False Advertising for Invisalign

false advertising on invisalignDeceptive or false advertising runs rampant with Invisalign. More than a product, Invisalign is an orthodontic technique for moving teeth. It is the most challenging orthodontic technique to master but it is the easiest system to incorporate into a dental practice, for it requires no expensive equipment and it requires absolutely no orthodontic tooth moving knowledge or experience. Therefore, one can probably find Invisalign being offered at any dental office they contact. This page will point out several areas to focus on to help direct you through all the misleading information out there. This way, you can make better and informed decisions about your Invisalign (and braces for that matter) treatment options.

Certified Invisalign Provider … It’s not what you think!

"Certified Invisalign Provider" is a title invented by Invisalign. What the public does not know is that it does not mean anything other than a provider has taken a 4-hour course (General Dentist: How To Become A Provider) that trains them how to submit a patient case through the Invisalign website and how to market Invisalign to patients. It does not mean the provider is "certified" by any particular governing board, nor does it necessarily denote a provider has any experience, skill, or training whatsoever in the orthodontic movement of teeth. You may ask, "How is this possible?! Surely the state of Georgia would not allow that?" The fact is, the State of Georgia DOES allow it. Any dentist, whether they have training or not, can provide orthodontic treatment (Invisalign or braces) to their patients. Call the Georgia Board of Dentistry at 404–651–8000 to find out for yourself.

What Preferred, Premier, Elite, and Top 1% Provider Ratings Really Mean.

Invisalign awards the above respective titles to providers solely based upon the total number of patients they have sold Invisalign to. This is misleading, because Invisalign uses these provider ratings to infer “quality” by substituting "experience" to be equivalent to "quantity." Top 1% and Elite providers are, therefore, marketed to be “most experienced” only because they have sold the most Invisalign treatments, but it does not represent a certain level of quality of results or skill they have achieved. Please take note that most Top 1% and Elite providers represent large multi-office and/or multi-doctor offices which, by common sense, will have larger volumes. As a quid pro quo or reward for high sales volume, Invisalign lists these offices first on their Find A Doctor website page, which gives these providers the advantage of getting more referrals.

When it comes to Invisalign, it’s quality results that matter, not quantity. McDonald’s sells the most hamburgers…but do they make the best hamburger? To evaluate a provider’s results, look at their website’s patient before-and-after photos (if you can find them) and compare smiles, or ask the provider to show you pictures of before-and-after cases similar to yours. If they don’t have any to show you, I would get another opinion.

Beware Fake Before-and-After Pictures

Unfortunately, many orthodontic and dental websites out there use stock before-and-after pictures that are not their own. For marketing purposes, Invisalign offers providers the use of a gallery of pre-treated before-and-after pictures to use in their websites.

Walton Orthodontics uses only actual patients for their before-and-after picture galleries.

Specialist vs Non-Specialist

Today, more and more dental practices are marketing orthodontic services in the form of Invisalign or braces. For many people, this can cause some confusion. They assume the doctor is an orthodontic specialist or has advanced training in the orthodontic movement of teeth because they say they provide orthodontics. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In the state of Georgia, it is legal for any licensed dentist to provide orthodontic services to their patients, regardless of whether they are a specialist or not and regardless of whether they have any orthodontic tooth-movement training whatsoever.

Translation: Just because your dentist offers you Invisalign to straighten your teeth, don’t assume they have the training or the ability to do so. There is absolutely no requirement for a certified Invisalign Provider to have any orthodontic tooth movement training or knowledge, whatsoever. The easiest way to tell an orthodontic specialist from a non-specialist is the specialist must limit their practice to orthodontics only. If a doctor offers cleanings, fillings, crowns, etc as well as orthodontics, the doctor is not a specialist. An orthodontic specialist has an advanced degree from an accredited university residency program that consists of 2–3 years of additional full-time instruction beyond the 4 years of dental school training. In comparison, dental students receive absolutely no specialty orthodontic instruction.

