The internet makes it easy to get anything you want, delivered directly to your doorstep. This is even true of orthodontic treatment, with mail-order aligners making DIY treatment seem quick and easy. But are mail-ordered orthodontics worth it? Bigman Orthodontics explores five things you won’t get with mail-order orthodontics and why in-person treatment is the best option for your smile.
What are mail-ordered aligners? How do they work?
Mail-order aligners claim lower prices and more convenience since there are no trips to the orthodontist for checkups and adjustments. This can seem appealing, but you might be surprised that most orthodontists and dentists don’t recommend this process.
The companies that offer clear aligners through the mail are a form of “online orthodontics.” Instead of visiting an orthodontic office for an in-person exam, the treatment process is entirely virtual.
You’ll apply to the company of your choice and, upon approval, have a kit sent to your home to make a 3-D mold of your teeth. A technician or dentist will then use that mold to create a series of clear aligners that will slowly move your teeth into straighter positions.
Like in-office treatment, this process can take weeks to months. During treatment, you’ll regularly provide photos of your mouth to monitor your teeth.
This may seem straightforward, but anyone considering these companies should proceed cautiously. Several risks and concerns are associated with this kind of care, and some can impact your oral health. Here are some benefits of choosing a respected orthodontic practice over mail-order companies!
Lower Cost and Quicker Results
The old saying that you get what you pay for is never more true than when it comes to your orthodontic treatment. While mail-order options may seem quick and inexpensive, the potential risks can cost you more in the long run since you won’t have the supervised care that a trained orthodontist provides.
When you choose care from a trained orthodontist, you’ll have access to the best orthodontic options for your unique needs. Dr. Bigman will give you personalized care to ensure the best treatment and results for your smile.
Here at Bigman Orthodontics, we also make orthodontic treatment affordable. We offer a variety of patient-specific payment plans and accept most orthodontic dental insurances to provide outstanding value for a reasonable price.
In-Person Clinical Exam
The best way to get the desired results is to evaluate your starting point thoroughly. During your initial exam, Dr. Bigman will use digital photographs to look closely at the tissue and bone supporting your teeth. We’ll also take full mouth X-rays and a digital scan that eliminates the need for goopy impressions.
This information helps us determine the best treatment for your smile and avoid complications from cavities, gum disease, and other problems not picked up in impressions or photos.
With mail-order aligners, the first step is receiving your in-home impression kit. Some options ask you to include intraoral photos, but the information they use to determine eligibility is basic. Once you mail the impression back, a dentist or technician will review it and decide if you are a good candidate for clear aligners.
This is based on your current tooth alignment and only factors in some essential components of the orthodontic process. Without considering all the variables, you may have subpar results, which could cost you more time and money.
Customized Treatment Plans
Your teeth and gums should be in good condition before attempting tooth movement to avoid unexpected problems. While clear aligners are an excellent option for many patients, they aren’t for everyone. Some cases are much more severe or require specific treatments before starting the movement of your teeth. When more precise or complicated movements are necessary, you may save time and money by opting for traditional metal or clear braces.
At Bigman Orthodontics, we consider your individual needs and goals before creating your treatment plan. We use the information gathered during your in-office consultation and the data from your imaging to determine what will fit your lifestyle and give you the best results.
Supervision During Treatment
During your treatment, your teeth may move slower or faster than we anticipate, things can come up that require minor adjustments, or we may need to modify your treatment plan. This is why having regular check-ins with our expert team is crucial during your aligner process.
When choosing mail-order aligners, you are given a treatment timeline. This timeline is based on your initial teeth impressions and what should happen over time but does not account for any deviations that may pop up unexpectedly. This hands-off approach can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw.
Treatment for Other Orthodontic Issues
Many orthodontic issues lie below the gum line and with the jaw, where messy impressions and cell phone images can’t capture the details. Mail-ordered aligners can’t treat these issues, so they can worsen without proper care. This treatment method can’t do things like widening your jaw, aligning your bite, and correcting rotations.
It is better to know your specific orthodontic concerns ahead of time to have the best possible outcome. Dr. Bigman will assess your condition throughout the process, allowing any adjustment to your treatment plan to get your perfect smile.
Trust Bigman Orthodontics for Efficient & Effective Treatment
You wouldn’t go on a road trip without researching the best route to get you there that aligns with your needs and goal. Don’t start your orthodontic treatment without the same consideration!
Our expert team at Bigman Orthodontics will make your experience pleasant and personalized, from the initial consultation to your final checkup. If you’re ready to get your perfect smile, schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Bigman in San Ramon, and we’ll help you confidently navigate this journey.