The dangers of Mail-order or at-home aligners

by maria | Last Updated: December 26, 2020

Everyone aspires to have perfectly straight teeth and an infectious smile. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people grow with misaligned or crooked teeth due to one reason or the other. But it doesn’t mean you have to live with it forever as modern dentistry has developed several advanced orthodontic procedures to straighten even the most complex dental structures. The human dental structure is highly complex and any effort to influence the shape, size and color of teeth beyond simple oral hygiene by self could be dangerous. Orthodontists are professionally trained to rectify all possible defects of your dental system with ease. Wearing braces, including clear aligners, for 24 to 36 months and the cost involved in straightening teeth could be frustrating for many, but it doesn’t mean one should fall into trap of cheaper “fast braces”, “at-home aligners”, “mail-order aligners” or “home-shipped aligners” as this could permanently damage your teeth.

Barring a few exceptions of good results, most of the at-home aligner stories you read online are nothing but a smart marketing strategy. Benefits are very minimal and rare, but the possibility of damage it could cause is exceptionally high. Ultimately you have to knock on the door of an orthodontic, and at that stage, the cost of treatment will be far more than you could have incurred for a consulting expert.

Risk Involved in At-Home Aligners 

Braces in general, and clear aligners in particular, are known for amazing teeth straightening results, which you could achieve more discreetly. In just a few months, you could bring your misaligned teeth in alignment and smile with confidence. But, if you are thinking of doing it with at-home orthodontic aligners, then it is time to pause and know about possible dangers. Orthodontic procedures are beyond the realm of DIY as it requires a detailed examination of the dental system and suitable procedure to move teeth in the desired direction.

Expertise Matters

Your teeth are precious and you simply cannot do experiments, especially when it needs a deep understanding of the dental structure and suitable treatments. Each individual is unique, so your dental system might need personalized treatment, which at-home aligners cannot offer. Teeth straightening isn’t just about wearing aligners, but following specific instructions to get the desired results in the shortest possible time. So, buying at-home aligners to save consultation fees is not the right move.  

Accuracy Matters

Frankly, there is no room for inaccuracy with aligners. Even a micro misfit could move teeth in the wrong direction and complicate the case. Orthodontists ensure accuracy and course correction mid-way if required. The trained hand keeps you away from pain and discomfort during treatment.

Myth of Cost-Effectiveness

The marketers of mail-order aligners focus on saving time and money. But if you dig a little deeper, you will find that cost-effectiveness is just a myth as you might have to consult an orthodontist mid-way, which could cost you even higher. Above all, you are at risk of further complicating dental structure and make the treatment more time-consuming.

Final Words 

It takes years of study and practice to become a dentist with exclusive training to execute corrective orthodontic procedures. You have to be exceptionally lucky to achieve quality teeth straightening results without the help of an orthodontist. Above all, if you are trying to straighten your crooked teeth using at-home aligners, your insurance might not be of much help, even if you are consulting an orthodontist at a later stage. So be practical and smart and consult orthodontists to get better results as there are several other ways to cut treatment costs.

Maria Giovanisci is an enterprising dentist from London. Maria graduated from the University of Murcia and began her professional career in her own dental clinic before, she decided to embark on a joint project with her two colleagues. Aside from contributing on this blog, she also works in the public health sector at the new Torrevieja Hospital.