We’ve all seen the advertisements about direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies. It’s easy to quickly become swayed by the promise of getting a straighter, more beautiful smile without even having to leave home or see an orthodontist in person; however, are these treatment options actually safe and effective? The American Association of Orthodontists would ask that people think twice before they become involved in these hands-off treatment plans.
Before you start taking selfies to send to a direct-to-consumer orthodontic company, it’s important to take a few things into consideration. Listed below are a couple things that you may want to think about before you put the safety of your smile into the hands of a company you don’t know much about!
1. Are You Actually Working with an Orthodontist?
While the ability to do everything through the mail can seem like a huge benefit, it can also make it possible for companies to simply shift your teeth at will without even talking to a trained professional. No matter what method of orthodontic treatment you take, you definitely need to ensure that an orthodontist is at the center of your treatment. To make sure that your teeth are shifting properly, you need to have in-person evaluations and supervision to spot any issues in advance and set up a treatment that is right for your specific bite.
2. Orthodontic Treatments are Important!
Whenever you choose to have your teeth shifted, you are taking a health risk. While braces may seem like they come complication-free, this isn’t always a fact! If you have your teeth moved too quickly or improperly, you may discover that you will suffer from life-long problems such as bone and tooth loss, unpleasant changes in your bite, and discomfort. While some of these issues can be resolved, many of them are irreversible and will lead to years of expense and suffering.
3. X-Rays are a Vital Part of Treatment.
Before you get braces or any type of orthodontic treatment, it’s important to have x-rays done so that the orthodontist will have a full understanding of your jaw, bite, teeth, and any underlying problems. If the direct-to-consumer orthodontic company doesn’t cover x-rays, then you will either have to have them taken elsewhere or else risk the damage to your teeth.
4. You Get What You Pay For.
Some direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment plans may seem like an affordable option compared to traditional braces but there might be a reason they’re cheaper. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Often, these hands-off treatment options provide questionable treatment plans with little to no understanding of your specific needs or an understanding of your body. In the end, direct-to-consumer companies may cause long-lasting and expensive damages to your teeth that will far out-weight the initial cheap treatment plans.
When you want to get a brighter, healthier smile it can seem smart to go for a direct-to-consumer orthodontic company. After all, who wouldn’t like the idea of treatment all from your home and at a lower price? Despite the seeming benefits, choosing treatment offered by these companies can be a serious mistake. Having your teeth moved is a medical procedure that needs to be treated with the greatest of care – it shouldn’t be treated like enrolling in a jelly of the month club.
Before pursuing treatment from a direct-to-consumer company, carefully consider the risks associated with this decision. In the end, you would probably be much more satisfied and receive better care under the supervision of a professional orthodontist who can watch your progress and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.