The past few years have seen dramatic growth in the number of people looking to improve the appearance of their smile with teeth straightening and specifically using solutions like clear braces and clear aligner therapy. This does however mean that there has been a rise in online teeth straightening solutions, which may cause more harm than good.
What are mail order aligners?
Some companies have started to provide alternatives to attending the dentist or orthodontist for your teeth straightening procedures, through mail order businesses. These companies send you an at home impression kit to take impressions of your teeth. Once these are sent back, they will be reviewed by one of their technicians, who determines if you are suitable for these aligners. If so, aligners are sent back to be worn for a prescribed period.
It is likely the people determining whether you are suitable for aligners will have little if any formal dental training. The main focus of these businesses is to make money, and this is often achieved at the detriment to quality and standards. Dentists have studied for years and will always ensure that each patient is fully assessed with any oral health concerns identified or treated before they even consider offering teeth straightening treatments. Serious oral health problems, like gum disease and cavities can be overlooked with home kits because there is not a lot that can be seen from a few photos or impressions.
2. No supervision
When you undergo teeth straightening treatment with a dentist they will require you to attend for regular routine appointments, so that they can monitor how your teeth are moving and if necessary they will adjust your treatment plan to ensure your teeth move at a safe and efficient rate. This is not something you will get with mail order teeth straightening, meaning your teeth may move slower or faster than anticipated, which can dramatically affect the end results you achieve.
3. Risk of damaging teeth
Moving teeth too fast or with poorly fitting aligners can result in serious problems. This can mean that having paid for your mail order aligners, you may then have to see a dentist or orthodontist to repair the damage caused.
4. Aligners are not for everyone
There are a wide range of teeth straightening treatments available and your dentist or orthodontist will be able to determine the most suitable treatment to meet your needs. Some people can happily straighten their teeth with aligners while others need fixed braces or other solutions such as veneers or crowns to get the best results.