patient is that thanks to the TruGEN material, Spark aligners are clearer and stain less. Our teen and adult orthodontics patients tend to want the most discreet option, making Spark clear aligners a popular choice.
Spark aligners also have scalloped, polished edges, so they’re smoother than some other aligners and, in turn, more comfortable.
From an orthodontist’s perspective, I started offering Spark aligners in Brooklyn because they are clearer and more cosmetic, are more comfortable for patients, and work as good or better for my patients than the other options on the market.
What Orthodontic Problems Can Spark Aligners Fix?
Spark clear aligners are effective in addressing a range of orthodontic problems in kids, teenagers and adults. In some cases, we may need to use Spark attachments. The tooth-colored buttons are bonded to your teeth and act kind of like handlebars that the aligners can push off of. This provides the necessary force to achieve more complex tooth movements.
While it depends on your case and situation, Spark aligners can treat crowded teeth, gaps between the teeth, an excessive overbite (deep bite), overjet, and an open bite. I’ve also used Spark aligners for an underbite and crossbite.
The Spark Orthodontic Aligners Procedure
Here’s what the Spark aligner process is like:
The first step in the teeth-straightening process, regardless of the treatment you choose, is swinging by Fresh Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation. I’ll take a look at your diagnostic records and perform a thorough exam. I’ll use this information to develop an accurate diagnosis.
Once I have a diagnosis, I’ll chat with you about my findings and my personalized treatment recommendations, so you can compare Spark aligners vs. Invisalign, metal braces, clear braces, etc. and make a confident decision. After answering your questions, if you decide on Spark aligners, a team member will take fast, comfortable digital impressions (no goopy molds!).
3D Treatment Planning
Your digital scans will be uploaded into Spark’s proprietary, 3D treatment planning software. This will create a virtual rendering of your smile that I’ll use to shift each tooth into its ideal place. I’ll show you what your new smile will look like and when we wrap things up, I’ll send my treatment plan to the lab.
Wear Your Spark Aligners
Once your Spark aligners have been custom-made for you and arrive at our office, you’ll come pick them up. My team and I will check the fit, show you how to put in and take out the aligners, and fill you in on everything you need to know to make the most out of your treatment.
You’ll wear your aligners for about 22 hours per day, taking them out to eat, drink, and brush and floss your teeth. You’ll switch to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks. Depending on your treatment plan, you’ll have a check-up every three to four months, so I can assess your progress.
Show Off Your New Smile and Get a Retainer
When you finish up your last set of Spark aligners, you’ll have a beautiful, healthy smile and stable bite. After my team and I congratulate you, I’ll fit you for a custom orthodontic retainer. Wearing a retainer will ensure your teeth lock into their new positions and your results last a lifetime.
Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Spark Dental Aligners
- Wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day and change to a new set according to your treatment plan.
- Take your aligners out to eat and drink anything aside from plain water.
- Put clean aligners on clean teeth. So, brush your teeth after eating, or at least rinse your mouth out really well, and rinse your aligners off before putting them back in.
- Clean your Spark aligners in the morning and before bed.
- Remove your aligners and wear a mouthguard when playing sports (protect that smile!).
- Always store your aligners in their case when you’re not wearing them so they don’t accidentally get thrown away.
- Leave your aligners in a hot car, because the heat can impact their shape.
- Drink hot liquids with your aligners in.
- Rinse your aligners off with very hot water.
- Clean your aligners using toothpaste, which can be abrasive and scratch the material.
- Automatically move on to your next set of aligners if you lose your current ones. Instead, give our office a call and we’ll let you know if you need a replacement set or if it’s okay to start your new ones. This will depend on whether or not the pre-programmed tooth movements in your current set were achieved.
How to Clean Spark Aligners
Cleaning your aligners every day, preferably in the morning and before bed, will ensure that any bacteria and food debris on your aligners doesn’t get trapped between your aligners and your teeth. It will also prevent your aligners from smelling bad and getting cloudy.
Here’s how to clean Spark clear aligners:
- Wash your aligners with a mild, unscented dishwashing soap.
- Brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush to get rid of any stubborn saliva.
- Rinse them with cool or lukewarm water.
That’s it! Cleaning your Spark aligners is simple. There’s no need to soak them in any kind of solution or do deep cleaning, because they’re extremely stain resistant and by the time they need a deep clean, you’ll be on to your next set of aligners.
How Much Do Spark Aligners Cost?
One of the first questions patients ask is, how much do Spark aligners cost? The cost of clear aligners will depend on the severity of your case. At your complimentary consultation, once I’ve developed a diagnosis and treatment plan, I’ll be able to let you know an accurate fee.
If you have insurance that covers orthodontic treatment, this can reduce how much you pay out of pocket. At Fresh Orthodontics, we work with most insurance providers and will even handle the paperwork for you. We also offer affordable, in-office payment plans with 0% interest financing and low monthly payments. My experienced team can work with your HSA or FSA too.
Schedule a Consultation With a Brooklyn Spark Aligners Provider Today!
If you want to find out if you’re a candidate for Spark orthodontic aligners, schedule a complimentary consultation at Fresh Orthodontics in Park Slope.