At an increasing rate, we’ve had patients asking how services with companies such as Smile Direct Club, compare to the services they receive with our Orthodontists. While we can only speak to the quality of care you will receive at our offices, we can give a comparison of the treatment process as described on their website.
The Difference Between DIY Orthodontics and In-Office Treatment
For those who aren’t familiar, Smile Direct Club and similar companies provide “invisible aligners done at home”. In a nutshell, their process involves mailing a set of impressions you take yourself at home and submitting them along with selfie-style photos of your teeth. Your impressions and photos are reviewed by a dental professional. You then receive a set of clear aligners that sequentially move your teeth until you have a “perfect smile” with treatment times “averaging 6 months”.
What to Expect at an Orthodontist for Treatment
At your consultation, the initial consultation takes about an hour and your doctor will review the recommended treatment process and estimated treatment time with you. In your first appointment, we’ll make sure all of your questions are answered and work with you to find a payment plan that works within your budget. We know our patient’s time is valuable, and are happy to begin treatment as soon as time allows.
Once you are in active treatment, your Orthodontist will see you back for regular adjustments and checkups every 10 to 12 weeks. At each adjustment appointment, we will evaluate the progress you are making and make any necessary changes to get you a perfect smile and healthy bite.
Comprehensive Treatment & Thorough Exams
The first reservation our office shares in regards to do-it-yourself orthodontics is that teeth are only part of the complex system that is treated with orthodontics. At your orthodontist the extensive exam includes an inspection of the entire oral cavity, head, and neck, checking that there aren’t any dental conditions that could affect the success of treatment. These dental conditions can include periodontal (gum) disease, dental decay, signs of oral cancer, and TMJ. Each patient’s records and examination help us determine the safest, most effective treatment and accurate diagnosis. We believe that these dental issues cannot be identified correctly using just an impression of your teeth and photographs taken yourself at home.
Benefits of Professional Expertise
Our second reservation comes with the expertise and control (or lack thereof) provided with do-it-yourself orthodontics. The records you submit to an ‘at home orthodontics’ company are reviewed by a board-certified dentist. The movements created by the at home aligners are prescribed and designed by digital simulation. We believe it is essential to a successful treatment to have a licensed, board-certified orthodontist overseeing the specific movements and adjustments. Our Orthodontists have extensive training and certifications that ensure that you are in great hands and be sure that your treatment goes as smoothly. as possible.
Ongoing Adjustments and Monitoring
Lastly, even with the most straightforward orthodontic cases, there are times when a patient needs to be seen in person by their orthodontist. As an example, occasionally the cut of an aligner may need to be filed or smoothed down to prevent it from rubbing on your gums, causing irritation, or a tooth may not be moving ideally, or not “tracking” and your orthodontist can adjust the treatment plan to keep you on schedule.
If you are interested in finding out more about clear aligners with your Orthodontist, find one of our offices near you!