Here at Designer Smiles by Benton, we’ve had several patients ask us about the difference between the clear aligners we use and the at-home aligners they see in commercials and social media ads. We’ve actually noticed an increase in the number of direct-to-consumer treatments available recently, so we weren’t surprised to get this question. We can certainly see why the idea of getting a straight smile without having to leave your home. However, most professionals won’t recommend these products, including Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry. Let’s take a closer look at what these aligners are, and why you should choose an orthodontist over mail-order aligners!
What Are Mail Order aligners?
Mail-order companies work pretty hard to convince you that they’re the best alternative to traditional orthodontic treatments. Normally, you would straighten your smile in an orthodontic office under the direct supervision of an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry. Mail-order companies claim that this step is unnecessary. They claim to supply customers with what they need to correct orthodontic issues at home. They first provide interested consumers with an in-home impression kit for clear aligners. Once the impression has been taken and mailed back in, a dentist or technician will review it and determine if the person is a good candidate for their aligners. If they’re approved for the process, aligners will be made from the impression provided and sent back to the patient with instructions on how to wear them.
Part of the appeal of mail-order aligners is that it’s not terribly difficult to be approved. They have a history of approving people for treatment who wouldn’t traditionally be considered a good candidate. When you have an orthodontic evaluation done by a proper orthodontist and receive treatment from a reputable practice, there are several important factors taken into consideration before recommending treatment. Those components are missing when it comes to mail-order aligners. These include:
Determining Your Specific Needs
Orthodontics is a complicated field. Orthodontists are trained to identify and treat a wide variety of oral issues. The first step is an orthodontic examination. When you visit our office, your consultation will also include digital photographs of your teeth, along with a series of panoramic and cephalometric x-rays if we feel they’re necessary. All of the information we gather from your first appointment is used to diagnose any issues and create a personalized treatment plan for your unique smile.
Mail-order aligner companies can’t collect this kind of detailed information. They have to rely on the basic information they get from the few photos and impressions you provide. This can lead to several missing oral health issues, like cavities, gum disease, and other related problems that can’t be seen from just a few photos or impressions. This can be a problem since teeth and gums should always be in good condition before any tooth movement is attempted. Working directly with an orthodontist like Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry eliminates any unnecessary risk since the treatment is built around your particular needs, including any necessary dental work.
Personalized treatment plans
At Designer Smiles by Benton, every smile is unique. Dr.Benton and Dr. Barry will always take your needs, lifestyle, and goals into account when choosing the best treatment method. While clear aligner therapy can be a great fit for many patients, it isn’t always the right choice for everyone. Cases that are particularly complex or severe require more precise tooth control than aligners can’t provide. Metal or clear braces are generally necessary in these cases.
Supervision throughout the treatment process
No matter what kind of treatment you’re seeking out, you’ll need regular check-up appointments. These visits are generally every 6-10 weeks or so, and Dr. Benton and Dr. Barry will use this time to check that your teeth are moving healthily and make any adjustments.
On the other hand, mail-order companies don’t provide meaningful supervision. You’ll be left alone and in charge of your own treatment. This can cause unintended consequences. Aligners that don’t fit properly can lead to irritation and pain. An improper fit can also move the teeth too quickly or more slowly than expected.
Additionally, cavities or gum disease can develop or worsen without you even knowing. If there’s no orthodontist involved, problems like this may go unnoticed and thus untreated. Over time, this can severely damage your health and bite.
Similar pricing and treatment times already exist
A healthy smile and a mouth that functions the best of its ability requires an investment, both of your time and money. We understand why mail-order aligners seem like a good deal, but they can actually end up costing more in the long run when considering all the potential risks.
But did you know that orthodontists actually charge similar fees to those of mail-order companies? We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality orthodontic care when they need it. That’s why we offer a variety of affordable treatment options for every budget, including clear aligners. We have flexible payment plans available, and also accept most major credit cards and insurance plans.
Trust your smile to the experts at Designer Smiles by Benton
You wouldn’t get medical treatment with consulting the right medical professionals, and your smile deserves the same consideration.
While mail-order companies claim to have qualified dentists and technicians keeping an eye on your treatment process, they can’t compare to the education, skills, and experience that Dr. John Benton and Dr. Barry Benton possess. They have years of experience creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Oxford, Pell City, and the surrounding areas. Our team will always provide you with the best orthodontic care at affordable prices! These are just some of the reasons we suggest choosing an orthodontist over mail-order aligners.
If you want to learn more about how Designer Smiles by Benton can help you safely achieve a beautiful smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Drs. Benton.