Recommedation: If your dentist recommends Invisalign to you, ask them what the difference would be if they were to straighten your teeth with braces. If they don’t do braces, they don’t have the ability to offer you another option. This means that Invisalign may not truly be the BEST option for you.

Beware of “too good to be true” low-cost Invisalign and “bait and switch” tactics.

Invisalign is very easy to incorporate into a dental practice (non-orthodontic specialist office) since there are no upfront costs and there is no formal orthodontic knowledge required to use the system (see Certified Invisalign Provider above). One can find display ads posted all over the internet advertising Invisalign to generate calls to their respective practices. However, most of these offices, in actuality, do very few, if any, Invisalign treatments. Patients interested in Invisalign treatment are simply told they are not candidates and are recommended veneers or other treatments.

Low-cost Invisalign advertisements require some scrutiny to avoid making a big mistake in your treatment. Invisalign offers providers several product options to use, all with different price points. The low-cost options are Invisalign Express 5 and Invisalign Express 10, which are designed only for the most simple teeth alignment issues and are limited to 5 sets of aligners and 10 sets of aligners, respectively. Most people will not qualify for these two options but they will be advertised at very low prices ($1500-$3500 range) to get you into the office. Once in the office, the patient will not qualify for the low-cost limited treatment and, more than likely, require the Invisalign Full treatment option (unlimited number of aligners) which will have a higher price point ($4500-$6500) or some other treatment (see above).

Recommendation: When you see a “too good to be true” Invisalign price, call the office and ask whether the Invisalign being advertised is Invisalign Full or Invisalign Express (or some other non-Invisalign aligner product).


Beware of clear aligner products offered by other companies that claim to be “just like” Invisalign. Invisalign was developed in 1999 and the technology has been continuously improved upon year after year. As each year passes, some of Invisalign’s old technology patents expire and become available for other companies to use. Understand that these expired patents are old technology that Invisalign does not use anymore. There are several “fake” Invisalign products available offered by other companies. The clear aligner treatments they offer utilize out-of-date technology and therefore have lower price points and limited effectiveness. Below are listed some of the most common:

  • MTM Clear Aligners – no attachments used so limited to very minor issues (hence the name MTM = minor tooth movement)
  • Red, White and Blue – limited to 3 sets of Aligners
  • Crystal Braces – Do-it-yourself aligners at-home, relatively cheap price…Orthodontist not included
  • SmileCare Club – Do-it-yourself aligners at-home, relatively cheap price…Good Luck with this one
Corporate Dentistry

Wall Street venture capitalists have become a presence more and more in the dental field. Corporate entities have begun buying up practices all over the place. Some of these transactions can deceive the general public, in that they may retain the name of the private practice with the doctor demoted to an employee figurehead with “no say” in day-to-day practice operations. The disadvantages of corporate ownership are the corporate owners are usually not dentists and their motives are geared more to maximizing profits rather than providing what’s best for the patient. In larger practices, patients will not usually see the same doctor visit to visit, which is a big negative if you are undergoing Invisalign or other orthodontic treatment. Patients lose continuity of treatment and technical excellence when doctors have different levels of technical ability in multi-doctor practices.

Recommendation: Ask the office staff if the practice is owned by the doctor or someone else. This will give you an idea on whether your best interests may be compromised by monthly production quotas.

Easy Ways To Get Started

If you want to learn more about our orthodontic practice – where we offer the area’s most convenient hours, where we offer a variety of generous payment options, and where your and your child’s spectacular smile is guaranteed for a lifetime… Walton Orthodontics is here to serve you.

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suwanee ga orthodontist braces consultation

Dr. Walton, our 5-star rated Suwanee, GA, orthodontist specializes in orthodontic care for you or your child with the most advanced types of braces for children, teens, and adults. These types of braces include metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon braces, In-Ovation braces, braces behind your teeth and short-term braces. Visit our convenient Suwanee orthodontic office serving patients in Suwanee, Cumming, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Duluth and Milton, GA. Call 770.663.0955 today for your or your child's complimentary, no-obligation consultation for braces or Invisalign today!

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