For those struggling with teeth that aren’t as straight as they’d like, it’s easy to be tempted with mail-order teeth-straightening offers. The idea of never having to go into the dentist’s office – instead straightening teeth in the comfort of your own home – while also saving money can make it seems almost too good to be true. The honest truth is, it can often be too good to be true.
Mail-order orthodontic companies essentially offer an Invisalign knockoff without the actual supervision of a medical professional. If you haven’t heard of this concept before, here are the basics of how it works.
After a start-up fee, often just under $100, you receive a kit in the mail to take your own dental impressions. After you attempt to take impressions, even though you’ve never done it before and likely have no idea exactly what to do, you mail them back along with a pledge that you’ve seen a dentist and had X-rays taken. Of course, there’s usually nothing in place to verify that you have indeed sought professional dental services.
You’re also asked to send a few selfies of your teeth for the “dental staff” at the company to evaluate. Next, you’re sent clear aligners to wear, and the process begins, similar to what happens at an actual dentist’s office. However, there is no one monitoring your progress in real life, unless you count selfies as professional medical exams (hint: we don’t).
There’s a reason dentists and orthodontists go to school for years to become experts in the teeth and mouth. When you shift even one tooth a fraction of an inch, it changes the entire bite. If teeth straightening isn’t planned carefully and reevaluated frequently, it can cause the bite to become misaligned. This can lead to serious dental and even jaw problems that cause pain and damage and cost lots of money.
Although the claims made by these companies can be tempting, there’s no replacement for professional dental care, especially when it comes to something as visible and important as your smile. If you’re interested in Invisalign but have questions, we’d love to help answer them. Call us today at (602) 957-9643 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pappas here at Arcadia Dental Arts.