Advantages of In-Person Treatment -vs- Mail Order Aligners
There are many different types of braces available for straightening your teeth to give you a great looking smile, but there’s one thing in common among all of them. Getting the best outcome from tooth straightening treatment depends on having a professional orthodontist helping you along the way. In recent years, mail order tooth aligners hit the market, but does this approach really deliver good results? Let’s explore this together.
Your smile is the centerpiece of your face, and it’s one of the most impactful aspects of our overall appearance. Keeping your teeth healthy and strong with a good oral care routine is essential, as is sticking to a regular schedule of professional dental checkups. However, when you’ve got one or more teeth that are not in proper alignment with the others, it can detract from the appearance of your smile. Moreover, misaligned teeth can gradually lead to other types of dental issues over the long term. In order to correct the position of these misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatment using braces is required.
There are many approaches to treating misaligned teeth, but not all of them deliver the same kind of results. When it comes to your dental health and the look of your smile, you definitely want to make sure that you’re well-informed and are making the best choice in orthodontic treatment. Recently, a situation has developed in the industry that has shown just how important working with a trusted orthodontist for your tooth straightening treatment truly is.
What’s Going on With Mail Order Braces Companies?
Over the last few years, there have been instances in the market of businesses introducing a type of ‘do-it-yourself’ braces plan, where tooth aligners are delivered to patients through the mail at regular intervals over a certain period of months. The apparent convenience of these mail order braces plans led many patients in the US and Canada to give them a try. While some patients had relatively positive experiences, many were underwhelmed at the outcome, and some even encountered potentially serious dental issues as a result of this type of do-it-yourself approach.
In December 2023, Smile Direct Club files for bankruptcy, one of the major businesses offering orthodontic aligners, due to rapidly accumulating debt, increasing customer complaints, and pressure from medical experts regarding health and safety risks to consumers. Reports were filed accusing the business of engaging in deceptive and misleading practices, manipulating online customer reviews, and evading the scrutiny of consumer protection regulators. One such claim from the US concerned the company using unlawful non-disclosure agreements with its customers, and ended with Smile Direct Club paying a settlement of $500k USD.
One of the most critical aspects affecting patients using mail order braces is the very limited assistance and monitoring that is provided throughout the treatment process. Check-ins through email, phone, and teleconference are simply not sufficient to adequately assess the progress of orthodontic treatment and identify potential issues along the way so they can be addressed before they become bigger problems. For example, the British Dental Association specifically calls out mail order braces as potentially hazardous as there have been cases of gum disease and other dental health concerns resulting from wearing improperly-fitted tooth aligners. Ultimately, a dentist is required to perform corrective procedures to deal with the issues caused by these kinds of tooth aligner problems.
To further complicate matters, the existing customers of Smile Direct Club are now being told to consult local dentists and orthodontists for further treatment. In addition, customer support has been canceled and purchase guarantees are no longer valid. It’s a very unfortunate development that will leave many patients in a difficult and stressful situation. Fortunately, the team here at Georgian Dental welcomes any patients who are in need of corrective dental care or orthodontic treatment to book a no-obligation consultation. We will be glad to go over all your available treatment options and provide comprehensive details so you can make the most informed choice for your dental health.
On that note, there are several reasons why determining the best course of action when it comes to orthodontic treatment takes careful consideration of your specific needs and evaluation of the various styles of braces with a professional orthodontist.
Advantages of Personalized In-Clinic Orthodontic Treatments
There are multiple factors that are difficult, if not impossible, to evaluate properly without an in-person consultation. The exact condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth are very important to determining the best treatment plan. The types of physical exams, x-rays, digital scans, and in-depth conversation that you can have in a dental clinic with a professional orthodontist are simply not able to be replicated over the phone or on an online web conference.
Once the consultation and examination are complete, and you’ve been provided with a set of recommendations that will be balanced across your health needs, your preference in style of braces, and your budget/benefits coverage. From these options, you will be able to select the approach you wish to proceed with, and coordination of your treatment will commence.
In addition to the comprehensive consultation and evaluation you’ll receive with orthodontics treatment through your local dental clinic, you’ll also have regular in-person checkups. During these checkups, your orthodontist will monitor your progress, keep track of the health of your teeth, and identify any potential issues that may warrant an adjustment to the treatment plan. If any changes are needed, you’ll be fully informed on what these changes will be, how they will affect your treatment plan, and all of your questions will be answered to your complete satisfaction.
At the completion of your treatment, you will receive a final consultation to discuss what happens next. This may include special oral care instruction, explanations on how to properly wear retainers, and when you may need to come back for a quick follow-up examination. Every step of the way, your orthodontist will always make time to assist you with any concerns you may have. At the end of the day, the goal here is to ensure you obtain the optimum outcome from your treatment, and the great looking smile you deserve.
Benefits of the Invisalign Invisible Braces
Orthodontists have many different styles of braces they can select from to suit the needs of an individual patient, such as traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and accelerated braces. However, one type of braces has gained rapid popularity in recent years. Unlike other braces that use metal brackets, arch wires, and elastic bands to hold things in place, the Invisalign system utilizes lightweight clear plastic aligners. On first glance, the Invisalign aligners may look very similar to those that were offered by mail order braces providers, but the Invisalign system includes so much more than just the braces themselves.
When you start out with Invisalign braces, the first thing that happens is a full consultation, physical examination, and advanced dental imaging scans. Using these high-resolution scans of your teeth and gums, your orthodontist can give you a peek into the future. At Georgian Dental, in just moments after your scans are complete, you will be shown a fully-rendered simulation of what the Invisalign treatment will be able to accomplish for your smile. Beginning with the current positions of your teeth, the simulation will show you in accelerated time how your teeth will move towards their final locations. Many patients find this ‘before and after’ view to be astonishing, and quite exciting to learn exactly what their smile will look like!
Using the precise scans of your teeth and gums, your Invisalign aligners will be produced and delivered to your orthodontist. You’ll head to the clinic to obtain your aligners, receive further instructions, and have them test-fitted to ensure comfort and precision. One important thing to note about Invisalign is that your orthodontist will make sure that there are no potential issues with the aligners affecting your gums or other parts of your mouth. This attention to detail is one of the many aspects that sets Invisalign apart from mail order alternatives.
After you’ve received your aligners and have completed the test fitting process, you’ll wear each set of aligners in sequence for about 1-2 weeks at a time, depending on the specific treatment scope provided by your orthodontist. Regular checkups will be scheduled to evaluate your progress and make sure everything is moving according to plan. The aligners themselves offer amazing comfort and convenience. The super-thin profile of the aligners and the crystal-clear composite material make it so that some patients totally forget they are even wearing them! Invisalign also has the advantage over other braces styles of being able to be removed and replaced by the patient at any time. This makes eating, drinking, and cleaning the teeth much easier. Simply pop the aligner back on afterwards, and your progress continues.
Talk to Georgian Dental Today About Invisalign Invisible Braces
If you’ve been waiting to get braces because you weren’t sure exactly what it would involve, there’s no need to delay any longer. Contact our team today to arrange for your no-obligation consultation and learn more about what the Invisalign system can do for you. We’re confident that once you get to know the advantages and benefits of this advanced method of orthodontic treatment, you’ll be eager to get started!