Is Mail-Order Orthodontic Treatment Right for You?

Throughout the history of orthodontics, there have been several key innovations that have made orthodontic treatment more effective, convenient, and comfortable. One of the most significant developments in orthodontics is the Invisalign Clear Aligner system, which allows you to get straight teeth with invisible, removable aligners. 

One fascinating and slightly disconcerting development in orthodontics more recently is the trend of companies marketing mail-order aligners similar to Invisalign. The treatment is completed entirely at home and you get your aligners delivered to your doorstep. Sounds like the next big thing, right? Unfortunately, there are several major issues with this new type of treatment that should make you seriously think twice before using it. 

No In-Person Visits

Interestingly enough, the main selling point of mail-order braces is that you never have to leave your home to get orthodontic treatment. However, with no orthodontist, there is no actual orthodontic treatment. Instead, there’s mostly a lot of guesswork while you attempt to take care of your teeth on your own. Any help you get is all done remotely through images on computer screens.

This means you can never get the precision and personalized guidance that comes with having a certified expert looking at your teeth in person and taking xrays to uncover any underlying issues in your smile. During the whole process, you have to do the work yourself, trust the images you take, and hope it ends up well. You also miss out on the personal relationship you develop with an orthodontist and the team when you are seen at an office.

Inaccurate Impressions

The aligners you receive during the whole course of your treatment are based on impressions you take yourself. Again, this is meant to add to the convenience factor; however, and no offense to you, you’re not an expert at taking dental impressions. Sure, you will get instructions, but there are nuances to getting accurate impressions that can only be learned through the years of training and practice, which all orthodontists and their teams are required to complete. 

Possible Damage to Your Teeth

Without professional, in-person guidance, the inherent risks of doing mail-order braces go beyond just getting subpar results. For one, the at-home impressions often result in aligners that don’t quite fit the way they should. This can result in severe discomfort while your teeth are adjusted in the wrong direction. And since you don’t have anyone looking at your teeth, it is very easy to miss problems under the surface. 

Even if your mail-order braces give you teeth that look straight, that’s not the only reason you should get orthodontic treatment. You can have perfectly straight teeth but still have underlying issues that need to be fixed. If you simply rely on mail-order braces, those problems will never be addressed, leading to long-term oral health problems. 

When you see an orthodontist for the first time, he or she will draw up a comprehensive plan to treat all of your issues. However, this plan may need to be modified slightly throughout your treatment if things are not progressing as planned. With no follow-up visits, mail-order treatment cannot be altered, which means you may not be getting the treatment you really need.

To learn more about how expert, personalized guidance can get you the smile you want while setting you up for long-lasting oral health, contact Austin Orthodontics today to set up a free consultation.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other orthodontic-related topics, feel free to contact Austin Orthodontics by clicking here or by calling 512-331-7900.