You have probably seen plenty of Facebook, Hulu and TV ads trying to sell you mail-order clear aligners. These ads try to appeal to you by being a more convenient and perhaps cheaper option. But before you commit to anything, you should consider the full story. After you learn about the risks of mail-order aligners, you may decide that Invisalign, Suresmile or another orthodontist-provided treatment is the best way to go.
1. No Professional Oversight
With Invisalign, Suresmile and other high-end clear aligner systems, you attend regular checkups with an orthodontist or dentist. These appointments make sure your treatment stays on track. Plus, you have personalized support if/when you have questions or run into any issues. Mail-order aligners are impersonal. You are never seen by a dental professional, which means that important details could get overlooked during the planning process or at any point during your treatment.
2. No Refinements
Most people treated with clear aligners require one or two mid-course corrections or “refinements.” This is because the movement of the teeth within the trays is less and less predictable the greater the number of trays used. Orthodontists utilize mid-course corrections to assure that your teeth stay on track and that the final result achieved is exactly what you paid for. Mail-order clear aligner companies do not include refinements in their pricing and many will not offer the option to correct a sub-optimal result.
3. You Might Lose or Loosen Your Teeth
Mail-order aligner companies do not conduct in-person exams or take radiographs to assess the health of your gums and the bone that support your teeth. If the gums and bone are not healthy, then moving your teeth with clear aligners becomes very risky. The end result can be the loosening of some of your front teeth or even the loss of a few teeth. Your orthodontist is interested in your oral health and overall well-being, not just in straightening your teeth. So they will make recommendations based on what is best for your smile and your bite.
4. Inaccurate Technology
Some mail-order companies require all potential patients to take their own impressions at home using old-fashioned putty. These impressions are not always accurate and can lead to problems with how your clear aligners fit and end with inferior results. At Grayslake Orthodontics, Dr. Ben takes highly accurate digital scans of the teeth to assure the best possible fit for your aligners. This results in the best possible outcome for your case.
5. You Might Spend More Money
Many people choose mail-order aligners because they want to try to save money. However, if something goes awry with the treatment — for example, if your dental alignment ends up worsening — you may have to spend quite a bit of money to get your smile back on track. If teeth end up loosening or being lost during treatment, then it will be more expensive to correct those issues. It is often more affordable to do things right the first time with treatment from a trusted and well-trained orthodontist, like Dr. Ben at Grayslake Orthodontics.
Don’t let flashy advertisements for mail-order aligners fool you — they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! It would be safer to turn to a trusted orthodontist for help with straightening your teeth.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Ben Youel is a highly accomplished orthodontist in Grayslake who offers Invisalign, SureSmile, and 3M Clarity Aligners. He and his team are committed to the health and satisfaction of all patients, and can often offer pricing that is competitive with mail-order aligners. We even provide FREE orthodontic consultations. To learn more about us and how we may be able to serve you, contact us at 847-548-4330.