Updated on February 9, 2024
12 min read

Are Spark Aligners Worth It?

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Summary: Are Spark Aligners Worth It?

Many people who want to improve their smile’s straightness and overall look prefer clear, removable Spark Aligners over traditional braces and other clear aligner brands.

Spark Aligners are thinner and more comfortable than the leading brand. They are also free from latex, mercury, phthalates, and BPA. 

However, Spark Aligners can cost just as much as traditional braces. Since it’s technically considered a cosmetic treatment by most insurance companies, finding coverage can be difficult. 

Spark Aligners cost anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000 for a 12-month treatment plan. These clear aligners are a low-impact alternative that makes straightening your teeth possible as you go about your daily life. 

Straighten your teeth at a fraction of the cost. Learn about clear aligners.

What are Spark Aligners?

Spark Aligners are clear, virtually invisible dental appliances that move the teeth into a more esthetically desirable position. These removable aligner trays fit both the upper and lower arches.

Spark aligners apply constant pressure to straighten teeth and are replaced every few weeks. The aligners allow the teeth to move slowly, resulting in a straighter smile. 

Clear aligners such as Spark Aligners are typically made from the following components, either individually or as a blend:1

  • Polyester
  • Polyurethane
  • Polypropylene

Ormco, responsible for producing Spark clear aligners, advertises its product as clearer, more comfortable, and less prone to stains than the leading clear aligner brand.2 Spark Aligners are thinner than the leading aligner brand (99 µm vs. 180 µm).3

Many orthodontists offer Spark clear aligners as an alternative option to conventional braces. Spark Aligners are less invasive, less noticeable, and don’t require the extensive oral hygiene regimen associated with conventional braces. 

How Do Spark Aligners Work?

Spark clear aligners require an initial consultation with an approved orthodontist educated in this specific alignment method. In partnership with Ormco, your orthodontist creates and develops an individualized plan to achieve your desired smile. With daily use, Spark clear aligners can create a lasting smile in about 12 months.

Orthodontic Consultation

Ormco does not allow people to purchase Spark’s cutting-edge orthodontics products directly. Instead, you must obtain this clear aligner system from a small network of licensed and accredited orthodontists approved to use this product. 

Experts at Spark will consult with your orthodontist to manufacture your aligners and create a treatment plan to suit your needs. 

Your first visit includes a consultation and 3D scanning of your mouth. Your orthodontist will then upload those scans and any necessary X-rays to the proprietary software that makes your Spark clear aligners.

Aligner Material

Spark Aligners are stain-resistant and made from a proprietary material called TruGEN, which is latex-, phthalate-, mercury-, and BPA-free.4

Spark clear aligners have polished edges and maintain better contact with teeth than the leading aligner brand.2 This close contact promotes minor adjustments in aligning your smile. 

In-Office Fitting

Once Ormco manufactures your Spark Aligners, they will be shipped directly to your orthodontist’s office. You’ll have to schedule another visit to check the fit of your aligners. Your orthodontist will note any necessary changes. 

Specific timelines will correspond to your treatment plan. If the Spark clear aligners fit as planned, you’ll return every 4 to 8 weeks to check your progress. This allows your orthodontist a chance to correct any issues that come up and monitor how well your teeth respond to treatment. 

Treatment Plan

Spark Aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours daily to correct dental misalignment. You should only remove your aligners when you eat, drink, brush your teeth, or floss. Spark Aligners can be worn without issue when drinking water.

Depending on your custom treatment plan, you may wear the same clear Spark aligners for 7 to 14 days. You’ll then discard the tray and switch to the next one to continuously move your teeth in a measured and appropriate way. 

Spark custom treatment plans often conclude in about 12 months, but it depends on the severity of your case. Many people keep their first set of aligners to measure progress. Some people even use their Spark clear aligners like night guards to reduce the effects of bruxism. 

After Spark Aligners

Many people who use Spark Aligners require 12 months or less to form their perfect smile. After treating your smile with Spark clear aligners, you must wear a retainer to keep your teeth in place. Otherwise, you risk the teeth moving back into their original positions and losing all the progress you make. 

No further alignment should be necessary if you’ve achieved your desired look. However, consult with your orthodontist should any issue arise, either during treatment or after. You should also keep up on regular teeth cleanings and routine dental hygiene.

Find the best at-home clear aligners for mild misalignment. See our expert recommendations.

What are Customers Saying About Spark Clear Aligners?

What They Like

Customers like Spark clear aligners and find their results impressive given the alternative (conventional braces). Many people completed their Spark treatment within 12 months as planned, making Spark Aligners a practical approach to achieving a straighter smile. 

