Here at Shine Orthodontics, we’ve recently seen an increase in the number of direct-to-consumer companies marketing clear aligners to consumers. While this kind of marketing has been around since the days of late-night infomercials and ads in the back of old magazines, it’s been surprising to see it catch on in the world of orthodontics! While the idea of straightening your smile from home for less may sound good in theory, most orthodontists and dentists are recommending that prospective patients steer clear of them. Keep reading to find out why you should choose an orthodontist over direct-to-consumer aligners!
Invisalign vs. DTC clear aligners
Invisalign has been the most popular alternative to traditional braces for some time now, and our practice is proud to offer these clear aligners to patients throughout Holly Springs. These aligners are customized and removable, allowing us to straighten the teeth without using any brackets, wires, or bands. The aligners that direct-to-consumer companies market are based on Invisalign’s groundbreaking design, so they do look very similar. Don’t fall for it! Although each system uses clear aligners to move the teeth over time, there are several key differences in the treatment process itself.
How the treatment process works at Shine Orthodontics
Dr. McGrogan is an experienced orthodontist who has had years of education and training in identifying and treating misalignments, crowded teeth, and many other oral issues. The first step in any orthodontic journey should be a comprehensive orthodontic evaluation. Our free consultation includes digital photographs of your teeth and a discussion with Dr. McGrogan about any specific areas of concern we find. You’ll also be presented with a customized treatment plan, which includes the estimated treatment time and the total investment needed for your new smile.
If you decide to move forward with Invisalign treatment, we’ll begin by taking additional digital photos and x-rays to create a 3D image of your mouth. We’ll create your first set of aligners from these images. This ensures a custom fit that’s comfortable and effective! Throughout the treatment process, you’ll be scheduled for regular follow-up visits with our office. During these appointments, Dr. McGrogan will check that your teeth are moving in the way they should and that everything is proceeding according to your treatment plan.
Once treatment is complete, you’ll be given a retainer. Using this as directed will help keep your beautiful new smile in place for years to come. The best part is, you’ll be supported by our entire expert team every step of the way!
The treatment process with DTC clear aligners
The treatment process with a direct-to-consumer company is very different. For a start, there is no expert guidance involved. You won’t receive an exam or have any digital photographs or x-rays taken before deciding on a treatment plan. You’ll be expected to provide some basic healthcare information, and you’ll also have to take your own tooth impressions and send them back in. Since most patients aren’t trained in taking orthodontic impressions, this can lead to inaccurate or inexact molds. That means the finished product may be uncomfortable and could even be ineffective in the long run.
Dental health can also be a concern. The teeth and gums should always be in good condition before attempting any type of tooth movement, but when you rely on patients to provide their own images and impressions, dental problems can be missed or worsen over time. And while clear aligners can be a good fit, 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.
Without the guidance of an expert orthodontist, you’ll be signing up for a “one size fits all” approach to straightening smiles. Unfortunately, this may not give you the personalized results you hope for!
Trust your smile to the experts at Shine Orthodontics
Working with an experienced orthodontist like Dr. McGroan will give you access to guidance, support, and supervision throughout your orthodontic journey. This is something DTC aligner companies are lacking, which can open you up to a number of unforeseen problems. Take ill-fitting aligners, for example. The friction can cause irritation, pain, and may reduce their effectiveness. Without an orthodontist involved, this can go untreated and may cause damage to your bite over time or impact your oral health. When you consider all the potential risks involved, DTC aligners don’t seem like such a great deal!
At Shine Orthodontics, you can expect a customized treatment plan based on your own unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. You won’t find this level of skilled, supervised, and custom care with any direct-to-consumer companies! When you choose our practice, you’re putting your smile into the best hands in Holly Springs and the surrounding areas. Do you want to learn more about how our team can safely and effectively transform your smile? Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with us!