Many direct to consumer “teeth-straightening” companies have recently gained popularity among people looking to improve their smiles. These programs involve an at-home impression kit to make a mold of your teeth and you’re required to take photos of your bite. You send them to the company and in return you receive a series of clear aligners that claim to straighten your teeth.
The perceived benefits are that it can be less expensive than what you might pay at the orthodontist with results in less time… all without seeing an orthodontist to check your oral health and plan your treatment.
My main concern with these types of approaches is the risk to your oral health. Moving teeth is a complex process that involves applying force to the bone that anchors your teeth. Unsupervised teeth-straightening can cause irreversible damage including loose teeth that sometimes can’t be saved. (The cost of replacing lost teeth can be thousands of dollars worth of dental work, let alone the emotional impact.)
Mail order companies don’t take or evaluate x-rays of your teeth and supporting bone or even evaluate whether your teeth, bone and gums are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment. Many don’t even guarantee that an orthodontist is planning your treatment. In fact, diagnosis and treatment planning are some of the most important and most complicated aspects of orthodontics. After graduating as dentists, orthodontists go back to school for training to understand the many factors that affect your smile besides tooth movement, such as:
- Jaw Alignment
- Jaw growth patterns
- Overall dental health
- Underlying health factors
- Tooth position
- And many more…
As an orthodontist I am able to carefully control the direction in which the teeth move, a result of years of education to learn the special techniques and technologies of safe, effective orthodontic treatment.
Before considering any type of DIY teeth straightening talk to an experienced orthodontist like me. Only a trained specialist will have your mouth’s holistic health in mind, possibly saving you thousands of dollars and an emotional cost that’s even greater.
Here at Now Orthodontics, we strive to make sure every patient has the right treatment plan and options. Our consultations are complimentary and we accept many insurance plans. We offer a number of treatments to suit your specific needs including Damon, Damon Clear, Invisalign®, Invisalign® Teen and Harmony® Lingual Braces.
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