Many customers were impressed by the comfort of these clear aligners. Though some people experienced tenderness and discomfort in the first few days, this is normal for orthodontic treatment.5 

The convenience of Spark clear aligners far exceeds that of braces, especially when eating and drinking. People don’t have to avoid certain foods or spend much time tending to oral hygiene. Instead, you must remove and replace your clear aligner once your teeth are clean. 

Complaints

While Spark does have an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, there are two primary complaints.6 One complaint describes issues with the cost of braces removal and resolving claims for an insurance company. The other describes an incident where Spark falsely reported claims to an insurance company.

Otherwise, Spark clear aligners reviews are generally positive, with customers reporting high satisfaction levels. 

How Much Do Spark Aligners Cost?

Spark aligners cost anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000, in addition to office visit premiums that may or may not be included.7 This cost is based on a typical 12-month treatment plan for mild to moderate cases. It’s about the same as braces, depending on your plan. 

Treatment includes an initial consultation, 3D scans or imaging, in-office adjustments, and ongoing supportive care. 

More severe cases that require additional aligners will cost more. Spark Aligners has no base cost but is a tailored approach with a final price calculated as part of the proposed treatment plan.8

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage depends mainly on the orthodontist’s policies since you must work with an approved orthodontist to obtain Spark Aligners. Some orthodontist offices may accept full or partial payment with dental insurance, but coverage varies from office to office. 

Most dental insurance policies categorize braces and clear aligners as cosmetic treatments. This categorization can affect how much coverage you can obtain. 

It’s often best to speak to your dental insurance company and the orthodontist’s office to check your coverage.

Payment Plans and Affordability

Due to their expensive dental care, orthodontists tend to offer payment plans or other types of financing.9 

If your insurance does not cover the Spark Aligners, these options can help pay for all or some of your treatment. Speak to your orthodontist to see what payment plans you can use for your Spark Aligners.

Straighten your teeth conveniently at home. Compare the best clear aligner brands.

Pros and Cons of Spark Aligners

To help determine if Spark Aligners are right for you, compare the pros and cons below:

Pros of Spark Aligners

  • Comfortable
  • Nearly invisible
  • Shorter treatment time (compared to conventional braces)
  • Relatively pain-free
  • Removable 
  • Fewer limits on what you can eat or drink
  • Stain resistance with proper care
  • Orthodontic supervision ensures safe results 
  • Easier to clean than braces
  • Less visible impact on your appearance

Cons of Spark Aligners

  • Can cost thousands of dollars
  • Requires consulting an orthodontist, which can be inconvenient for some people and increase the overall cost with office visit fees
  • You may not have an approved orthodontist in your immediate area 
  • Limited scope of treatment (excludes more severe cases)
  • Requires a retainer afterward to keep the teeth aligned (though this is true of all orthodontic treatments)  

Spark vs. Competitors

Spark Aligners have many competitors in the invisible aligners industry. We recommend comparing these brands before choosing the best fit for your needs. 

Spark aligners website screenshot
Photo Source: Spark Aligners Website
FeaturesSpark AlignersInvisalignByte
Cost $3,500 to $8,000$3,000 to $8,000Starts at $2,000
Average treatment length12 months6 to 12 months 3 to 6 months
Treated ConditionsClass I and II malocclusionsClass I, II, and II malocclusions Mild to moderate malocclusions
AvailabilityOrthodontistsGeneral dentists and orthodontistsCan order impression kits and aligners only without dentist approval or supervision 
Material(s) TruGENSmartTrackPolymer film10
Recommended wear time22 hours20 to 22 hours 22 hours or 10 hours with night-time only aligners
Insurance and Payment Plans Partial or full insurance coverage with payment plans is also available Works with insurance, accepts FSA/HSA funds, and offers payment plansDoesn’t accept direct payment from insurance but accepts FSA/HSA funds and offers monthly payment plans

Spark vs. Invisalign

Invisalign and Spark mirror one another in many aspects, though Invisalign has been around longer. 

The Invisalign system also claims a history of proven results for desired tooth movement. Invisalign retainers can even be used to correct malocclusions in children as young as 6.11

People pursuing orthodontic treatment have their choice between Invisalign and Spark clear plastic aligners. Invisalign and Spark aligners may be more favorable than traditional metal braces, especially in terms of their cosmetic appearance. 

Invisalign aligners are made from thermoplastic polyurethane and copolyester, though previously, they were made simply from polyurethane.1 General dentists, in addition to orthodontists, have access to Invisalign products.  

  • Effectiveness — Many people see results from their Invisalign aligners within the first 6 months. 
  • Treatment time — Most treatment periods are anywhere from 6 months to a year. 
  • Comfort and convenience — Invisalign and Spark offer smooth and rounded clear aligners that can easily be removed to eat and drink.

