The Truth About At-Home Orthodontic Treatment
Over time, orthodontics has advanced to become safer, more effective, and more convenient for patients. And while we’re excited to offer the latest types of orthodontic treatment for our patients, there are some “innovations” to be cautious of. In particular, many companies now offer aligners to straighten teeth without actually entering an orthodontic office. Referred to as “at-home orthodontics” or “mail-order aligners,” these options present plenty of risks for users.
What are Mail-Order Aligners?
There are several companies now offering mail-order aligners, which are made with a clear plastic material and work similarly to Invisalign. However, unlike getting Invisalign from a licensed orthodontist, these companies claim you can get straight teeth without ever stepping foot into an orthodontic office. Instead, you get a dental impression kit in the mail for you to do on your own at home.
Once you’ve completed the impressions, you mail the kit back to have your aligners made. You then get a series of aligners in the mail that are supposed to correct your teeth in phases as you get new aligners. To start your new phase, you send in photos of your teeth.
Risks of at-Home Orthodontics
While this sounds convenient, it may also sound too good to be true. As is the case with many seemingly “too-good-to-be-true” situations, it’s exactly that. There are some serious dangers to choosing at-home orthodontics, which could make getting the correction you need more difficult.
The biggest problem with this treatment option is the fact that you never see a licensed orthodontic professional at any point, which ironically is the most important part of your treatment. Having a professional orthodontist present to supervise the treatment plan is an indispensable aspect of orthodontic treatment.
For instance, taking dental impressions takes a lot of care and precision, and the results will largely determine what kind of treatment is prescribed. If you rely on impressions made at home, you are putting the course of your treatment in jeopardy.
When you see an orthodontist in person, they can also catch any issues that may arise, such as small adjustments to be made to your treatment or underlying problems with your teeth that can only be seen in an x-ray. These issues are much harder to catch by simply sending in photos you take from your smartphone, and are likely to be missed unless you step into an office.
Alternatives to Mail-Order Aligners
Mail-order aligners are meant to only cover minor to moderate cases, which you can easily treat by choosing inexpensive and quick treatment options here at The Smile Store. Invisalign Lite and Invisalign Express are both excellent options for fixing a few crooked teeth or closing a small gap. Invisalign Lite can be completed in less than six months for minor or moderate cases and Invisalign Express can be done in under three months for small corrections. Of course, if you need more serious corrections for your teeth, the full Invisalign treatment is a fantastic option that is totally affordable for any patient.
To learn more about your possibilities for orthodontic treatment, contact The Smile Store today!