Part 5 | Orthodontic Pearls: The Clear Aligner Market

Orthodontics can be accomplished in many ways. Clear aligners have treated nearly 4 million people with some people now creating and making their own. Aligners can be useful for a number of reasons
and have advantages and disadvantages. (Fig.1)

Orthodontics done with clear aligners has seen a massive shift in recent years with clear aligners rapidly approaching a non-dental procedure status of that similar to whitening which can be bought and sold by anyone regardless of education or training. The Smile Direct Club (SDC) is now offering clear aligner therapy directly for sale through Macy’s stores, both SDC and ALGN technologies are opening hundreds of direct to consumer stores throughout the United States.

Sequential movement of teeth with plastic is not a new thought process. In 1968, orthodontist Dr. Earl Bergersen developed the Orthotain plastic positioner. Patients would bite into the appliance and, over time, it would move their teeth to a better position. Further patents expounded upon the benefits with further modification making it more accurate in 1976 and again in 1997, as shown in Figs. 2 & 3.

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