Why you should choose an orthodontist over mail-order aligners

Why You Should Choose an Orthodontist Over Mail Order Aligners

Posted on May 29, 2020 by Dr. Damon Szymanowski.

What a world we live in where we can get anything we need delivered in a day or two with just a button. This kind of convenience is easy to get used to, but there are some unexpected consequences. We’ve all grown accustomed to wanting the fastest, cheapest, and easiest methods for everything. This has led to an increase in the number of mail-order treatments available in the orthodontic world. However, we have some thought on why you should choose an orthodontist over mail-order aligners 

These types of aligner companies tempt you with flashy advertising and promises of lower price tags. We understand why this might be appealing to many people. However, most orthodontists and dentists won’t recommend them as a safe way to get a healthy smile. Keep reading below to learn more about what mail-order aligners are, why we aren’t big fans of them, and why choosing an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Szymanowski matters more than you might think! 

What are Mail Order Aligners?

Direct-to-consumer companies market themselves as an alternative to in-office orthodontic treatment. Instead of supervised treatment from an orthodontic practice that you can build a trusting relationship with, these companies supply patients with an in-home impression kit for clear aligners. Once the impression has been taken and mailed back in, they’re reviewed by a dentist or technician who works for the company. This person, who’s credentials you aren’t able to check, will decide if you’re eligible for the mail-order treatment. If they are approved for the process, aligners will be made from the impression the patient sent in, then delivered to them at home with instructions on how to wear them.

We can’t deny the appeal of these treatments. Saving and convenience are high on everyone’s wish list. However, these companies may not be helping you out as much as it seems. Since it’s easy to get approved, you may not be getting the treatment that’s actually best for your smile needs. Keep reading to learn some of the dangers of DIY treatment, and the benefits of choosing an orthodontist over mail-order aligners. 

Starting treatment off on the right foot

Orthodontics isn’t as simple as straightening teeth. An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Szymanowski is trained to identify many different simple and complex oral issues, from crooked teeth and bad bites to severe jaw problems that require surgery. A free consultation with an orthodontist is an important first step. This consultation is a comprehensive exam that includes digital photographs and x-rays to help us determine if you need treatment. If so, they can determine which option would be best for your unique case. The photographs, x-rays, and thorough exam provide Dr. Szymanowski with all the information he needs to create a customized treatment plan for each patient.  

An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Szymanowski will always consider a patient’s needs, lifestyle, and goals when creating a customized treatment plan. This happens in conjunction with the results of that initial consultation. A mail-order aligner company won’t have access to the patient for an in-person examination or x-rays, meaning they may not be able to accurately determine if someone is a good candidate for aligners or not.

Mail-order companies only have limited information to use to create your treatment plan. This means they might miss significant oral health problems. Cavities, gum disease, and other related problems can’t be seen from just a few photos or impressions. Your teeth and gums need to be healthy before starting treatment, or you risk doing more harm than good. An effective treatment plan will take any dental work into account before starting the process of straightening your teeth. 

Why you should choose an orthodontist over mail-order aligners

Supervising the treatment process

You probably know that regular check-ups are necessary for braces patients. They’re also necessary for patients wearing aligners as well. These visits are roughly every 4-8 weeks, and we use this time to make sure your teeth are moving how they need to, and everything is going according to plan. 

Mail-order aligner companies can’t provide this level of supervision. Patients are in charge of their own orthodontic experience and progress. And this can be a problem. For example, if your aligners don’t fit correctly, it can cause irritation and pain. It can also move your teeth at the wrong speed. As we noted above, cavities or gum disease can develop or worsen without the patient knowing. With no orthodontist involved, this may go unnoticed and thus untreated, which could cause damage to a patient’s oral health and bite.

Providing comparable pricing and treatment times

The fact that orthodontic treatment is an investment of your money and your time can’t be overlooked. But isn’t it worth it to get a smile that looks and feels great? You get what you pay for with orthodontic treatment. While mail-order aligners may seem like an inexpensive and easy way to straighten your smile, they can end up costing more in the long run when you consider the potential risks. 

The reality is that many qualified orthodontists actually offer similar prices to those offered by mail order aligner companies. Damon Smiles Orthodontics provides a variety of affordable treatment options for patients of all ages, along with full-payment discounts, third-party financing, and multi-family member discounts. Our office also utilizes the latest in orthodontic technology and techniques to give you the best results in the shortest amount of time. 

Expert care you know you can trust

Your smile is essential, and since it will be with you for life, it’s worth trusting to an expert. Mail-order companies claim to have qualified dentists and technicians overseeing the approval process for aligners, but this is no substitute for the education, training, and skills that an orthodontist will have. Your smile will be in the best hands at Damon Smiles Orthodontics. 

For safe and effective orthodontic treatment, visit Damon Smiles Orthodontics

You wouldn’t agree to have medical treatment without an initial evaluation and ongoing supervision from a medical professional. Your smile deserves the same consideration. The talented team at Damon Smiles Orthodontics can provide you with a rewarding, stress-free orthodontic experience from your first appointment to your last! 

If you’re ready to learn more about safely achieving a beautiful smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation!