Clear Aligner Patients Face Pain and Abrasions from Treatment Too

Dentistry Today


Orthodontic patients often deal with pain and abrasions, prompting OrVance to study 766 purchases of traditional dental wax to learn more about their needs. 

“By far the biggest discovery from this research is there is clearly an unmet need in the growing clear aligner segment for relief from pain, irritation, cuts, and abrasions,” said Ron Schutt, CEO of OrVance. 

“Even though traditional dental wax is not effective and is not marketed for use with clear aligners, over 20% of the dental wax purchased by patients is to seek protection and relief from the edges of clear aligner trays,” Schutt said. 

According to the study:

  • 36% of purchases of conventional dental wax were for reasons other than the marketed and intended use for “braces.”
  • 20.3% of purchases were for patients in clear aligner treatment, and the top two clear aligner brands were Invisalign (69.1%) and Smile Direct (7.4%).
  • 4.2% of consumers used dental wax for other orthodontic appliances including expanders, lingual brackets, temporary anchorage devices, and retainers.
  • 9.5% of conventional dental wax purchases were for irritation and sensitivity from broken and sharp teeth or lost fillings.

Consumer comments indicated that many patients with clear aligners aren’t fully informed before treatment about pain and abrasions, and they typically aren’t given a solution. Instead, patients said, they went to the drug store or tried Google to find relief. 

Unlike patients with braces, clear aligner patients also indicate that there often can be different areas of irritation with every new tray. Comments further indicated that traditional dental wax and “filling the edges” aren’t effective solutions. 

“These findings are very significant to not only reveal how we can improve the patient experience, but maximizing patient comfort during clear aligner treatment can also directly impact patient compliance,” said Dr. Scott Tyler, orthodontist and partner at TDR Orthodontics and advisor to OrVance.

“Different from braces, patients can just take out their trays to provide instant relief from pain and abrasions. But if they do that, we’re not moving their teeth and clearly not maximizing the satisfaction of our patients,” said Tyler.

Tyler noted that OrVance’s OrthoDots CLEAR is the only product that addresses this unmet need to enhance clear aligner therapy. He further said that OrthoDots CLEAR is 19 times more pliable and tear resistant than commodity wax as well as transparent for aesthetic benefit.

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