How Mail-In Orthodontic Aligners Can Worsen Oral Health

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Thanks to the pandemic, there have been some distinct changes in how people approach their health care. One of those changes has been considering mail-order aligners and orthodontics when it comes to dental health. Difficulty arranging timely dental visits, avoiding social interaction, and the apparent reduced cost of these treatments are driving forces. While many are reporting success using these treatments, there are underlying risks that are rarely mentioned. If you’re considering taking advantage of mail-in options for orthodontic care, be sure to consider potential repercussions.

Mail-Order Orthodontics: Key To A Perfect Smile?

It may not be news to you that adjusting the position of your teeth is a fairly complex and involved procedure. Throughout the process, your teeth are being subjected to pressures that move them into position, altering the bone structure along the way. Accomplishing this delicate procedure without causing lasting harm or worse complications requires significant skill and understanding of oral structures. Even taking a proper impression of your teeth is more involved than just biting down on a gel-filled tray. Without this knowledge and skill, your oral health could be damaged.

Working face to face with your dentist provides numerous benefits. Direct interaction builds relationships and a personal interest in your case. Rather than a singular encounter involving one aspect of your oral health, your dentist is dedicated to lasting care. With their help, you’ll do more than just have a great smile; you’ll have persistent dental health for a lifetime. A third-party mail-in orthodontics provider isn’t going to be as involved or invested in the success of your treatment. Their success rates will be lower, and the risks of complications will be higher for the following reasons:

  • No Personal Contact – When your dentist provides treatment options for your teeth, their concern extends beyond mere aesthetic improvement. They address the full range of oral health concerns, including pre-existing conditions that can complicate the treatment. These are conditions that may not be immediately apparent from the assessment your third-party orthodontist will receive.
  • No Oversight – Throughout a traditional orthodontic adjustment, you will typically visit your orthodontist several times. During these visits, the progress of your adjustment will be assessed. This allows the treatment to be adjusted for unexpected factors, such as teeth moving faster or slower than anticipated. It’s also possible for your teeth to move in ways not anticipated when the process began. Without regular visits, these changes may not be noticed, resulting in potential complications.
  • Aligners Can’t Do It All – Aligners are an effective way to approach many orthodontic needs. However, they aren’t able to solve every concern you encounter. If your mail-in orthodontist notices that your concern cannot be successful, they’ll certainly let you know. However, the limited amount of interaction they have with you and the volume of work they’re doing may make them go unnoticed.

One final note. While there are many honest good reviews on the market, many of them are paid for. These reviews are written and promoted by individuals who’ve never undergone mail-in orthodontic treatment. Further, honest and false good reviews alike tend to be pushed to the head of the list. Bad reviews can be suppressed or even deleted. This means you may not be getting an unbiased view of the actual results reported by those who’ve used these services.

Complications Can Multiply The Cost

When your adjustment doesn’t achieve the desired results, frustration and wasted time are the best you can hope for. In the worst-case scenario, the condition of your teeth can actually be impacted negatively. In both cases achieving your original goal will require yet more money invested in the process. If you’re considering going the mail-in orthodontics route, be sure to speak to your dental provider first.

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Dr. Henry Lam DMD

DR. HENRY LAM
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Lam received his Doctor Of Dental Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has full-time dental practice since 2005. After joining 8West Dental Care in August 2014, he’s brought valuable experience to his patients in the Calgary, AB area.

Dr. Henry Lam DMD

DR. HENRY LAM
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Lam received his Doctor Of Dental Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has full-time dental practice since 2005. After joining 8West Dental Care in August 2014, he’s brought valuable experience to his patients in the Calgary, AB area.

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