You’re a busy person with a busy schedule, and a calendar full of orthodontic visits may not seem very appealing. So when it comes to orthodontic treatment, you may be tempted to search for quicker, easier solutions that require less time and hassle. But easier and quicker do not always mean better. Mail order orthodontics is a fast alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment, but are they just as effective? At Seabreeze Orthodontics, we know your smile deserves the best treatment available. Let’s examine what mail-order orthodontics are and how they measure up compared to a visit to the orthodontist’s chair.
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 carried out 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 3-D 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, in a similar way to in-person visits. Your progress is monitored using photos of your mouth that you give to your providers at regular intervals. This may seem like a simple process, but patients considering these companies should proceed with caution. This kind of care comes with risks, and the results can have a negative lasting impact on your oral health. At Seabreeze Orthodontics, we want you to have the best available care. To convince you, let’s look over the benefits of traditional in-person practice visits over online orthodontics.
Everyone’s teeth move at different speeds. Your teeth may move slower or faster than expected during your treatment. As a result, things may come up that 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. But this does not account for any deviations that may arise. This hands-off calendar approach can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw. Unexpected things can happen, and this distanced, strictly regimented approach to treatment can be very risky and ineffective.
In-Person Clinical Exam
A strong 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 also 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 does not factor in many other parts of the orthodontic process. Without considering all of the variables, you may end up with lackluster results, which could cost you more time and money in turn.
Customized Treatment Plans
Your teeth and gums should always be in good condition before any tooth movement is attempted 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 Seabreeze Orthodontics, we want to be certain the treatment plan we offer will make the best use of your time and goals while utilizing our expertise in orthodontic care. We will 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 much better to know ahead of time what your specific orthodontic needs are so you can have the most optimal results. Our doctors 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 said before, you’re a busy person. Mail-order aligners may seem to offer a quicker, cheaper alternative to orthodontics. But this is a misconception. In reality, 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 utilize 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.
Trust your smile to Seabreeze Orthodontics
All treatments have their ups and downs, and we know you have a set of needs for your unique smile. No matter your age or requirements, our team has the hands-on training and experience to help you with your goal. Our warm and professional offices feature up-to-date orthodontic technology to make choosing your orthodontic treatment options as stress-free as possible. If you still have questions about different treatment options, our well-trained orthodontic team would love to meet you for your FREE consultation to get you started on your journey to a confident smile.