The Difference Between Invisalign and Spark Aligners

You’ve probably seen lots of commercials for Invisalign® and understand how clear aligners are an excellent way to straighten your teeth without the hassle of traditional braces. But did you know that there is now a second option when it comes to clear aligners?

Now, there are Spark™ Aligners too! Both Invisalign and Spark use a series of clear aligners to slowly move your teeth to their ideal locations, and each uses 3D technology to create sets of aligners that are perfectly calibrated to achieve tooth movement by using gentle, constant pressure. So what’s the difference?


Invisalign received FDA approval in 1998, making them the “granddaddy” of clear aligners. Dr. Chapman was an early adopter of the technology and began using Invisalign to help his patients gain confident, healthy smiles as soon as it was available in 1998. By 2000, 75% of orthodontists were trained on the Invisalign system.

Invisalign uses a patented clear material called SmartTrack to create its clear aligners. The material may seem immaterial, but it’s not. We’ll get to that in a moment.


Spark is the next generation of aligners. While Invisalign is clear, Spark Aligners are even clearer – virtually invisible. Spark uses TruGen™ material which studies show create aligners that are more durable, more comfortable, and more resistant to stains. They also have better contact with your teeth which provides advanced sustained force retention. That’s a fancy way of saying they are stronger.

As with Invisalign, Spark uses cutting-edge, 3D computer-imaging technology to create their aligners, but they go the extra mile with hand-trimmed and polished edges to offer the highest level of comfort. This helps to prevent irritation on the inside of lips and on gums – a big plus for our patients.

While both Invisalign and Spark offer transparent aligners that gently move teeth, one major difference is often not mentioned – the certification of application. What does that mean? Both dentists and orthodontists can take a weekend course to get certified to use the Invisalign system. Spark Aligners, however, can only be provided by orthodontists. The creators of Spark only trust orthodontists to execute the treatment flawlessly because they know that orthodontists understand the intricacies of how teeth move.

What is right for you?

We know that having straight teeth, no matter your age, gives you confidence, and using clear aligners is a discreet, reliable way to get there! 

If you’re interested in learning more about clear aligners and if they are right for you, just give us a call at 503.659.5000 to schedule a consultation or CLICK HERE to set up a free virtual consultation. We can’t wait to see your smiling face!

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