In today’s society, we’ve gotten accustomed to convenience. Anything we could ever want or need is just a click away and delivered straight to our doorstep. While there’s no denying that this comes in handy and makes life easier, it’s also come with some unexpected side effects, too. In the field of orthodontics, this has led to an increased number of direct-to-consumer treatments available. We’re here to examine the benefits of choosing an orthodontist over DTC aligners to achieve your perfect smile!
Direct-to-consumer companies, such as Smile Direct Club, use flashy advertising and the promise of low financial investment in order to attract orthodontic patients. Many of them claim to be able to straighten smiles from home for a fraction of the cost of a trained orthodontist. While we can certainly understand the appeal this can have, most orthodontists won’t recommend these types of at-home treatments. You only get one smile, and it’s much too important to trust to anyone other than a trained professional! To learn more about how a trained orthodontist like Dr. Ken or Dr. JK can help you achieve your best smile, keep reading below!
What are DTC aligners?
Many direct-to-consumer aligner companies promote themselves as effective alternatives to traditional orthodontic treatment that takes place under the supervision of an orthodontist. Consumers are supplied with an at-home impression kit for their aligners. Once the impression has been taken, it’s mailed back to the company and reviewed by a dentist or technician to determine if the patient is a good candidate for their aligners. If approved, they’ll create aligners based on the impression sent in, then deliver them to the patient at home, along with instructions on how to use them.
It’s important to note, however, that it’s extremely easy to be approved for these DTC aligners. While that may seem like a positive, many people are approved for treatment who would be better suited for other treatment options. In many ways, DTC aligners are essentially a DIY orthodontic treatment. This comes with a number of potential risks, many of which may lead to less than desirable results or unexpected problems.
There are several components of the orthodontic process that DTC aligners can’t provide, including:
A thorough assessment of the patient’s specific needs
Orthodontics is much more than simply straightening teeth for a more attractive smile. Experienced orthodontists like Dr. Ken and Dr. JK are trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of oral issues, from simple to complex. The first step in your orthodontic journey consists of an initial consultation that includes a thorough examination of the mouth and teeth. Here at Dillehay Orthodontics, we’ll also take digital photographs of your teeth, as well as x-rays if it’s deemed necessary. These images allow us to see your teeth, jaws, and facial soft tissues, which provides the information we need to create a completely personalized treatment plan for every patient.
DTC aligners, however, must completely rely on the basic information provided by the patient. Because cavities, gum disease, and other similar problems can’t be seen from photos and impressions alone, this can lead to these problems going untreated. Since the teeth and gums should always be healthy before any type of tooth movement is attempted, this can end up being extremely problematic.
Working directly with a trained orthodontist eliminates any unnecessary risks since the treatment is customized to fit your specific needs, including any potential dental work that you may require.
Creating a customized treatment plan
Clear aligner therapy can be a great fit for many orthodontic patients, but they’re not for everyone. Cases that are more complex or severe often require more precise tooth control than aligners are able to provide. For these patients, metal or clear braces may be a better choice.
Dr. Ken and Dr. JK are experienced orthodontists who are proud to create custom plans for each patient. Working with the skilled team at Dillehay Orthodontics will ensure a treatment plan that fits your unique needs, lifestyle, and smile goals. We base your plan off of the professional assessment of your photos and x-rays, something that can’t be achieved without an in-person consultation.
No consistent supervision during the treatment process
With any type of orthodontic treatment, regular check-ups are essential. These visits occur about every 4-8 weeks, depending on your treatment choice. During these appointments, Dr. Ken and Dr. JK are able to assess your treatment progress, as well as make any adjustments that may be necessary to keep your smile on track.
DTC aligner companies aren’t able to provide this meaningful supervision. Patients are essentially left in charge of their own orthodontic treatment, which may have unforeseen consequences. For example, aligners may fit poorly, which can cause pain and irritation. An improper fit can also lead to teeth being moved more quickly or slowly than originally planned. As we mentioned earlier, cavities or gum disease can get worse without a patient ever knowing. Without a trained orthodontist involved, problems like this can go unnoticed and untreated, causing long-term damage to a patient’s oral health and bite.
Orthodontists can offer comparable pricing & similar treatment times
Getting a healthy, beautiful smile that looks great and functions properly does require an investment of your time and finances. Although DTC aligners may seem like an affordable, easy way to straighten your smile, they can end up costing you more in the long run when you consider the potential risks. This is because these companies are unequipped to provide patients with the same lever of supervision and care that you’ll receive from a trained orthodontist and staff.
In reality, many qualified orthodontists are able to compete with the cost and length of treatment that most DTC companies claim! Here at Dillehay Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a variety of budget-friendly treatment options for patients of all ages, including clear aligner therapy! Dr. Ken and Dr. JK offer a variety of flexible payment options, as well, including personalized payment plans and online payment services. We’ll also work with your insurance company to determine if you have orthodontic benefits available. The benefits of an orthodontist over dtc aligners are clear and WORTH IT!
Trust your smile to the experts at Dillehay Orthodontics
If you or your child required any type of medical treatment, would you go to anyone other than a trained professional? Of course not! We believe your smile deserves the same consideration. While DTC companies claim to have qualified dentists and technicians overseeing the approval process, nothing beats working with a trained orthodontist who has the education and experience necessary to move your teeth successfully. The benefits of an orthodontist over dtc aligners will make all the difference in your orthodontic treatment!
Here at Dillehay Orthodontics, we have the skills and experience necessary to give you the healthy, straight smile you deserve! If you’re ready to learn more about how you can achieve a beautiful smile under the supervision of an expert team, contact our office today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Ken or Dr. JK!