A study conducted by Zhou group reveals that people with straight teeth are thought to be more successful, with more active social lives. Even so, many feel they cannot afford to straighten their teeth or simply cannot commit to periodic orthodontic visits. Those looking for savings and convenience are often drawn to DIY boxed aligners, which are mailed directly to their home. What they do not consider is the hidden cost and inconvenience that may arise with this type of treatment. Here are ways in which boxed aligners might actually cost you more time and money.
Problems with Impressions
It is not possible to create aligners without first having an impression of your teeth. Accordingly, boxed companies will provide you with a kit so that you can take your own impressions. Others may have you visit a dentist’s office instead.
Your impressions are an important first step in the alignment process, and should be performed by a licensed orthodontist. With DIY impressions, you run the risk of not doing them correctly, which is something that can negatively affect the rest of your treatment. An orthodontist is also better trained to make those impressions than a dentist, who will probably be focused on the health of your teeth rather than alignment.
Receiving your Aligners
Upon receiving your impressions, the boxed company will create a set of aligners and then mail them to you. You will receive new ones periodically throughout your treatment period. Several issues may arise with your new aligners, namely a poor fit. When this happens, you may have to spend hours on the phone with a customer service agent trying to sort the matter out. Suddenly, your at-home solution is not so convenient. Errors at the dental laboratory or hiccups in the shipping schedule can sometimes cause delays. This can significantly draw out your overall treatment time.
Before straightening the teeth, an orthodontist will provide an in-depth consultation that includes x-rays, impressions, and an examination of your mouth, teeth, and jaws. Only then is it possible to come up with a treatment plan that will perfectly address your needs. Boxed aligners, on the other hand, provide a “one size fits all” approach to straightening that may or may not provide you with the results you desire.
Skipping the consultation can result in other negative consequences, including:
- Failing to identify oral health issues such as loose crowns or cavities, which should be addressed prior to straightening.
- Overlooking conditions such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) that might affect your final results.
- Skipping over the need to pull teeth in order to alleviate overcrowding.
- Not addressing bite issues, but instead focusing only on alignment.
- Assuming that clear aligners will work when in fact you have a problem that cannot be addressed with any type of aligners, DIY or otherwise.
- Failing to check the health of your gums, thereby leading to loose teeth during the straightening process.
Not providing the proper education on how to care for your teeth while wearing aligners.
Results of Survey
A recent survey from the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) reveals that the number of people trying “self-straightening” or at-home orthodontics is on the rise.
Nearly 13% of orthodontists surveyed… claimed they had seen a patient who had tried such methods, oftentimes with disastrous results.
In some cases, the patients created irreversible problems that later had to be addressed. During the AAO survey, 39% of orthodontists with a patient who tried self-straightening… reported they also provided treatment to correct issues resulting from it.
Reaction from AAO
An increase in problems related to DIY teeth straightening has led the AAO (American Association of Orthodontics) to release a statement. President DeWayne McCamish stated, “what most people don’t understand is that moving teeth is a biological process involving bone that dissolves and rebuilds as teeth are moved into their new positions.” He further went on to say, “moving teeth is best done under the direct supervision of an orthodontist, after an in-person assessment, including complete diagnostic records.”
Kevin Dillard, general counsel for the AAO, also noted that box aligners devalued ongoing follow-up treatment. He further added, “bite problems, enamel wear, and even tooth loss are possible when using aligners incorrectly or without proper guidance.
The stance on the AAO is clear: trust your treatment plan to a trained professional with years of experience and knowledge of precautions. What other major form of medical treatment would you simply trust without an in-person, pre-treatment evaluation and doctor monitoring your biological changes? Not many. Don’t treat changes to your teeth and face any differently. Here is a list of important questions to consider, when speaking with a direct-to-consumer aligner company: https://www.aaoinfo.org/1/online-orthodontic-companies
Benefits of Professional Orthodontic Treatment
Many people choose boxed aligners because they want to save time and money. However, orthodontists who have treated patients with problems, claim those individuals would have saved more time and money by going the traditional route instead.
With traditional teeth straightening, you receive an in-depth consultation at no cost. During the first appointment, we will take photographs, x-rays, and impressions of your mouth. Over the next two weeks, Dr. Rooz will study them and come up with a recommended treatment plan. We will then explain that treatment plan to you during your second visit and you can decide if orthodontic straightening is right for you.
To your convenience, Dr. Rooz is an expert of CAT (Clear Aligner Therapy). He has studied the Invisalign aligner extensively, being published in the highest rank orthodontic publication. This passion allowed Dr. Rooz to create his own in-house alternative called Porth Clear Aligners! They are made using the most cutting-edge technology, powered by artificial intelligence and 3D printing on-site! If they are lost or do not fit right, Dr. Rooz can have a new aligner made the next day. With mail-order aligners, you would be waiting a while to receive a correct fit aligner. During that time, you are very uncomfortable, not making progress with your smile and sliding backwards to your initial teeth alignment issues. To date, patients have loved the customizability and integrity of the innovative, in-house printed Porth Clear Aligners:
Our Convenient Scheduling Options
During the course of your treatment, you will visit Porth – Personalized Orthodontics for periodic adjustments. Most of these appointments take only a few minutes, so you can be in and out of our office in no time. We also offer a very convenient schedule that includes evening and weekend appointments.
We are here when you need us, even during an orthodontic emergency. If you experience a problem such as a protruding wire, Dr. Rooz can handle that for you. On the other hand, if you encounter an orthodontic emergency while using box aligners, you may require a trip to the emergency room.
With Porth – Personalized Orthodontics, you will not have to spend hours on the phone trying to rectify a situation. We provide personalized service that includes making sure that everything is done correctly the first time. When factoring in the various payment plans, Dr. Rooz can provide you with professional orthodontic treatment, at a comparable price to mail-order companies. Please contact us today to schedule your consultation and find out more about the benefits of teeth straightening… with a professional orthodontist!
Disclaimer: This blog post providers information and merely reflects Dr. Rooz Khosravi’s expert opinion. You should consult with a dentist or an orthodontist prior to following any advice suggested here.