You may have seen advertisements from the Smile Direct Club on various social media platforms about a more “affordable” way to straighten your teeth with clear trays. They state that you don’t even have to go into a dentist’s office to be evaluated and have moulds of your teeth taken: you take your own mould and have your aligners shipped to your house. Smile Direct Club boasts you can get the “perfect” smile for 60% less than traditional orthodontic treatment.
Unfortunately, for many patients the result you get is far less than 60% of perfect. Here’s why:
- A thorough diagnosis is essential to a successful treatment plan.
- This means having panoramic and cephalometric radiographs taken to assess the health of the teeth, bone, relationship of the jaws, and the position of the teeth in the jaws.
- High quality photography must be performed to visualize the pretreatment position of teeth. This is important for the orthodontist to determine his/her plan of action and to document where the patient began, whether treatment goes as planned or not.
- Digital or physical models must be made of the teeth to assess the patient’s bite. Orthodontists must keep these records on file for 7 years following the end of orthodontic treatment to document treatment outcome.
- Teeth don’t magically move.
- 3-dimensional tooth movements are often necessary to obtain an ideal smile.
- Without attachments on the teeth, as Invisalign© uses in its system, plastic trays will not have the appropriate “grip” on the teeth to control tooth movement. This is a matter of physical limitation based on the shape of teeth.
- Without attachments or the use of elastics (rubber bands), bite problems cannot be corrected.
- Treatment must be monitored for successful outcomes.
- Even with Invisalign©, sometimes teeth do not move as planned and treatment must be adjusted accordingly.
- If a thorough diagnosis hasn’t been made and the health of the underlying teeth and bone hasn’t been assessed by a dentist or orthodontist, there is risk in tooth movement. What’s the big deal? If you don’t have the time to go to a dentist/orthodontist to have your smile and bite assessed, have you gone to have your teeth checked for cavities or for the presence of gum disease? Moving teeth while gum disease is active causes more inflammation than the teeth can handle: This results in permanent bone loss at an even more rapid rate than gum disease alone causes. Healthy teeth are more important than straighter teeth in both the short and long term!
These reasons are why it’s worth it to have your orthodontic treatment properly planned and monitored by a certified orthodontist. Dr. Abdoney and Dr. Cronauer can give you a healthy and perfect bite and smile!