In our society, online delivery services make it easy to get nearly anything you want with the touch of a button. This can be extremely helpful, but it’s led to unforeseen consequences, even in orthodontics! This can be seen in the number of DIY treatments on the market. These treatments have gained popularity over the years, but the team at Griffin & Errera Orthodontics is here to tell you the benefits of choosing an orthodontist over mail-order aligners!
You’ve probably seen flashy marketing in commercials or online advertisements for at-home aligner systems. These companies promise to give you a straighter smile from the comfort of your home for a fraction of the cost of traditional orthodontic treatment. While we can understand how this can appeal to many consumers, our doctors won’t recommend these products for various reasons. Keep reading below to learn about the benefits of choosing an orthodontist over mail-ordered aligners!
What are mail-ordered aligners?
Direct-to-consumer companies market themselves as an alternative to professional orthodontic treatment in an office under the careful supervision of an orthodontist. The company you choose will send you an impression kit to make molds of your teeth. You’ll mail in your impressions, and a dentist or technician will review them to approve you for clear aligners. Once approved, you’ll receive a series of aligners and how to use them delivered straight to your door.
If you or someone you know is considering using mail-ordered aligners, you should know that the bar for being approved is incredibly low. While this may sound good, many people get the go-ahead for aligner treatment even if it’s not the most effective choice for their orthodontic needs.
Direct-to-consumer aligners are essentially a DIY orthodontic treatment. That comes with several potential risks, many of which can lead to sub-par results or unexpected problems. There are several important components of the orthodontic process missing when it comes to mail-order aligners, including:
Assessing the specific needs of individual patients
Orthodontic treatment is about more than simply straightening the teeth. An experienced orthodontist has the training necessary to identify and treat various oral issues, from simple to complex.
The first step in any orthodontic journey is an initial consultation that includes a thorough mouth examination. At Griffin & Errera Orthodontics, we’ll take digital photographs and X-rays of your teeth. These images allow us to look at your teeth, jaws, and facial soft tissue. The information we gather during this appointment gives Dr. Griffin and Dr. Errera what they need to create a customized treatment plan just for you.
Mail-order aligner companies lack detailed insight and rely on the basic information you provide through at-home impressions and photos, which can lead to many oral health issues being overlooked. Cavities, gum disease, and other related problems can’t be seen from just a few photos or impressions. The teeth and gums should always be healthy before any tooth movement is attempted, so this can be problematic.
Working directly with expert orthodontists like Dr. Griffin and Dr. Errera will eliminate all unnecessary risks since the treatment is built around your unique needs, including any dental work that may be necessary.
Creating a customized treatment plan
While clear aligners can be a great fit for many patients, they aren’t for everyone. Cases that are more complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than aligners can provide. In these cases, metal or clear braces may be a better option.
At Griffin & Errera Orthodontics, our world-class team creates personalized treatment plans by assessing your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. This happens in conjunction with the results of their initial consultation with Dr. Griffin or Dr. Errera. Without access to an in-person examination and X-rays, mail-order aligner companies can’t accurately determine if you’re a good fit for aligners.
Supervision during the treatment process
Regular check-ups are an essential part of the treatment process during your orthodontic experience. These visits occur every six to eight weeks, and we use this time to make any necessary adjustments, check that everything is proceeding according to the treatment plan, and replace any worn-out rubber bands.
Mail-order aligner companies don’t provide any meaningful supervision, which leaves you in charge of your orthodontic process. This can have unexpected consequences, including poorly-fitting aligners, irritation, and pain. An improper fit may also cause your treatment to take longer and your aligners to be less effective.
As mentioned above, cavities or gum disease can develop or get worse without you ever knowing. With no orthodontist involved, problems like this may go unnoticed and untreated, eventually causing damage to your oral health and bite.
Comparable costs and treatment times
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, you indeed get what you pay for! No doubt achieving a healthy smile that looks great and functions correctly requires an investment of your time and funds. Although mail-order aligners may seem like a quick and easy way to straighten your smile, they can cost you more in the long run when you consider the potential risks involved. That’s because these companies just can’t provide patients with the same level of supervised care that a trained orthodontist like Dr. Griffin or Dr. Errera can.
In reality, a qualified orthodontist like the doctors at Griffin & Errera Orthodontics will be able to compete with the cost and treatment times that most mail-order companies claim, anyway! Our practice offers a variety of affordable treatment options for patients of all ages, including Invisalign clear aligners. We also offer payment plans that fit every budget and accept most major credit cards for your convenience. If you have dental insurance covering orthodontic treatment, our team will file the claims for you!
Trust your smile to the experts at Griffin & Errera Orthodontics
If you or your child required specialized medical treatment, you wouldn’t move forward without an initial evaluation and supervision from a trained medical professional, so why not give your smile the same consideration? While DTC companies claim to have qualified professionals overseeing the approval process, nothing beats working with a trained orthodontist with the hands-on experience and skills necessary to move teeth successfully.
Dr. Griffin and Dr. Errera have years of experience crafting amazing smiles for patients of all ages in Middleburg, Warrenton, and Culpeper. If you’re interested in learning more about how to safely transform your smile with Griffin & Errera Orthodontics, contact our office today and schedule your free initial consultation!