It’s no secret that the world has been moving more and more to the digital space, with e-commerce, social media, and video streaming services being more popular than ever. One aspect of life some companies are trying to move to digital is orthodontics.
There’s quite a lot of appeal to these online options since their marketing says people can get straight teeth by having aligners mailed to them. These companies also promote their low prices, appealing to people who want to pay less for straight teeth. However, there are lots of reasons why you should think twice about getting mail-order braces, including the fact that, in the end, they most likely won’t be as affordable as you might think.
How Mail-Order Braces Work
“Mail-order braces” are really clear aligners that look and work similarly to Invisalign. The idea is that based on photos of your teeth and molds you take yourself, you can order aligners that will straighten your teeth. As you move to new phases in the treatment, you’ll get new aligners sent in the mail. Sounds easy and convenient, right?
Not so fast. As nice as it sounds to be able to get straight teeth without ever going to an orthodontist office, this is a case of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Why They May Cost You More
The risks of using online orthodontic treatment far outweigh the potential benefits, which ultimately boils down to convenience and paying less money. But both of these benefits are far from guaranteed. That’s because there’s nothing convenient or cheap about messing up your teeth.
The process of getting this type of treatment skips some essential steps that keep patients safe. For one, impressions gathered on your own aren’t guaranteed to be very accurate, which could land you with aligners that only mostly fit. There are also no x-rays involved, which is an essential part of orthodontics.
The riskiest part of doing mail-order braces is the fact that there is no supervision by an actual orthodontist. Even if these companies employ doctors, they aren’t examining your teeth or doing regular check-ups in person. An orthodontist should look closely at your teeth and analyze x-rays before suggesting treatment, and should monitor your progress throughout treatment.
Without an orthodontist present, major problems could be missed, such as the risk of shortening roots or teeth responding unexpectedly. When orthodontists can take a good look at a patient’s teeth, they can uncover these problems and respond in a way that keeps the patient safe and gets them the best results.
Many people who get online braces end up with damage to their teeth, which means they require additional treatment to fix the new issues. This certainly defeats the purpose of trying to save money or make life easier – not to mention the main goal of improving your smile.
There are plenty of ways to make high-quality, in-person orthodontic treatment affordable. At Smith Orthodontics, we offer payment plans and take all major dental insurance plans, which often cover a significant portion of your treatment costs. Contact us today to learn more!