Companies like Smile Direct Club, Candid Co. and many others are spending millions on marketing to consumers with promises of aligning teeth from the comfort of their own home. No doctor, no appointments and half the cost. Is this too good to be true? The short answer is, “Yes!” Here are several reasons why seeing an orthodontist is healthier than treat yourself aligner therapy:
When you see an orthodontist for an evaluation, one of the things we look at is how much crowding you have. We look at the width of your teeth compared to the width of your jaw or arch. When teeth are crowded it’s because the teeth are too large for the size of the jaw. Space needs to be created.
Orthodontists make space by doing something called “slenderizing” or “interproximal reduction.” We take a strip, like a piece of floss, but rectangular in shape, and reduce the widths of several teeth by about the width of a piece of paper. When we do this slenderizing throughout your treatment, we can be sure that the teeth will fit in the size of your jaw and not relapse after your treatment is complete.
If you don’t slenderize teeth when they are crowded, and just squeeze them all into the arch, it can cause serious damage to the bone and gum support around the teeth. There are many patients who have experienced recession and have mobile teeth as a result of do-it-yourself aligners. Check YouTube! It’s also not stable to align teeth this way and relapse will occur very quickly.
Without an orthodontist treatment planning and treating your crowding, you won’t get slenderizing. Meaning, your result may not be healthy or stable, making it nearly impossible to retain. At Annapolis Orthodontics, we are dedicated to ensuring the longevity, and health, of your smile.
When you see an orthodontist for aligner therapy, we place something called an “attachment” on your teeth. Attachments are tooth colored “bumps” on your teeth and the “brace” of aligners. They come in different shapes and sizes and the doctor chooses which shape and size to use and on which teeth they will be required. When the teeth are aligned, the attachments are removed. If you treat yourself without a doctor, you will not have attachments. The teeth moving in an efficient or ideal way is extremely unlikely without attachments.
If you are not seen by a doctor, a diagnosis and treatment plan to move your teeth is made without looking at an X-ray of your teeth. X-rays show us a lot of things that can be missed like short roots, bone loss, pathology or jaw joint issues. An orthodontist has 12 years of education to be able not only to diagnose the problem, but discover why the problem is there in the first place so they can treat it in the best way possible.
Do any of your teeth have chipped edges? That may be due to your bite. Smile Direct Club lets you know they are not treating or diagnosing your bite at all, they are simply aligning teeth. So teeth that are chipped may continue to chip if you don’t correct the problem. And your bite may even be compromised at the expense of aligning your teeth. An orthodontist will make sure you end up with straight teeth and a good bite! That’s what you get when you choose to see a specialist!
If you want straighter teeth or a nicer smile with clear aligner therapy, schedule a complimentary consultation at Annapolis Orthodontics today! Simply click the “Contact Us” button below. If you have a teen interested in treatment, read the differences between braces and Invisalign here. We work hard to make orthodontic treatment something that is affordable, healthy and stable.