The Women's Journal

Look What Plastic Can Do!

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pip greeley 1qt19By Dr. M. Constance Greeley

In my last column, I introduced information about clear aligners and how they have impacted orthodontic treatment. (If you missed this column, it is available on this Journal’s website:                                

One of the facts I mentioned is that although the concept of using aligners to move teeth seems like a new idea to some patients, it has been commercially available for about 20 years. Since I love the idea of making treatment easier and less intrusive for patients, I started using aligners as soon as they were available. But the new idea needed an arduous maturing process.

Many of us started asking: “Could the technology do more?” Could teeth that protrude be tucked in? Could extractions be done and then teeth moved into the extraction space to alleviate crowding? Could changes be made in jaw relationships? And the answer is “yes, we can do that.” Of course, there remain cases that require braces: sometimes to get the case started, sometimes to finish the treatment to the standards that we require and sometimes, using braces is the best choice.

But the good news is that our abilities to improve the position of teeth and to improve our patients’ bites are getting easier with aligners. There are even cases that respond better to aligner treatment than to braces.

We know how “fast” we can move teeth using aligners because we can program that into the digital treatment plan. This is a great advantage for patients with periodontal concerns who might otherwise not be eligible for braces because movement must be gentle and slowed down. 

Patients who struggle with oral hygiene can be good candidates for aligners since the aligners are removed for brushing and flossing. Patients with hand coordination challenges appreciate the opportunity to use aligners to facilitate their oral hygiene. 

Take a look at the cases presented here to see how well aligners can work. Most of these cases were treated in less than one year. Our experienced team can help you transform your life with a beautiful smile. 


Dr. Connie Greeley went to Temple University School of Dentistry where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. She earned her certification in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Maryland and then returned to Temple University for her certification in Orthodontics.

Dr. Greeley is board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. She serves on the Cleft Palate Team at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. Dr. Greeley is past-president of the Delaware State Dental Society, the Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists, and the Greater Philadelphia Society of Orthodontics. She is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists.

Transform your life with a beautiful smile at:

Greeley Orthodontics, PA

400 Old Forge Lane, Suite 406

Kennett Square, PA 19348


[email protected]