Why You Should Choose Invisalign Over Mail Order

Why You Should Choose Invisalign Over Mail Order Aligners
Posted on 07/01/2020
A great smile can give you confidence, make you seem more approachable, and looks healthy. That’s why so many people go to great lengths to improve their smile.

A new trend that promises to give people the smile of their dreams might be easier, but might not be the best choice for everyone!

Mail-order aligners promise clear aligners at a discount, without the time commitment or cost of orthodontist appointments. They are marketed as a more convenient, lower cost, and discrete option for teeth straightening.
In reality, mail-order aligners are a risky choice. If you’re thinking about using them because you’re worried about the cost of Invisalign in the Ann Arbor area, read on for more information about what mail-order aligners could actually cost you.

Why you shouldn’t use mail-order aligners

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends consumers only seek clear aligner treatment from experienced, licensed orthodontists for safety and best results.

1.    They don’t include a dental assessment
With mail-order aligners, you will most often use a do-it-yourself kit to take an impression of your own teeth and mail it back to the company. They will then make your trays and mail them back. What they won’t do is assess your teeth, jaw, and overall health.

An orthodontist will never start you on aligners without first assessing the position and form of your teeth, the overall health of your mouth, and any factors that might affect your treatment. Aligner trays are not the right choice for everybody. Only somebody who thoroughly assesses your teeth and oral health can help you determine if they’re right for you.

Issues like impacted or missing teeth, short or misshapen roots, or asymmetrical jaw bones can impact treatment. A do-it-yourself impression kit won’t pinpoint those issues.

2.    They don’t offer ongoing care during treatment
Mail-order aligners also don’t come with ongoing treatment. Once you receive your trays, you’re on your own. If your teeth move faster or slower than planned, or you develop problems like cavities or gum disease during treatment, you won’t know or receive important treatment.

A licensed orthodontist will supervise your treatment through regular appointments, adjust your plan according to your changing needs, and make sure your care is safe and efficient. Your treatment is customized and adjusted as needed. An orthodontist will also take x-rays at intervals to monitor your progress. Moving your teeth affects them above and below the gum line, where you can’t see the effects without an x-ray.

Mail-order straighteners don’t come with an assessment, your progress is not monitored by a medical professional, and if you have any issues you will likely speak with a customer service representative, not a medical professional.
Personalized treatment helps you get the best and safest outcome.

3.    Treatment options are limited
Aligners aren’t right for everybody. It’s important for an orthodontist to assess your individual needs and work with you to find the right solution. Mail-order can’t effectively determine your needs from an at-home impression kit.

You should only be approved for mail-order treatment if you have minor alignment issues. If you have more complicated alignment issues, you should be turned down. Worse, you may have problems that affect your treatment, like gum disease or dental decay that can’t be identified with an impression kit.

Even if you think you’re a good candidate for mail-order aligners, any underlying issues are not going to be found via mail. And if you encounter problems during treatment, you won’t have anybody to turn to.

4.    Failure is not the worst outcome

Ineffective treatment, while a waste of money, isn’t the worst outcome we’re seeing from mail-order aligners.

Moving teeth too quickly or wearing ill-fitting aligners can cause painful, sometimes serious complications. Some have resulted in losing teeth, injuries to gums, and an inability to chew or close the mouth correctly. If you encounter serious problems with mail-order aligners, you will be responsible for your own care and treatment of those complications. Most mail-order companies have you sign a contract assuming responsibility for complications.

5.    Evidence is stacking up against mail-order aligners
Complications are not uncommon with mail-order aligners. In fact, thousands of people have filed lawsuits due to complications they’ve experienced, as well as complaints with the BBB, FDA, and the FTC.

Dental associations in multiple states, the ADA, the American Association of Orthodontists, and more, have denounced mail-order aligner companies, filed complaints with regulatory agencies, and filed lawsuits for unlawfully practicing dentistry.

It may be tempting to save time and money by purchasing a mail-order aligner system, but the cost may be higher than you think. Orthodontia is considered a medical treatment, with good reason. There is much more to your teeth than what you see on the surface. For your safety and for your beautiful smile, straightening them should be supervised by a licensed medical professional.