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Many people desire a beautiful, straight smile, and clear aligners are a great way to discreetly straighten your teeth. Recently, clear aligner marketing campaigns have claimed to offer this treatment at an affordable price, delivered straight to your door. While this may seem appealing and convenient, this type of system can be risky and cause irreparable damage to the teeth and gums. Our orthodontist for children outlines why patients should avoid these services if possible.
These plans are designed for convenience. The plan is presented in a way that makes orthodontic treatment sound easy, and like something you can do yourself. The person takes an imprint of their bite and a photo of their teeth, then mails these to the service to create their custom aligners. The imprint is reviewed to ensure they are a candidate for treatment and they then receive aligners via mail. They monitor their own progress and have a straight smile at the end of their treatment.
While the system is set up to customize the aligners to your bite, there is no replacement for a thorough orthodontic exam and direct supervision during treatment. There are more things to take into consideration than what you can tell from one imprint and what your teeth look like superficially. It is crucial for an orthodontist to take X-rays, examine the tissues and gums, and evaluate the patient’s bite carefully.
If you choose a mail-order aligner plan and you have severe bite issues, you may end up moving your teeth to an even worse malocclusion position. There may be structural (bone) problems that you are unaware of, that an orthodontist can detect, but are not detectable by the mail-order service. Additionally, there may be dental problems lurking that should be taken care of before beginning orthodontic treatment. Gum disease and tooth loss can result from ill-maintained treatment.
It’s important that you have an orthodontist evaluate and oversee your bite all throughout treatment. Moving teeth into the desired position is a big task, and not one that should be done yourself!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact White Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontic office for braces or Invisalign in Richmond, VA, by clicking here or by calling 804.715.1998.