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3 Problems with Mail Order Teeth Aligners

A woman smiling

A recent study has found that Americans rate people with straight smiles significantly higher on a number of measures. Our preference for straight smiles can make some people feel self-conscious and wanting a change. Unfortunately, getting perfectly aligned teeth can seem like too big an investment; in both time and money. This is where mail-order teeth aligners have gained popularity. But the promise of less money is not worth the risk that these mail-order aligners have posed.

Mail-Order Teeth Aligners

Mail-order teeth alignment companies claim to offer people a way to straighten their smiles without costly and inconvenient trips to an orthodontist’s office. With this method, you go to a local center or use an at-home kit to create a mold of your teeth. Next, clear alignment trays are mailed to your home, where you wear them for a certain amount of time until you’ve achieved a straight smile at half the cost of traditional braces!

This treatment is similar to Invisalign. Invisalign also uses clear aligners based on an impression of your teeth. However, Invisalign is performed by a licensed orthodontist and is adjusted throughout your treatment plan. If you are interested in mail-order aligners, ask your orthodontist about Invisalign first.

3 Problems with Mail-Order Teeth Aligners

  1. Patients are not assessed or monitored by a licensed orthodontist. Standard treatment with orthodontic braces is about much more than wearing a tray mold. When an orthodontist assesses a patient, they take X-Rays, perform an exam, and get an overall picture of all of your needs.
  2. Traditional braces are tightened, replaced, or modified if needed. Mail order trays stay the same throughout the course of your treatment and may not reflect the actual steps your teeth need to go through to move effectively. This means it will be up to you to know what is normal and not normal and to raise concerns you may have.
  3. It may still cost you more in the long run. If you end up with ineffective orthodontic treatment, you can suffer from serious dental damage. This may include tooth loss, gum recession, gum disease, and painful restoration procedures.

As with most other things, you tend to get what you pay for. Mail-order teeth aligners may be more affordable, but they come with some serious risks. At the end of the day, orthodontics is still a healthcare procedure and should be undertaken by a healthcare professional.

Posted on May 25, 2020

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