Why You Should Avoid Direct-To-Consumer Aligners

There’s only one you, and there’s only one smile like yours, too. Everything happening inside your mouth is unique to you! This is something that dentists and orthodontists understand, and why most practices offer treatment plans that are customized to each patient’s needs, goals, and lifestyle. Here at Van Vliet Orthodontics, we know that works for one patient may not be a good fit for another. When you schedule a free consultation with us, it includes digital photographs of your teeth and a conversation with Dr. Van Vliet to go over any areas of concern and your individualized treatment plan. Our goal is to provide you with a rewarding orthodontic experience, beginning with this first visit and continuing throughout the treatment process. 

There’s a lot that goes into quality orthodontic care! Unfortunately, we’ve recently seen an increase in the number of direct-to-consumer aligners being marketed online, in TV ads, and on various other platforms. These companies are marketing-savvy and their slick messaging promises consumers a straighter smile from the comfort of home at less cost than traditional orthodontic treatment. While we understand why this would be tempting to those hoping to correct their crooked teeth, most orthodontists and dentists don’t recommend them, and in fact, actively warn consumers against them! Keep reading below to find out why.

Based on the Invisalign clear aligner system

Invisalign has been the most popular alternative to traditional braces for some time now.  We’re proud to offer these innovative aligners to patients in Highland, Ramsey, and the surrounding areas! The clear trays are customized and removable, allowing us to straighten the teeth without using any brackets, wires, or bands. These direct-to-consumer aligner companies have based their products on Invisalign’s groundbreaking design, so they are very similar on the surface. Don’t fall for it! Although each system uses clear aligners to move the teeth over time, there are several key differences in the treatment process itself.

How Invisalign works at Van Vliet Orthodontics

Dr. Van Vliet is an experienced orthodontist who has had many years of education and training in identifying and treating misalignments, crowded teeth, and other oral issues. He is also an experienced Invisalign provider. As we mentioned above, the first step in any orthodontic journey should be a comprehensive orthodontic evaluation. Our free consultation includes digital photographs of your teeth and a conversation about any specific areas of concern we find. You’ll also be presented with a customized treatment plan, which will include the estimated treatment time and total investment needed for your new smile.

If you decide to move forward with Invisalign treatment, we’ll begin by taking additional digital photos and x-rays to create a 3D image of your mouth. We’ll create your first set of aligners from these images. This ensures a custom fit that’s comfortable and effective. Throughout the treatment process, you’ll be scheduled for regular follow-up visits in of our two conveniently located offices. During these appointments, Dr. Van Vliet will check that your teeth are moving in a healthy way and that everything is proceeding according to your treatment plan.

Once treatment is complete, you’ll be given a retainer. You should use this exactly as directed to help keep your beautiful new smile in place! Our expert team will provide support and guidance through every step of the treatment process. 

Why You Should Avoid Direct-To-Consumer Aligners

The treatment process with direct-to-consumer aligners

The treatment process with a direct-to-consumer company is very different. For a start, there is no expert guidance involved. You won’t receive an exam or have any digital photographs or x-rays taken before deciding on a treatment plan. You’ll be expected to provide some basic healthcare information, and you’ll also have to take your own tooth impressions and send them back in. Since most patients aren’t trained in taking orthodontic impressions, this can lead to inaccurate or inexact molds. That means the finished product may be uncomfortable and could even be ineffective in the long run.

Maintaining your dental health can also be a concern. The teeth and gums should always be in good condition before attempting any type of tooth movement, but when you rely on patients to provide their own images and impressions, dental problems can be missed or worsen over time. And while clear aligners can be a good fit, they aren’t recommended for everyone. For example, patients who have especially complex or severe cases may require more precise tooth control than aligners can provide and traditional braces may be a better option.

Without the guidance of an expert orthodontist, you’ll be signing up for a “one size fits all” approach to straightening smiles. That means you may not end up with the kind of results you hope for!

Don’t trust your smile to anything less than the experts at Van Vliet Orthodontics 

When you choose an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Van Vliet for all your smile needs, you’ll have guaranteed access to expert guidance, support, and supervision throughout your orthodontic journey. This is something direct-to-consumer aligner companies are lacking, which can leave you open to a number of unforeseen problems. 

Take aligners that are ill-fitting, for example. The friction can cause irritation, pain, and may even reduce their effectiveness. Without an orthodontist involved, this can go untreated and may cause damage to your bite over time or impact your oral health. When you consider all the potential risks involved, these aligners don’t seem like such a great deal after all!

At Van Vliet Orthodontics, you’ll be given a customized treatment plan based on your own unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. This level of skilled, supervised, and custom care is something direct-to-consumer companies just can’t provide! Do you want to learn more about how our talented team can safely and effectively transform your smile? Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Van Vliet!