1224 McFarland Blvd. NE
Tuscaloosa, AL. 35406
In today’s society, we’ve gotten used to getting anything we need or want, faster, cheaper, and easier than ever. While this has certainly made life more convenient, there may be some unforeseen side effects, even in the field of orthodontics! Most notably, it’s led to an increase in the number of direct-to-consumer treatments that are available, such as mail-order aligners. If you’re like most people, you may be wondering if there are really benefits to choosing an orthodontist over Smile Direct Club.
These companies pour everything into flashy advertisements that promise a straighter smile without leaving your home and for less money. We understand the appeal and how tempting this can be for consumers. However, most orthodontists won’t recommend them, and we’re here to tell you why! Keep reading below to learn more about mail-order aligners, such as Smile Direct Club, and how Cowan Orthodontics can give you the smile you want and deserve in a safe, professional environment.
Mail-order aligner companies market themselves as an alternative to orthodontic treatment that takes place in an office under the supervision of an orthodontist. The first step is supplying customers with an in-home impression kit for clear aligners. Once the impression has been taken and mailed back in, a dentist or technician will review it and determine if the patient is a good candidate for their aligners. If they are approved for the process, aligners will be made from the impression you sent in. These will then be delivered to you at home with instructions on how to wear them.
Anyone considering using aligners from Smile Direct Club or other companies should be aware that it’s extremely easy to get approved. While this may seem like a good thing, the truth is that many people are given the go-ahead for aligner treatment, even if it’s not necessarily the best option for their smile.
This kind of DIY treatment can lead to any number of potential risks, many of which can lead to unsatisfactory results–or worse! The benefits of an orthodontist over Smile Direct Club are major! There are several important components of the orthodontic process missing with mail-order aligners, some of which we’ve outlined below.
Orthodontic treatment is about much more than straightening the teeth. A trained, experienced orthodontist is equipped to treat a variety of oral issues, ranging from simple to complex. This attention to your specific needs is a major benefit an orthodontist provides that Smile Direct Club just can’t match. The first step in this process is a free consultation that includes an initial examination. At Cowan Orthodontics, our treatment coordinator will take some digital photos of your teeth, along with a panoramic and cephalometric x-ray, if necessary. These images give us the ability to see your teeth, jaws, and soft facial tissue. Dr. Cowan will then perform a thorough examination. Together, this detailed information gives us everything we need to create a unique treatment plan based on your unique smile.
In contrast to this, mail-order aligner companies must rely solely on the information provided by the patient. This can lead to many oral health issues being overlooked since things like cavities, gum disease, and other related problems can’t be seen from photos or impressions alone. Since your teeth and gums should always be healthy before you attempt to move your teeth. When you work directly with a trained orthodontist, you don’t have to worry about any of those unnecessary risks. Treatment plans are designed for your individual needs, including any dental work that may be required.
Clear aligner therapy can be a great choice for many patients, however, it isn’t the best fit for everyone. For example, cases that are more severe or complex may require more precise tooth control than aligners themselves can achieve. For these patients, traditional metal or clear braces may be a better fit.
Our team consists of a highly experienced orthodontist and support staff who are well-educated and up-to-date on the latest treatments and technology. We always consider a patient’s needs, lifestyle, and goals when designing a treatment plan for them. Without in-person access to examinations or x-rays, mail-order aligner companies like Smile Direct Club can’t accurately determine if someone is truly a good candidate for aligner therapy.
With any orthodontic treatment, regular check-ups are an essential part of the process. These visits take place every 4-8 weeks and Dr. Cowan uses this time to make any necessary adjustments and check on the progress of your treatment.
With mail-order aligner companies, you miss out on any type of meaningful supervision. Smile Direct Club and similar companies essentially leave patients in charge of their own treatment experience which can lead to undesirable consequences. For example, aligners may fit poorly which can lead to irritation and pain. An ill-fitting aligner may also move the teeth too quickly or slower than originally expected. As we mentioned above, cavities and gum disease can develop or worsen without you ever knowing. Without a trained orthodontist overseeing your treatment, problems like this can go unnoticed and untreated, leading to long-term damage to your oral health and bite.
Getting the healthy, beautiful smile that you deserve requires an investment of your time and funds. The old saying “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true than in relation to your orthodontic treatment! While mail-order aligners may seem like an affordable, easy way to straighten your smile, they can end up costing you more in the long run, once you consider the potential risks. That’s because these types of companies just can’t give patients the same level of expert care as a trained orthodontist.
In reality, many qualified orthodontists are able to compete with the cost and treatment times that mail-order aligner companies often claim. Here at Cowan Orthodontics, we offer a variety of affordable treatment options for patients of all ages, including Invisalign clear aligner therapy. To keep treatment affordable, we work with every patient to find a payment plan that works for them. We’re happy to verify your insurance in order to make sure you get a treatment plan that fits your budget!
You only get one smile, and it’s too important to trust anyone less than an expert! While mail-order aligners claim to have trained specialists overseeing their approval process for their aligners, there’s no replacement for working with an experienced orthodontist who has education, training, and expertise in creating straight, beautiful smiles. Dr. Cowan has years of experience creating smiles that last a lifetime, while improving patients’ overall oral health, so you can have confidence that you’ll always receive the highest quality orthodontic care!
We believe your smile deserves nothing but the absolute best in regards to your orthodontic treatment. The benefits of an orthodontist over Smile Direct Club and similar companies are clear! At Cowan Orthodontics, our top priority is providing you with a positive, rewarding orthodontic experience from your first appointment to your last. If you’re ready to start your smile transformation, contact our office to set up your free consultation!
April 24, 2020
June 16, 2020