Simpli5®, Red White & Blue® and RW II® vs. Invisalign® – How do they compare?
What are the differences between these systems?
In terms of patient experience, each of the clear tooth aligner systems, Simpli 5®, Red White & Blue®, and RW II® (all made by AOA Orthodontic Laboratory, Inc.) and Invisalign®, are essentially identical.
But in terms of cost, case selection and manufacturing, there are significant differences among them. And it’s these factors that play the determining role in deciding which one makes the most appropriate or cost-effective choice for a patient’s case.
A) Treatment fees.
Cases treated using Simpli 5®, Red White & Blue®, or RW II® will probably cost less than Invisalign®.
Due to the fact that the dentist doesn’t have to buy a more full-featured product than is really needed, if a patient’s case can be treated using one of the AOA Laboratory systems, the dentist’s costs will be less, possibly significantly so, than when treating a case using Invisalign®.
While the information below is achingly out of date, it gives a general idea of the cost comparison between the two company’s products, with the Invisalign® product costing your dentist somewhere between 20 and 80 percent more depending on exactly which AOA system will suffice.
- In 2008, Invisalign® Express, the company’s lowest-priced system, cost the dentist on the order of $750 per case.
- In comparison, and once again in 2008, the RW II®, Red White & Blue®, and Simpli 5® systems cost the dentist around $180, $225, and $600, respectively.
Of course, our statement regarding the relative cost of treatment using these various systems assumes that the dentist passes their cost savings on to the patient.
Related information: Fees for orthodontic treatment. Costs for braces.
B) Case selection.
The AOA Orthodontic Lab systems are used to treat less involved cases.
In general, each individual tooth aligner that’s used to treat a patient’s case creates tooth movements on the order of 1/2 mm (a little more than 1/64th of an inch). So, a system that features a greater number of aligners can be used to treat more difficult/involved cases.
- The standard Invisalign® system is fairly robust. Cases typically involve the use of 20 to 30 sets of aligners, possibly more. And for this reason, it can be used to treat a wide range of malocclusions. Even Invisalign® Express utilizes up to 10 aligners.
- In comparison, the Simpli 5®, Red White & Blue®, and RW II® products are, respectively, five, three and two aligner systems. And they are only intended for treating minor misalignments of just front teeth.
That doesn’t mean that the AOA systems are lacking in any way. It’s just that their intended purpose is different.
Details about AOA Orthodontic Laboratory systems –
1) Simpli 5® – 5 aligners. / Treatment for both upper and lower teeth.
Simpli5® is a five-aligner system that can be used to treat one or both of a patient’s dental arches (an “arch” is either the patient’s upper or lower teeth). In the case of dual-arch treatment, a total of five pairs of aligners are worn.
Simpli 5® was introduced as a new product in 2006. From a practical standpoint, however, it is simply an extension (in terms of the number of aligners and arches treated) of the previously available Red White & Blue® (3-aligner) system.
FYI: The fact that 5 aligners are used to treat an arch generally implies that the greatest amount of movement needed for any one tooth lies on the order of 2.5 mm (around 1/8th of an inch) or less.
2) Red White & Blue® – 3 aligners. / Treatment for upper or lower teeth.
The Red White & Blue® orthodontic system is a three-appliance product that’s used to treat just one dental arch (either upper or lower). Using the same math as above, this system is generally geared toward treating cases where no more than 1.5 mm (around 1/16th inch) or less of movement is needed for any one tooth.
As compared to Simpli 5®, this system is intended for use with less involved cases. This diminished capability, however, is only due to the reduced number of aligners that are worn. The aligners themselves are the same.
The name Red White & Blue stems from the fact that each aligner is tagged with a small colored dot so the patient can easily identify the sequence in which it should be worn.
3) RW II® – 2 aligners. / Treatment for upper or lower teeth.
The RW II® system involves the use of just two aligners and is used to treat just one dental arch (either upper or lower).
