Orthodontic Tips & Information

Heinz Ortho Blog

How the Orthodontist You Choose Can Make or Break Your Clear Aligner Treatment

Hello everyone, Dr. Heinz here at Heinz Orthodontics. I recently had a friend reach out to me that she’s looking at getting her teeth straightened and she wants that “Heinz smile.” But she was wondering if she should come to someone like myself, an orthodontist, or if she should go through her dentist for her Invisalign, or one of the do-it-yourself and direct-to-consumer aligner companies that you’ve probably heard of like Smile Direct Club or Candid. She’s decided to come out and make the commute to come see us in our Rockford office but she – like a lot of you – is also a little bit curious about her options. So I figured I’d answer a couple of these questions for you guys and see if I could help a couple of people out.

Clear Aligners are a Tool – So Choose the Right Craftsman

First off, Invisalign started the clear aligner trend, but it’s important to know that they’re not the only option out there. When you come into an orthodontist’s office or into Heinz Orthodontics, we do have multiple options for you when it comes to clear aligner therapy. But if we’re just talking about the clear aligners, and whether you choose InvisalignSpark, or one of the many other options out there, I like to relate it to building a house. If you’re going to go out and build a house on a beautiful fresh piece of property, when you’re choosing your contractor, you’re not going to choose the contractor based on what kind of hammer they use, you’re gonna choose the contractor based on their integrity, their reputation, previous houses that they’ve built, the feeling that you get when you talk to them – those kinds of things.

It’s the exact same thing when you’re thinking about transforming your smile. If you decide that you want to undergo clear aligner treatment, you’re not just buying Invisalign – that’s the hammer. What you’re buying is the doctor, the contractor, whoever swinging that hammer, excuse the metaphor, to get you there because not all clear aligners or Invisalign treatments are created equal.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that when I take a scan of your mouth, or an impression of your mouth, which we don’t do, by the way, and send that to Invisalign or another clear aligner company, there’s a lot of work that goes on between them and myself to get that final result that’s going to actually move your teeth. So after I send that scan to a company like Invisalign, the technicians that they employ, give us back a 3d cartoon version of your teeth that some general alignment is done on and how they think the teeth should move.

Doctor, Dentist, or DIY?

What’s important to remember is that those technicians that are working on those scans are not orthodontists. In fact, they’re not even dentists. What this all leads me to is that it’s really important to choose wisely when you decide who’s going to be coordinating your smile transformation. Do you want to have someone like myself taking care of that for you – a Board Certified orthodontist, someone who went to two to three years extra schooling after dental school to learn specifically how to move teeth and to specialize in that field and has treated thousands of cases?

Or would you rather have your dentist do that – someone who may or may not have experience with clear aligner therapy? Of course, your final option, believe it or not, is to never even see a doctor or dentist – never take an X-ray, never have your teeth or gums evaluated. Just simply take your own impressions at home, send them off to a company and they’re going to send you back some aligners that you just toss in. Hopefully, they fit well and then you’ll see where you’re at after a set of 10 or 20 of them.

Now those options are really easy for me to choose from. But I’m hoping that this video has given you a little information so that way you can make the right choice for yourself. And if you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. I am happy to sit down with you for a complimentary consultation to walk through the whole process for you hassle and stress-free. We even have a virtual consultation option to make the process even easier and more convenient for you!


Heinz Orthodontics proudly serves the Rockford, Grand Rapids, Greenville, Ada, and Cedar Springs communities and the surrounding area. In addition to Invisalign and Spark clear aligner treatments, Dr. Heinz offers a range of braces treatment options for kids, teens, and adults. Call us at (616) 951-3006 or click to schedule your complimentary consultation today!