There’s been a rising trend towards using mail-order braces and at-home teeth aligner kits. While these often appeal to money-strapped consumers with lower price points, convenience, and affordability, there are risks. While social media outlets show countless reviews espousing their effectiveness, they aren’t a miracle cure. Keep reading if you’re thinking about investing in mail-order braces or aligners. You may discover they aren’t quite the deal you’ve been led to believe.
Mail-Order Braces, Aligner Kits, And The Perfect Smile
The process of achieving the perfect smile involves physically moving your teeth and altering your bone structure. It takes significant education to learn how to do this safely and imaging such as orthodontic equipment and x-rays to do appropriately. Even the process of taking a mold requires a certain degree of expertise. Doing it yourself and mailing it to some third party and expecting a safe, comprehensive, and practical plan to alter your dental structure is optimistic at best. At worst, it’s dangerous and can do lasting damage to your teeth.
Your dentist wants to ensure that your perfect smile is achieved as part of a safe, healthy, and reliable process. At-home teeth straightening using braces and aligners come with several drawbacks that make the results dicey at best:
- You Never See An Orthodontist – There’s more to an orthodontist’s job than straightening teeth. They’re also responsible for other oral health concerns that can be missed when using an at-home kit. These concerns can worsen with mail-order braces since you don’t have orthodontist oversight.
- No Oversight – During a traditional orthodontic treatment, adjustments are made to your treatment during the process. Sometimes teeth move slower than anticipated or may even move faster. Either way, the approach initially taken will need to be adjusted to compensate. Without doing so, it’s possible that lasting harm can result.
- Aligners Aren’t A Panacea – While you may have teeth that are out of alignment, this doesn’t mean that aligners are a cure-all. They won’t work for everyone and aren’t appropriate in every case. In some cases, your mail-in provider may tell you this when you send in your impressions and pictures. In others, they’ll take your money and send you the aligners anyway.
- Untreated Concerns – As mentioned previously, an orthodontist does more than just straighten teeth. There are numerous concerns they may identify while preparing you for your mail-order kit. Without proper treatment, these conditions can worsen and lead to severe concerns down the road. It can even interfere with your ability to see a successful alignment.
While the good reviews are obviously promoted, it pays to dig deeper. There are numerous reports of patients experiencing worse dental health following the treatment.
Mail-Order Orthodontics Cost More Than In-Office Treatments
When the results they hoped for from the mail-order alignment kit aren’t what you hoped for, more treatment is needed. If you’re lucky, the treatment was merely unsuccessful. If you’re not, your teeth may look worse than before. In the worst cases, you may actually have developed concerns from using these treatments. Don’t risk further complications and expenses; reach out to your dental provider for guidance.