RWII® aligners are different than those used with other removable braces systems. These are lined with a soft, flexible inner lining that is supposed to allow for more tooth movement, while using a lighter orthodontic force.
Other advantages of this lining are that it increases aligner retention and makes these appliances more comfortable to wear. Even with their soft lining, RW II® aligners are clear and, when worn, look like normal invisible braces.
Innovative devices and solutions for the issues Invisalign® wearers encounter.
What types of cases can these systems treat?
The Simpli5®, Red White & Blue®, and RW II® systems are used to treat cases that only involve minor to intermediate misalignments of just anterior teeth (front teeth). Examples include:
- Correcting minor malocclusions. – Situations where the corrective measures needed just involve small tooth rotations (10 degrees or less), minor tooth torquing or tipping, or else closing in narrow spaces between teeth (2 mm or less).
The classic case example would be closing the space between a person’s center two front teeth.
- Post orthodontic refinement. – For example, placing the finishing touches on a case after the patient’s wire braces have been removed.
- Correcting orthodontic relapse. – Like that that has taken place because the patient did not wear their retainer.
- Making minor alignment improvements in preparation for dental work. – Such as improving the alignment of teeth before placing a set of porcelain veneers.
- For use with patients who want invisible/removable braces treatment but do not need the intensity of the Invisalign® system (or even Invisalign Express®).
Related information: Details about the types of cases Invisalign® and Invisalign Express® Comparisons can be used to treat.
C) Treatment times.
The individual tooth aligners of the AOA Orthodontic Laboratory systems are worn on the order of two to four weeks each (preferably at least 3 weeks). Simple math implies the following treatment times for each product.
- Simpli5® – 5 aligners X 2 to 4 weeks = 10 to 20 weeks of treatment time.
- Red White & Blue® – 3 aligners X 2 to 4 weeks = 6 to 12 weeks of treatment time.
- RW II® – 2 aligners X 2 to 4 weeks = 4 to 8 weeks of treatment time.
In comparison, Invisalign® aligners are typically worn for two weeks, possibly longer. Once again, using simple math.
- Standard Invisalign® – 20 to 30 aligners X 2 weeks = 40 to 60 weeks of treatment time.
- Invisalign® Express – 10 aligners X 2 = 20 weeks of treatment time.
D) What else do you need to know about AOA aligner systems?
1) How long do you wear each aligner each day?
Your dentist will expect you to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day. They should be taken out when you eat, drink hot or colored liquids and when brushing and flossing your teeth.
2) How often are checkup evaluations?
Depending on what your dentist feels is necessary, checkups may be spaced as far as 6 to 8 weeks apart. If so, you’ll be given your future sets of aligners in advance so you can switch to them at the 2, 3 or 4 weeks interval recommended by your dentist.
3) What’s it like to wear this system?
What you experience when wearing AOA’s brand of aligners will be essentially identical to what’s experienced by Invisalign® patients. Use this link to select from our various pages that explain what it’s like to wear removable orthodontic aligners. What to expect. | Problems/Remedies.
E) How are AOA aligners made?
The Invisalign® system is very high-tech.
One of the biggest differences between the AOA systems and Invisalign’s® is the way their aligners are made. The manufacturing process associated with Invisalign® is very sophisticated. What it entails. This includes the use of CAD/CAM technology (computer-aided design/computer-aided modeling), which is all very modern stuff.
The way AOA Ortho Lab systems are made is much more basic.
In comparison, the fabrication process used to create Simpli 5®, Red White & Blue®, and RW II® aligners is much more hands-on.
- The dentist takes an impression and from it a plaster cast of the patient’s teeth is made.
- The teeth needing realignment are cut off and then reattached. When they’re reattached, they’re given a slightly better overall alignment than before.
- An aligner is then made on this cast.
- The process is then repeated until the patient’s entire series of aligners has been fabricated.
This process is much easier said than done. But from a technical standpoint, it’s simple enough that some orthodontists have been using this technique, including making their own aligners right in their own office, for decades.