While of course this is appealing to most people, there are a certain amount of drawbacks to using an online clear aligner systems that may make you want to rethink leaving traditional orthodontist appointments behind. Continue reading to learn why you should see an orthodontist rather than doing the online clear aligner systems.
How At-Home Systems Work
Most at-home systems work one of two ways:
- One initial visit in-office to have a consultation and impressions taken followed by nine months to a year of at-home treatment
- A kit is mailed to your residence; you take the impressions yourself and mail the kit back in for your first set of trays to be fabricated. This is followed by none months to a year of at-home treatment, as well.
During your treatment, you will receive a new set of aligners every few weeks in the mail to help guide your teeth in the desired position. Your progress will be monitored by pictures that you take and submit yourself.
Eliminating the Orthodontist: Risky Business
While of course it can be an inconvenience to have to attend numerous orthodontic appointments, doing away with interaction with a dental or orthodontic professional during the entirety of your treatment can be risky business.
The first problem that many people encounter is receiving aligners that do not properly fit due to improperly-taken impressions. Of course, you are not a dental professional, so there may be things that are missed or not clearly recorded in the impressions that you take and mail in. This has the potential to throw off the entirety of your treatment.
There is also the possibility that there is an aspect of your treatment that must be altered in order to achieve the desired results; if something goes wrong during your treatment, or if something must be changed in order for the aligners to work properly, this is something that your orthodontist would be able to identify during your visit in-office. Without the supervision of a professional, these problems could go undetected, leaving you with a less-than-desirable final smile.
During traditional orthodontic treatment, the patient’s general dentist plays an essential role, as they examine the patient prior to beginning any orthodontic treatment. In most cases, it is the general dentist who first examines the teeth and refers the patient to an orthodontist. Before they refer their patient, they ensure that there are no issues in the mouth that must be addressed prior to beginning orthodontic treatment. With online aligner systems, the general dentist’s role is eliminated; if an individual has a problem within the mouth that should be corrected prior to treatment, this problem goes undetected, placing the individual at risk during the entirety of their treatment. In some cases, the use of the clear aligners may cause said problems to escalate.
The general dentist also cares for the patient in the case that a dental emergency may arise during their orthodontic treatment. If an individual is undergoing treatment with an online aligner system, they will not have access to a general dentist in the case of emergency. This can prove to be extremely dangerous.
Chance of Relapse
At-home aligner systems are not designed against relapse as traditional aligning systems or methods are; due to the lack of professional supervision both during and after treatment, it is the unfortunate truth that many people who choose to use online clear aligner systems face problems with relapsing afterwards, in which their teeth slowly shift back to their original state. This renders the treatment-as well as the money and time spent- completely useless.
While it may be tempting to invest in an at-home or online clear aligner system, your oral health is extremely important, and must be overseen by a professional. Ensuring that you see an orthodontist in-office for your orthodontic treatment is your best option for achieving the beautiful, healthy smile of your dreams.