In today’s society, we’ve gotten used to being able to get anything we need faster, cheaper, and easier than ever before. While there’s no doubt this is convenient, it’s led to some unforeseen consequences, even in the field of orthodontics! Most notably, it’s led to an increase in the number of direct-to-consumer treatments available, such as mail-order aligners. With all of these options available, you may be wondering about the benefits of orthodontists over Smile Direct Club and similar companies.
These companies use flashy, attention-grabbing advertisements that promise a straighter smile from home for less money! We understand how this can be tempting for many consumers. However, most orthodontists won’t recommend this type of at-home treatment and we’re here to explain why! Keep reading below to find out more about what mail-order aligners are and how Champlain Orthodontics can safely and effectively give you the smile you deserve.
What are direct-to-consumers aligners?
Direct-to-consumer aligner companies are marketed as a successful alternative to orthodontic treatment that happens in an office under the close supervision of a trained orthodontist. The first step in the process is supplying customers with an in-home impression kit for aligners. Once the impression is taken, it’s mailed back to the company and a doctor or technician will determine if the patient is a good candidate for their aligners. If they are approved, aligners will be made based on the impressions provided by the customer and mailed back with instructions on how to use them.
If you’re considering using aligners from Smile Direct Club or a similar company, you should be aware that it’s very easy to get approved. While this may seem like a good thing, the truth is that many people are given the okay for aligner treatment even if another treatment method would be better suited for their smile.
This kind of do-it-yourself treatment comes with a number of potential risks, many of which can lead to subpar results, longer treatment times, or worse! There are several important components of the orthodontic process missing with mail-order aligners, some of which are outlined below.
Assessing your unique needs
Orthodontics is about so much more than just straightening the teeth. A trained, experienced orthodontist is able to diagnose and treat a wide range of oral health issues, ranging from simple to complex. This attention to your unique needs is one of the major benefits of an orthodontist over Smile Direct Club. When you start the orthodontic treatment process, you’ll have a consultation that includes an orthodontic examination. At Champlain Orthodontics, our treatment coordinator will take digital photographs of your teeth, along with panoramic and cephalometric x-rays if necessary. These images allow us to see your teeth, jaws, and facial soft tissue. Dr. Ryan or Dr. Eaton will then perform a thorough examination. Together, this detailed information will give us everything we need to create a n individualized treatment plan for each patient.
With mail-order aligners, on the other hand, companies must completely rely on the basic information provided by the patient. Cavities, gum disease, and other related problems can’t be seen from just photos and impressions. Unfortunately, this can lead to many oral health issues being missed and therefore untreated. Since your teeth and gums should always be in healthy condition before attempting to move your teeth, this can be a serious problem. When you work directly with a trained orthodontist like Dr. Ryan or Dr. Eaton, this unnecessary risk is completely eliminated. Treatment plans are created to meet your unique needs, including any dental work that may be needed. Being able to have in-person access to your care is one of the main benefits of orthodontists over Smile Direct Club.
Creating customized treatment plans
It’s true that clear aligner therapy can be an efficient treatment option for many patients, but it isn’t for everyone. Cases that are more complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than aligners can provide. For these patients, traditional metal or clear braces may be a better option.
The team here at Champlain Orthodontics is made up of experienced orthodontists and support staff who always prioritize a patient’s individual needs, lifestyle, and goals when creating their one-of-a-kind treatment plan. This happens in conjunction with the results of the initial consultation. Without access to the patient for an in-person examination and x-rays, mail-order aligner companies like Smile Direct Club aren’t able to accurately determine if someone is a good candidate for aligner therapy or not.
Supervising the treatment process
Regular check-ups are an essential part of the orthodontic treatment process for every patient. These visits occur roughly every 4-8 weeks. Dr. Ryan and Dr. Eaton use this time to observe how the teeth are moving, make any necessary adjustments, and make sure that everything is going according to your treatment plan.
With mail-order aligner companies, there’s no kind of meaningful supervision. Patients are essentially left in charge of their own orthodontic experience, which can have some unintended consequences. One example is that the aligners may fit poorly, causing irritation and pain. An improper fit may also move teeth too quickly or more slowly than outlined in your treatment plan. As we mentioned before, cavities or gum disease can develop or worsen without a patient ever even knowing. Without an orthodontist involved, issues like these may go unnoticed and untreated, eventually causing long-term damage to your teeth, bite, and overall oral health.
Comparable pricing and similar treatment times
Achieving a healthy smile that looks amazing requires an investment of your time and finances. The old saying “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true than when it comes to orthodontic treatment! While mail-order aligners seem like an inexpensive and easy way to get a straighter smile at first, they can really end up costing you more in the long run when you consider the potential risks. That’s because these companies just can’t provide patients with the same level of guidance and care that a trained orthodontist can.
In reality, most qualified orthodontists are actually able to compete with the cost and treatment times that mail-order aligner companies often claim. Here at Champlain Orthodontics, we proudly offer a variety of affordable treatment options for patients of all ages in Williston, St. Albans, and the surrounding communities, including Invisalign clear aligner therapy. To make sure that treatment is always affordable, we accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards. You can also set up a flexible spending account (FSA) to set up pre-determined deposits into a separate account designated for your medical payments. You can talk to your employer to find out if this is something they offer. We also accept most orthodontic insurance plans and will help you when filing your claims!
Our office stays up-to-date on the latest in orthodontic technology and techniques in order to give our patients the most optimal results in the shorten amount of time.
Expert care that you can count on
You only get one smile, and we believe it’s too important to trust to anyone other than an expert! While mail-order aligner companies claim to have qualified dentists and technicians overseeing the approval process for aligner treatment, there’s no comparison to working with an orthodontist who has the education, training, and experience necessary to successfully move teeth. Dr. Ryan and Dr. Eaton have years of experience in creating healthy, beautiful smiles in our community, so you can feel confident that you’re always receiving the highest quality orthodontic care!
For treatment that’s safe and effective, visit Champlain Orthodontics
If you needed medical treatment, would you trust anyone other than a trained expert who’s had an in-person look at your specific case? Of course not! We believe your smile deserves the same consideration. At Champlain Orthodontics, we strive to provide every patient with an orthodontic experience that’s stress-free and rewarding, from your first visit to your last. Once you know the benefits of orthodontists over Smile Direct Club, the choice for your treatment is much easier to make!
To find out more about how you can safely achieve the healthy, beautiful smile of your dreams, contact us to schedule your FREE consultation!