Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are a great option to effectively and discreetly straighten your teeth. With more people placing online orders and using curbside services due to COVID-19, a mail-order clear aligner plan may also seem convenient, allowing you to skip an in-person orthodontic consultation and get on the path to your ideal smile. However, these systems have been shown to be dangerous and can cause irreparable damage to the teeth. Our Martinsburg, WV, orthodontist outlines why patients should avoid these services.
What Do They Claim?
Mail-order clear aligners claim to be convenient and lower cost than visiting an actual orthodontist. These plans are marketed in a way that makes orthodontic treatment sound easy and presents it as a do-it-yourself task.
The process involves taking an impression of your bite and mailing the impression to their lab along with a photo of your teeth. Using these two things, they determine if you are a good candidate for clear aligner treatment and send you custom aligners in the mail. You then monitor your own progress throughout treatment.
Why Doesn’t It Work?
This system looks like it’s set up to customize the aligners to your teeth, but it relies on an approximation of your bite, which can lead to incorrect movement of the teeth. Additionally, you run the risk of being approved for clear aligner treatment even if you’re not a good candidate.
There is no replacement for a thorough orthodontic exam, in-office impressions, and direct supervision during treatment. One bite impression and a photo of your teeth do not take all necessary factors into account. Other fundamental diagnosis tools include x-rays, an in-person examination of the mouth tissues, jaws and gums, and careful evaluation of your bite before recommending a personalized treatment plan. It is critical that your treatment progress is monitored by a professional to ensure your teeth are moving correctly.
If you have severe bite issues, misalignment, or tooth decay, you still may be approved for mail-order aligners, as the process is not thorough. It’s possible to move your teeth incorrectly and make your bite worse, create new alignment problems, or even lose teeth!
There may be structural problems affecting your facial bones, jaws, and teeth that only an orthodontic consultation can detect. A mail-order aligner service will not help you fix these underlying issues.
To ensure the effectiveness of your treatment (and your safety), don’t DIY your orthodontic treatment. An in-person consultation is more accurate and can get you on the road to a healthy smile!
Contact Our Martinsburg, WV, Orthodontist for More Information
To get in contact with our friendly team at RS Orthodontics, call us at 304-309-0870 for our Martinsburg office, or 304-592-4581 for our Charleston office!