In a world where we have access to anything we need faster, cheaper, and easier than ever before, we’ve gotten used to a certain level of convenience. While this can be beneficial in many cases, there have been some unfortunate side effects, even in the field of orthodontics! Most notable, it’s led to an increase in the number of direct-to-consumer treatments available. You may be wondering if there are really any benefits of an orthodontist over Smile Direct Club and similar companies.
These companies go all out on flashy advertising that promises you a straighter smile from the comfort of your own home for less money. We can certainly understand why this is tempting for many consumers, however, most orthodontists and dentists won’t recommend them. Keep reading below to learn more about what mail-order aligners like Smile Direct Club are and how Brady Orthodontics can give you the smile you deserve in a safe environment with professional guidance.
What are Mail-Order aligners?
Mail-order aligner companies market themselves as an effective alternative to orthodontic treatment that takes place in an office under the supervision of an experienced orthodontist. The first step in the process is supplying customers with an in-home impression kit for clear aligners. Once the impression has been taken and mailed back in, a dentist or technician will review it and determine if the patient is a good candidate for their aligners. If the patient is approved for the process, aligners will be made from the impression sent in. These will then be delivered to the patient at home with instructions on how to wear them.
Anyone considering using aligners from Smile Direct Club or other companies should be aware that it’s extremely easy to get approved. While that may sound like a good thing, the truth is that many people are given approval for aligner treatment even if different treatment methods offered by an orthodontist would be a better option for their needs.
This kind of do-it-yourself treatment comes with a number of potential risks, many of which can lead to unsatisfactory results–or worse! There are several important components of the orthodontic process missing with mail-order aligners, some of which we’ve outlined below.
Assessing your specific needs
Orthodontics is about more than just straightening the teeth. An experienced orthodontist is trained to identify and treat a variety of oral issues, ranging from mild to severe. This attention to your specific needs is one of the major benefits of choosing an orthodontist over Smile Direct Club. The first step in the orthodontic process is a consultation that includes a thorough examination. At Brady Orthodontics, our treatment coordinator will take digital photographs of your teeth, along with a panoramic and cephalometric x-ray if necessary. These images allow us to see your teeth, jaws, and facial soft tissue. Together, this detailed information gives Dr. Brady everything he needs to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient.
In contrast to this, mail-order aligner companies must rely on nothing more than the basic information that is provided to them by the customer. Unfortunately, this can lead to many oral health issues being overlooked. Cavities, gum disease, and other related problems aren’t visible from just a few photos or impressions. Since your teeth and gums should always be in good condition before you attempt to move your teeth, this can be a real problem. When you work directly with a trained orthodontist like Dr. Brady, it eliminates this unnecessary risk. Treatment plans are built around your unique needs, including any dental work that may be needed.
Creating customized treatment plans
Clear aligner therapy can be an excellent treatment option for many patients, but it isn’t right for everyone. In cases that are more complex or severe, more precise tooth control may be necessary to achieve the desired results. For these patients, traditional metal or clear braces may be a better option.
Our Brady Orthodontics team is made up of experienced orthodontists and support staff who always consider a patient’s needs, lifestyle, and goals when creating an individualized treatment plan for them. This happens in conjunction with the results of their initial consultation with Dr. Brady. Without access to the patient for an in-person examination or x-rays, mail-order aligner companies like Smile Direct Club are not able to accurately determine if someone is a good fit for aligners or not.
Supervising the treatment process
Regular check-ups are an essential part of the treatment process for every orthodontic patient. These visits take place roughly every 4-8 weeks, and Dr. Brady uses this time to make any necessary adjustments, observe how the teeth are moving, and check that everything is progressing according to your unique treatment plan.
Mail-order aligner companies completely lack any kind of meaningful supervision. For all intents and purposes, patients are left in charge of their own orthodontic experience, which can lead to unexpected consequences. For example, aligners may fit poorly, which can cause irritation and pain. An improper fit may also move the teeth too quickly or more slowly than expected. As we noted above, cavities or gum disease can develop or worsen without you even knowing. Without an orthodontist involved, problems like this may go unnoticed and thus untreated, eventually causing damage to your oral health and bite.
Comparable pricing and similar treatment times
Achieving a healthy smile that looks amazing requires an investment of your time and funds. That old saying that “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true, especially when it comes to orthodontic treatment! While mail-order aligners may seem like an inexpensive and easy way to straighten your smile, they can end up costing more in the long run when you consider the potential risks. That’s because these companies are simply unable to provide patients with the same level of supervised care that a trained orthodontist can.
In reality, many qualified orthodontists are actually able to compete with the cost and treatment times that most mail-order aligner companies offer. Here at Brady Orthodontics, we offer a variety of affordable treatment options for patients of all ages, including Invisalign clear aligner therapy. To ensure treatment is affordable, we’ll work with you to create a payment plan that fits your lifestyle and your budget. Additionally, we accept most orthodontic insurances and can even file the insurance on your behalf!
Our office takes advantage of the latest in orthodontic technology and techniques to give you the most optimal results in the shortest amount of time possible.
Expert care that you can trust
You only get one smile, and we believe it’s too important to trust to anything less than a trained expert! While mail-order aligner companies claim to have qualified dentists and technicians overseeing the approval process for their aligners, there’s no substitute for working directly alongside an orthodontist who has education, training, and expertise in moving teeth successfully. Dr. Brady has years of experience creating beautiful, healthy smiles in our community, so you can always trust in us to provide the highest quality orthodontic care! Once you know the benefits of choosing an orthodontist over Smile Direct Club, you can make the best decision for your smile.
For treatment that’s safe and effective, visit Brady Orthodontics
Would you undergo any type of medical treatment without an initial evaluation or ongoing supervision from a medical professional? Of course not! We believe your smile deserves the same consideration. At Brady Orthodontics, our goal is to provide you with a rewarding, stress-free orthodontic experience from your first appointment to your last. If you’re ready to learn more about how you can safely achieve a beautiful smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Brady!