Are Direct to Consumer Orthodontic Treatments a good Idea?
If you have crowded teeth, crossbite, or underbite, you are probably exploring all your options in orthodontic treatment. With the advancement in dental technology, direct-to-consumer (DTC) orthodontic solutions have been introduced as an option to making visits to the dental expert. But are these solutions a good idea?
What are DTC Orthodontic Treatments?
DTC companies offer clients a convenient way to fix misaligned teeth. They promise you a faster, less time-consuming way of achieving a confident smile. You can order your aligners online without visiting an orthodontist for review.
If you opt for these services, the company sends you an impression kit. You complete it and send your results back to them.
Alternatively, you can visit their scanning centers, where a salesperson or dental assistant takes a 3D image of your mouth. Through the images, they can determine whether you are a good fit for the dental aligners. Later, aligners are sent back to you with precise instructions on how to put them on.
What are the Cons of DTC Treatments
Ignores Existing Dental Problems
Dental health is a concern. Before the recommendation of any dental treatment method, your gums and teeth must be in good condition. In the DTC treatment options, patients provide their impressions and images. It is highly likely to miss dental problems such as gum diseases and cavities.
Clear aligners are not always a good option for each patient. People with severe gum disease may require treatment, such as bone grafting before treatment. Without the professional guidance of a dental expert, you are subjecting yourself to a treatment method that may worsen existing dental issues.
Leads to Other Dental Issues
If you wear an aligner that does not fit well, it can cause pain and irritation. The inaccurate molds will compromise the effectiveness of the treatment process. Without the help of an orthodontist, the mold can damage surrounding teeth and interfere with oral health.
No Expert Guidance
In orthodontic treatment, you need professional oral exams from an orthodontist and digital photographs to check whether you are a good candidate for dental treatment options. But the DTC companies only rely on general healthcare information, which might lead to inaccuracies.
No Adequate Follow-up
After attaching aligners to your teeth, you require an expert follow-up to make adjustments and ensure you are comfortable. But the DTC companies don't offer any expert follow-up. You can end up developing problems and compromising your dental health.
Orthodontists Vs. DTC Aligners? Which is Better?
DTC aligners may seem cheaper and quicker to achieve a confident smile in the comfort of your home, but they may be costly in the long run. They can't compete with the services offered by competent orthodontists.