You’re a busy person, so you want an orthodontic treatment you can work around your obligations. When it comes to orthodontic treatment, you may be tempted to search for quicker, easier solutions that require less time and hassle. However, easier and quicker do not always mean better. Mail order orthodontics is a fast alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment, but are they as effective? At New England Orthodontic Specialists, we know your smile deserves the best treatment possible. Let’s look at what mail-order orthodontics are and how they compare to a visit to the orthodontist’s office.
What are mail-order aligners? How do they work?
The process of companies offering clear aligners through the mail is called “online orthodontics.” Instead of visiting an orthodontic office for an in-person exam, every treatment process step is done through their website. You submit an application to the company, and once it’s approved, you can either visit one of their local shops or have a kit sent to your home to make a 3D 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 where you need them to go.
This process can take several weeks to months to complete, similar to in-person visits. Your progress is monitored using photos of your mouth that you give to your providers at regular intervals. This kind of care comes with risks, and the results can negatively impact your oral health. At New England Orthodontic Specialists, we want you to have the best available care. Let’s examine the benefits of traditional in-person practice visits over online orthodontics.
Every patient’s teeth move at different speeds. Your teeth may move slower or faster than expected during your treatment. As a result, things may require minor adjustments, or your orthodontists may need to modify your current treatment plan. This is why having regular check-ins with our team is essential for your aligner process. If you choose mail-order aligners, you will be given a treatment timeline to follow. This timeline is based on your initial teeth mold and what should happen over time. However, this does not account for any deviations that may arise. This hands-off approach can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw. Unexpected things can happen, and this distanced, strictly regimented treatment approach can be risky and ineffective.
In-Person Clinical Exam
A professional evaluation of your starting point is important when creating a treatment plan with your orthodontics provider. At your initial examination, our experts will look closely at the tissue and bone supporting your teeth using digital photographs, take full mouth X-rays, and a digital scan that eliminates the need for goopy impressions. This detailed information ensures clear aligners are the proper route for your treatment plan and avoid complications later from cavities, gum disease, and other related problems not picked up in impressions or photos.
With mail-order aligners, on the other hand, the first step is receiving your in-home impression kit. Some options ask you to include intraoral photos, but the information used to determine eligibility is very basic. Once the impression has been mailed back, a dentist or technician will review it and decide if the patient is a good candidate for clear aligners. This is based on your current tooth alignment and doesn’t factor in other important parts of the orthodontic process. Without considering all the variables, you may end up with less-than-stellar results, which could cost you more time and money.
Customized Treatment Plans
Your teeth should always be in healthy condition before any tooth movement to avoid any sudden problems. While clear aligners can be a useful option for some patients, they are not for everyone. Some cases are much more severe or require specific treatments before moving your teeth. In cases where more precise or complicated movements are needed, you may save time and money by opting for traditional metal or even clear braces.
Your individual needs and goals must be considered carefully before creating your treatment plan. At New England Orthodontic Specialists, we want to be sure the treatment plan we offer will make the best use of your time and goals. We’ll use the information gathered during your in-person evaluation and combine it with the data from your imaging to determine what will fit your lifestyle the best.
Treatment For Other Orthodontic Issues
Many orthodontic issues lie below the gum line and in the jaw. This is where complicated impressions and cell phone images can’t capture the details. Problems like these cannot be treated with mail-order aligners and can even become worse. Delicate processes like widening your jaw, aligning your bite, and correcting rotations cannot be accomplished with this kind of treatment. It’s better to know ahead of time what your specific orthodontic needs are so you can have the most optimal results. Dr. Neil and Dr. Diana can examine your current condition along the whole process, which allows for multiple treatment plans to create your ideal smile and can be adjusted along the way.
Lower Cost And Quicker Results
As we stated above, you have a busy schedule. Mail-order aligners may seem to offer a quicker, cheaper alternative to orthodontics. However, this is a misconception. The potential risks can wind up costing you more in the long run since you won’t get the supervised care that a trained orthodontist can provide. It’s important to use all options for your dental situation while under specialized care. It’s the only way to ensure the quickest and most beneficial path to a perfect smile, and most orthodontists can now compete with the prices that mail-order aligners claim to have.
Get the best care at New England Orthodontic Specialists
You deserve all the benefits of a better smile. With the right orthodontists to guide you through the right treatment, a better smile is right around the corner. If you have any questions or concerns about oral hygiene during treatment, our expert team is always here to help set your mind at ease. Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE initial consultation or follow-up with Dr. Neil and Dr. Diana in any of our offices – Beverly, Topsfield, South Hamilton, or Salem.