If you’re looking to improve your oral health and achieve a confident smile, you’re in luck! There’s never been a better time to explore everything orthodontics has to offer. Advancements in treatments and technology mean patients have more options than ever before for straightening their teeth. All orthodontic solutions are not created equally, however! Keep reading to find out why you should avoid direct-to-consumer clear aligners.
We’ve recently seen an increase in the number of direct-to-consumer aligner companies promising patients a way to straighten their smile from home for less money. Because these aligners are based on Invisalign’s revolutionary design, they look very similar but don’t be fooled! There are a number of important differences between the two.
High-quality care throughout the treatment process
Many DTC companies run impressive marketing campaigns and it’s not hard to understand why some consumers are tempted by the promises they make. But without professional oversight, straightening the teeth can come with adverse effects. Working with an orthodontist and using a professional system like Invisalign means your journey towards a healthier smile will be safer, more effective, and less stressful from start to finish.
That’s because Dr. Upton has had many years of education and training in successfully identifying and treating oral issues. He’s also an experienced Invisalign provider! When you schedule a complimentary consultation with our practice, you’ll receive a comprehensive orthodontic evaluation that includes digital photographs of your teeth and a conversation about any specific areas of concern we find. You’ll also be presented with a customized treatment plan, which will include the estimated treatment time and total investment needed for your new smile.
If you and Dr. Upton decide that Invisalign is right for you, we’ll begin by taking additional digital photos and x-rays to create a 3D image of your mouth. This allow us to design custom-fit aligners that are comfortable, effective, and simple to use. Throughout the treatment process, you’ll be scheduled for regular follow-up visits in our Tuscaloosa or Demopolis office. During these appointments, Dr. Upton will check that your teeth are moving in a healthy way and that everything is proceeding according to your treatment plan.
After treatment is complete, you’ll be given a retainer to help keep your newly straightened smile in place. As you can see, our expert team will be here to provide expert support and guidance from your first appointment to your last—and beyond! This ensures a better fit, better results, and a better orthodontic experience overall.
How this differs from direct-to-consumer companies
Working with aligners from a direct-to-consumer company is very different. There’s no hands-on expert guidance involved, so you won’t receive an oral exam beforehand or have any digital photographs taken before the aligners are sent to you. You’ll provide the company with some basic healthcare information, take your own tooth impressions, and send these impressions back in. Unfortunately, most patients aren’t trained in taking orthodontic impressions, so this can lead to inaccurate or inexact molds. That means the finished product may be uncomfortable, and it may even prove to be ineffective.
Maintaining good dental health can also be a concern. All orthodontic treatments require a healthy mouth before attempting to move the teeth. If your gums or jaw have underlying disease, the teeth can move too much. Those that are impacted or have hidden cavities can worsen underneath aligners and if the teeth don’t move in just the right way, it can throw your whole bite off. By relying on patients to provide their own images and impressions, dental problems like these can be missed or be exacerbated by treatment.
If you forego an orthodontist’s guidance, you’ll be signing up for a “one size fits all” approach to treatment. While clear aligners can be an excellent fit for many people, they aren’t recommended for everyone. For example, patients who have especially complex or severe cases may require more precise tooth control than aligners can provide and traditional braces may be a better option. This is something DTC aligner companies can miss out on to the detriment of your smile.
Comparable pricing and treatment times
You get what you pay for in life, and that includes orthodontics! Achieving a healthy and fully functional mouth does require an investment of your time and funds. DTC companies may promote cheaper aligners that takes less time, but most orthodontists are able to compete with their cost and treatment times.
For instance, RiverView Orthodontics is proud to offer a variety of affordable treatment options for patients of all ages, including Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. We have flexible payment plans to fit every budget, accept most major credit cards, and also work with most insurance companies. Although DTC aligners may seem like a bargain, they can actually end up costing more in the long run when you consider all the potential risks! When you get right down to it, these companies just can’t provide patients with the same level of supervised care that a trained orthodontist can.
Trust your smile to the experts at RiverView Orthodontics
Choosing an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Upton to care for your smile ensures you’ll have guidance, support, and supervision you can trust throughout your orthodontic journey. This is something direct-to-consumer aligner companies are lacking, which can leave you open to a number of unforeseen consequences like irritation, pain, and damage to your bite.
At RiverView Orthodontics, you’ll receive a customized treatment plan based on your own unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. This will give you the best results in the least amount of time possible! If you’d like to learn more about how our talented team can transform your smile safely and effectively, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation. Your best smile is waiting for you!