Problems with Mail-Order Tooth Aligners
Everybody wants to have straight teeth. People find straight teeth more attractive, which can lead to those with crooked teeth feeling insecure and resorting to low-cost mail-order teeth aligners to straighten their smiles. Is the smaller price tag worth the risk of damaging your teeth?
What are mail order teeth aligners?
Several companies have appeared in recent years, promising to align your teeth through a mail-order product. They offer a way to straighten teeth without the cost or time of visiting an orthodontist.
The patient uses an at-home kit to make an impression of their teeth. The company then makes an alignment tray which is mailed out to the patient. You then wear these trays at home to get a straight smile. Or so these companies say.
These options are very appealing, as they make big promises without the large cost of teeth realignment from an orthodontist. However, moving teeth is always a risk and is a serious procedure, so you should think carefully before doing this sort of thing at home.
There are some concerns to address before choosing mail-order alignment.
Will you be assessed by an orthodontist?
Straightening your teeth is more complicated than wearing a tray mold. Even for standard treatment, like braces, multiple visits to the dentist are needed so your orthodontist can monitor the progress of your teeth. With a mail-order kit, you don’t get this level of attention and will never be assessed directly by a dental professional. Who would you talk to if you had any problems with the treatment?
While an easy route to a beautiful smile might seem appealing, there’s just no way to carry out all the important stages, like x-rays.
What treatment options are there?
Some mail-order companies say that your impression will be looked at by a dentist before your treatment is given. Supposedly, this dentist will check that you are a good candidate with only minor tooth alignment problems.
While this should prevent patients with more serious alignment troubles being accepted, there is no way for these impressions to diagnose other issues, so you could be approved despite having issues like gum disease. A mail-order company cannot properly asses you and your needs properly, so you could give you a treatment that only causes more problems. If you see an orthodontist first, they can thoroughly assess your needs and determine what treatment option is actually best for you.
Many underlying conditions can cause crooked teeth, and some of these conditions cannot be corrected by aligners on their own. For example, if the problem is a too narrow jaw, then is certainly not something that can be fixed with something that you can get through the mail.
By buying through the mail, you run the risk of ending up with a treatment that is ineffective. You also run the risk of causing damage to your teeth and gums, leading to tooth loss and gum recession. If this happens, you will need painful, and expensive, corrective procedures to put right the problem.