Spark vs. Byte 

Byte allows you to purchase clear aligners online without going to the dentist. Though this increases the availability of Byte aligners, it comes with the risks of leaving dental health issues untreated. Byte aligners can only address milder cases of malocclusion as well. 

Byte clear aligners are more affordable than Invisalign and Spark Aligners. You can also wear night-time-specific aligners for 10 hours instead of the typical 22 hours required. Byte’s HyperByte device vibrates for a more pleasant experience.12 

The Byte-for-Life guarantee gives you access to new aligners if your teeth move. However, you must purchase retainers every 6 months to qualify for this lifetime guarantee. Byte also offers financing options regardless of your credit score. 

  • Effectiveness — Byte aligners require a retainer after treatment. If you don’t want to wear Byte aligners for 22 hours, you can choose night-specific aligners that only require 10 hours of wear time.
  • Treatment time — Most Byte treatment plans last 3 to 6 months. 
  • Comfort and convenience — Byte requires patients to take impressions of their teeth. In addition, Byte’s clear aligners are meant for mild malocclusion and may not be effective in more severe cases.

Who is a Good Candidate for Spark Aligners?

Spark Aligners treat the following dental conditions:8

  • Open bite
  • Spacing
  • Crossbite
  • Excessive overbite
  • Crowding 
  • Underbite 

You may also hear these types of dental conditions classified as Class I and II malocclusions. Excessive overbites and underbites are the most common signs of malocclusion, but Class III malocclusions are the most severe.13

Who Might Not Be Suitable for Spark Aligners?

Spark Aligners will not treat underlying dental conditions. Wearing unclean Spark Aligners for an extended period can cause further dental issues. 

In addition, fixing severe orthodontic problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, or oral cancer require more aggressive approaches. Talking to your orthodontist about your oral health before considering Spark Aligners is best.

How to Care for Your Spark Aligners

Spark Aligners require regular cleaning. Wash them with soapy water and rinse away any soapy residue before placing them back in your mouth.14

Though it may be tempting to soak your Spark aligners for a deep clean, this can cause them to deteriorate prematurely. Using a soft toothbrush is best if you need a more aggressive approach. 

When you’re not wearing your Spark Aligners, keep them in their protective case. 

You can maximize the effectiveness of your Spark Aligners by sticking to the treatment plan. If you misplace or damage an aligner, starting your next aligner ahead of time is not always best. Contact your orthodontist if anything comes up.

Making the Decision: Spark Aligners, Invisalign, or Another Option?

When considering Invisalign, Spark Aligners, or other orthodontic treatment options, prospective customers should consider the following: 

  • Costs
  • Impact on oral hygiene routine
  • Esthetics
  • Current dental health 
  • Desired results
  • Availability
  • After-treatment requirements 

Spark Aligners are compatible with various dental conditions and individual preferences. Though they require the supervision of an orthodontist, they’re not as high-maintenance as traditional braces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you eat and drink while wearing Spark Aligners?

You can drink water while wearing Spark Aligners. However, you should not eat or drink any other liquids. If you eat or drink with your aligners in place, they can stain, so be sure to remove them first. 

How many aligners are needed for effective treatment?

Given most Spark Aligners are worn for 7 and 14 days each, that’s anywhere from 52 to 26 aligners total. Nevertheless, the specific number of Spark Aligners required depends on your treatment plan and the severity of your case. 

How long does a Spark Aligner treatment typically last?

Most Spark Aligner treatment plans last around 12 months. More severe cases can last longer. If you do not keep to your alignment regimen as instructed, you can also extend the length of your treatment. 

Do you need a retainer after using Spark Aligners?

Yes, Spark Aligners require a retainer after treatment to maintain results. Without a retainer, the results you achieve with a Spark Aligner treatment plan may be reversed. 

How does Spark Aligners compare to traditional braces?

Spark Aligners and traditional braces share similar costs. However, many people find Spark Aligners more comfortable and less noticeable. 

Braces also tend to tear up soft tissues inside your mouth, including your cheeks and gums. Spark Aligners are designed with rounded, scalloped edges to sit comfortably on your teeth. 

Spark Aligners often align smiles within 12 months or less. Braces usually take longer to achieve similar results. 

Many customers prefer the overall experience of clear aligners like Spark Aligners over traditional braces. They are less invasive and don’t require the rigorous oral hygiene routine associated with braces.

What’s Next?

Discover the best fit for your smile.

Explore top at-home clear aligner brands.

Last updated on February 9, 2024
14 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 9, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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