Over the last few years, the orthodontic marketplace has been flooded with startups who are promising Invisalign-type results at discounted prices with “more convenience” by doing it yourself at home. We can’t argue that the flashy commercials sound appealing, but we feel unsupervised well-intended orthodontic treatment can pose problems.
These companies generally offer a mail order kit where people can take their own dental impressions then mail them to the company for a set of progressive aligners that a dentist on their staff designs. It is standard in orthodontic practices to take x-rays, photographs, and dental study models (done through a digital scan in our office) as well as complete a comprehensive oral exam to properly diagnose orthodontic problems. Some DIY clear aligner companies leave all of this important information out of their treatment.
Invisalign was once something new too, but this technology had years of results in research and clinical trials. Additionally, this once new treatment was monitored in person by orthodontists. This research and new technology had the blessing of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dr. Caudill found many articles warning about the dangers of at home aligners that patients should review when making the decision to correct their smiles properly. The mail order aligners are looking for easy to moderate cases, but the review of each orthodontic case is never simple and he feels an in person interview with proper records is critical for even the most seemingly minor cases.
This article from WRDW in Georgia even mentions underlying problems like cavities, gum disease, and bone loss around the teeth that are not considered with mail-order. In the article, a patient states “Fast forward eight months and several aligners later and, at first look, it appears to have worked out beautifully. … My molars do not come together even now. Now, when I chew food I have to gum it instead of chew it,” she said.
The American Dental Association (ADA) passed a policy during the 2017 ADA House of Delegates meeting “strongly discouraging” the practice of do-it-yourself orthodontics because of the potential harm and multiple nationwide reports and claims submitted to state dental boards from DIY aligner patients.
Both Dr. Caudill and Dr. McNeight have re-treated patients who have “straightened their smile” via mail-order. Something as important as your smile and your dental health is worth doing right and doing once. The physical, monetary and time costs of choosing to move your teeth and bite without a professional orthodontist in your corner are normally greater than if an orthodontist had done it right the first time.
We invite you to schedule a complimentary exam to learn more about your orthodontic treatment options. We specialize in traditional metal braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen and more. We also have payment plans and accept most dental insurance. Call us today (321) 259-3237 or click here to request an appointment. We would love to help you achieve your dream smile, safely.