The internet has made it easy and convenient to get nearly anything you want with the touch of a button. This trend has even hit the orthodontic world, with direct-to-consumer aligners growing in popularity every single day. But are mail-ordered orthodontics worth it? The Smile Patio is taking a look at five things you won’t get with mail-order orthodontics and why in-person treatment in Vista is the best option for your smile.
Mail-order aligners focus on lower prices and the convenience of avoiding trips to the orthodontist for checkups and adjustments. We understand why you would consider mail-ordering orthodontic treatment, but you might be surprised to know that most orthodontists and dentists won’t recommend this process. Let’s take a look at some of the things you won’t get with mail-order orthodontic treatment and how The Smile Patio can efficiently and effectively give you a smile you deserve!
What are mail-order aligners? How do they work?
The companies that offer clear aligners through the mail are a form of “online orthodontics.” Instead of visiting an orthodontic office for an in-person exam, every treatment process step is carried out through their website. An application is submitted to the company of your choice; once it’s approved, you can either visit one of their local shops or have a kit sent to your home to make a 3-D mold of your teeth. A technician or dentist will then use that mold to create a series of clear aligners that will slowly move your teeth into the desired positions.
Like in-office treatment, this process can take several weeks to months to complete. During this time, your progress is monitored using photos of your mouth that you provide at regular intervals. This may seem relatively straightforward, but anyone considering these companies should proceed with caution. There are several risks and concerns associated with this kind of care, and some of them can have a lasting impact on your oral health. Here are some benefits of choosing a respected orthodontic practice over mail-order companies!
Lower Cost and Quicker Results
This is the biggest misconception about mail-ordered aligners. The old saying that you get what you pay for is never more true than when it comes to your orthodontic treatment. While mail-order options may seem quick and inexpensive, the potential risks can wind up costing you more in the long run since you won’t get the supervised care that a trained orthodontist provides.
Utilizing all options specific to your dental situation while under specialized care is the only way to ensure the quickest and most beneficial method to a better smile, and most orthodontists can now compete with the prices that mail-order aligners boast. Here at The Smile Patio, we offer a variety of patient-specific payment plans and accept most orthodontic dental insurances to provide outstanding value for a reasonable price.
In-Person Clinical Exam
The best way to get the result you’re looking for is with a thorough evaluation of your starting point. During your initial examination, Dr. Albaugh will look closely at the tissue and bone supporting your teeth using digital photographs, take full mouth X-rays, and a digital scan that eliminates the need for goopy impressions. This detailed information ensures clear aligners are the proper route for your treatment plan and avoid complications later from cavities, gum disease, and other related problems not picked up in impressions or photos.
With mail-order aligners, the first step is receiving your in-home impression kit. Some options also ask you to include intraoral photos, but the information used to determine eligibility is very basic. Once the impression has been mailed back, a dentist or technician will review it and decide if the patient is a good candidate for clear aligners. This is based on your current tooth alignment and does not factor in many essential components to the orthodontic process. Without considering all of the variables, you may end up with subpar results, which could cost you more time and money.
Customized Treatment Plans
Your teeth and gums should always be in good condition before any tooth movement is attempted to avoid unexpected problems. While clear aligners can be an excellent option for many patients, they aren’t for everyone. Some cases are much more severe or require specific treatments before starting the movement of your teeth. In cases where more precise or complicated movements are needed, you may save time and money by opting for traditional metal or even clear braces.
At The Smile Patio, we always consider your individual needs and goals before creating your treatment plan. We want to be sure the treatment plan we offer will make the best use of your time and goals while utilizing our expertise in orthodontic care. We use the information gathered during your in-office consultation and combine it with the data from your imaging to determine what will fit your lifestyle with the most outstanding results.
Supervision During Treatment
During your treatment, your teeth may move slower or faster than anticipated, things can come up that require minor adjustments, or we may need to modify your current treatment plan. This is why having regular check-ins with our expert team is crucial during your aligner process.
When you opt for mail-order aligners, you are given a treatment timeline to follow. This timeline is based on your initial teeth impressions and what should happen over time but does not account for any deviations that may pop up unexpectedly. This hands-off calendar approach can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw.
Treatment for Other Orthodontic Issues
Many orthodontic issues lie below the gum line and with the jaw itself, where messy impressions and cell phone images can’t capture the details. These issues can’t be treated with mail-order aligners and can be worse by using them. With this treatment method, processes like widening your jaw, aligning your bite, and correcting rotations cannot be accomplished.
It is more effective to know ahead of time what your specific orthodontic concerns are so you can have the best possible outcome. Dr. Albaugh can assess your condition along the whole process, which allows for multiple treatment plans to create your perfect smile and can adjust along the way as needed.
Trust The Smile Patio for Efficient and Effective Treatment
You wouldn’t go on a road trip without researching the best route to get you there that aligns with your needs and goal. Don’t start your orthodontic treatment without the same consideration!
Our expert team at The Smile Patio takes pride in making your experience a pleasant and personalized one, from initial consultation to your most recent checkup. If you are wondering what the best route to your perfect smile is, schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Albaugh in Vista today, and let us help you navigate this journey with confidence.