Whether you call it lazy or convenient, Americans have been in love with mail ordering stuff for a long time. It all started back in 1893, with the First Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog and he exploded from there with other companies such as JC Whitney, JC Penney and others joining the trend.
This direct to consumer trend has exploded with the growth of the Internet online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Wal-Mart allow us to order anything ranging from fishing lures and tires to wine and groceries. One recent trend that has caught our attention is mail order braces or clear aligners. People are taking a few pictures on a phone app. and paying a couple thousand dollars and companies are mailing the consumer clear aligners with the promise that they will fix the consumers smile. Well, unlike fishing lures, tires, wine, and groceries, if you don’t like these mail order items then you can return them or simply put them in the trash. However, when we talk about braces/clear aligners we are talking about something that affects you and your smile. This is something that can have major consequences for the person trying the mail order braces as this will affect how people relate to you, see you, and how you perceive yourself when you look in the mirror. Your smile plays a major role in your confidence, self-esteem and appearance. Trusting something this important to a DIY kit is a very risky proposition.
Braces and clear aligners are orthodontic appliances used by orthodontist to align and straighten teeth and help position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also aiming to improve overall dental health and function. An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has dedicated several additional years of training after dental school in order to learn the science and art of tooth movement and correcting a person’s bite. This specialized training has made them the best doctor to see for dealing with the diagnosis, prevention and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws. Despite the claims and marketing efforts of many of the mail order braces providers you are not getting the best care when you avoid visiting an orthodontic specialist.
There are several factors that have to be considered when deciding if someone is a candidate for orthodontic treatment which cannot be determined by taking a picture in an app. If you want the best outcome for your smile you should go to visit a board-certified orthodontist and have a proper evaluation that includes X-rays and the opinion of a specialist that can give you a detailed analysis and make sure that you understand your options and potential risks involved with treatment.
Another major fact that this often overlooked when we are talking about mail order braces is that this type of service is limited to clear aligners and they are also limited to making minor movements in teeth. Several bite and alignment issues simply cannot be corrected with this type of treatment. This is one of the main reasons that so many people are disappointed when they actually try the mail order braces is that the problem that they were hoping to get fixed is not addressed and then they get results that do not fix their major concern. Mail order braces or clear aligners are basically a cheap version of the popular Invisalign product with a couple of major differences:
- Invisalign should and mostly is always offered by a qualified dental specialist (preferably an orthodontist) who will not only help to determine if Invisalign is a good option for you but will also design your new smile and make and corrections that are necessary.
- Invisalign is far more advanced that most of the other clear aligner companies. Invisalign has a 25 year head start on all of the clear aligner companies. They have patented technologies that other companies cannot use which allow for better and more comfortable treatment.
- Mail order braces rely on you to take the impressions of your teeth which often times means that they will have a distorted mold of your teeth. If the mail order braces company is going to use a mold of your teeth that is not accurate then how will they plan your treatment correctly? If you start with the wrong measurements how do you create aligners that will fit correctly? move your teeth properly. Hello!!! This just doesn’t make sense.
These facts are often not emphasized when you hear a mail-order braces commercial or FB add. Most of the time they only talk about a low monthly payment like something around $89 a month. At the end of the day, the old adage of, “You get what you pay for.” almost always comes true. If you are still a believer, then try reading some of the online horror stories as well as several lawsuits against these mail order braces companies. We are certain that if you compare apples to apples you will find that the treatment we provide at Lakes Orthodontics by an award-winning board-certified orthodontist specialist will outshine any low-cost deal you may find on social media, TV or on the internet.