Why You Should Choose an Orthodontist Over Mail-Order Aligners

SmileDirectClub Bankruptcy

SmileDirectClub once promised to revolutionize the orthodontics industry with DIY mail-order aligners. Marketed as a more affordable alternative to braces, the company recently filed for bankruptcy. Their abrupt shutdown has left tens of thousands of customers without treatment support.

In collaboration with Invisalign®, Walton & Maready Orthodontics in Raleigh, NC, is offering a significant discount exclusively for SmileDirectClub patients affected by the closure. While SmileDirect’s “Lifetime Smile Guarantee” has disappeared, you can benefit from in-office orthodontic expertise to address your treatment needs. Healthy, beautiful smiles have always been our priority.

SmileDirectClub vs. Invisalign®

Invisalign® is often considered superior to SmileDirectClub and other mail-order aligners for several reasons:

    • Invisalign® provides a higher level of professional supervision, with treatment plans crafted and monitored by licensed orthodontists and dentists, ensuring a more precise and personalized approach to address a broader range of orthodontic issues, including complex cases.
    • Invisalign’s® direct, in-person consultations, 3D scans, and X-rays contribute to a comprehensive assessment that is monitored and adjusted throughout your treatment plan.
    • Invisalign® has an established reputation and proven track record as a pioneer in the aligner space.

Why Choose an Orthodontist for Invisalign®

It seems like you can do just about anything from home now. You can work and learn from home, have groceries delivered to your home, and even get mail-order aligners and skip the orthodontist! But, as Smile Direct Club’s recent bankruptcy filing and closure are now proving, improving your bite, alignment, and smile should be done with a licensed, experienced orthodontist.

Despite the appealing convenience of mail-order aligners, the multitude of consumer complaints and the closure of Smile Club Direct show that they are not a substitute for orthodontic care. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists strongly cautions against the use of mail-order aligner services. Why? Tooth movement can affect the way your teeth bite together. Moving teeth also affects their surrounding gums. There’s a reason orthodontic training takes 2-3 years beyond the traditional 4 years of dental school: straightening teeth is a complex process. You need ongoing professional oversight to ensure proper and safe tooth movement.

What are Mail-Order Aligners?

Mail-order aligners promise a beautiful, straight smile from the comfort of your home. Some companies send you an “at-home impression kit,” while others have you visit a non-dental office location for a scan of your teeth. DIY aligner companies may advertise savings over in-person orthodontic care. However, they often result in ill-fitting aligners and potential damage to teeth and gums.

Problems with Mail-Order Teeth Aligners

Mail-order aligners pose risks for several reasons: 

#1 Homemade impressions are inferior and inadequate.

Homemade impressions can easily warp in shipping and may not accurately represent your teeth. These impressions don’t show the entire relationship between teeth, gums, and bite.

#2  Orthodontic evaluation is absent.

Your smile may have complex needs that only an orthodontist can properly assess. An in-person consultation that involves 3-D scans of your gums, teeth, and bite is essential to achieving your desired results and ensuring your mouth’s health.

#3 Mail-order aligners don’t move teeth faster.

While mail-order aligners offer convenience and what may seem like more affordability, they do not consistently deliver the same level of effectiveness as traditional orthodontic treatment. Because of the lack of professional oversight and the complexity of cases, mail-order aligners often move teeth slower than Invisalign or braces.

#4 You’re on your own.

Receiving orthodontic treatment without oversight is dangerous, and the negative consequences often lead to additional expenses to make the required corrections. You may spend twice as much money and time to repair the damage done by mail-in aligners.

#5 There is no recourse if something goes wrong.

Insurance companies are less likely to cover the cost of mail-order aligners as the thousands of consumer complaints regarding the effectiveness of these treatments have made them a liability. SmileDirectClub’s lack of customer service, resulting in bankruptcy and closure, is quite disconcerting for a company that once promised a lifetime guarantee.

Choosing an Orthodontist vs. Using Mail-Order Aligners

Before considering mail-order aligners, the American Association of Orthodontists suggests you ask yourself a few questions:

    • Is an orthodontic specialist supervising your treatment?
    • How customized is your treatment for your teeth and mouth?
    • Would you undergo any other medical treatment without in-person evaluation and supervision?

Determining Your Specific Needs

Before undergoing any type of orthodontic treatment, it’s essential first to determine your specific oral health needs. When consulting with an orthodontist experienced with Invisalign®, you’ll receive a pre-treatment evaluation of your teeth, the surrounding gum tissues, and the fit of your bite.

This evaluation is used to create a personalized treatment plan. You may learn that another treatment method would be best for your specific situation, your lifestyle, and your budget. You can’t learn this information from a mail-order company.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Part of an experienced orthodontist’s diagnostic imaging is creating a 3D image of your teeth using the iTero® 3D scanner. There is no longer a need to take messy impressions of your teeth. A 3D scan is a painless procedure that provides a highly detailed image of the teeth and bite.

Quality Supervision During Treatment Process

Regular progress appointments with your orthodontist ensure proper tooth movement, gum health, and bite alignment. By receiving quality supervision from an experienced orthodontist, you can be sure your teeth are moving properly to achieve your desired results. With mail-order aligners, this is all a guessing game.

Comparable Treatment Times Already Exist

Do not be fooled by mail-order companies’ claims that their product will move teeth faster than receiving professional treatment from an orthodontist. The exact treatment time depends on the original problem that must be corrected. The ultimate length of treatment also depends on compliance with wearing the aligners.

Contact Walton & Maready Orthodontics Today for a Free Consultation

If you were a SmileDirect patient affected by their closure, Walton and Maready Orthodontists in Raleigh, NC is here for you. In partnership with Invisalign®, we are offering significant discounts to assess and ensure you have the right treatment for your needs. Reach out to us at Walton & Maready Orthodontics for a free consultation today! Your oral health and future smile will thank you!

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2305 Stafford Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27607