The Dangers of Online Orthodontic Treatment 

Achieving a better, straighter smile seems easier than ever these days. In the past, orthodontic treatments were often limited to metal braces to correct overbites, crooked teeth, and other smile struggles. And to top it off, it’s always been a major expense. 

Thanks to new technology like Invisalign and other clear aligners, orthodontic treatment is now viewed as a more convenient, faster, and sometimes even less expensive path to a better smile. Of course, these options still require regular consultations by approved dentists and orthodontists, as they should. Unfortunately, some corporations are misleading consumers and trying to force you to become your own orthodontist to save you a few dollars in the short-term while they rake in big profits.  


Orthodontics for a New Generation

Today’s patients demand convenience and reduced cost wherever possible. Thanks to the internet, everyone can try to be their own doctor and diagnose themselves. Of course, these self-diagnoses are often wrong, and only trained orthodontic specialists can provide the corrective course of treatment that’s best for your health. The same is true in the world of orthodontics and dentistry. 

Some companies are taking this idea of DIY healthcare even further by introducing direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatments. They make it seem so simple: skip the professional evaluation and personal treatment plan and just send them a picture or impression of your teeth. They’ll take care of the rest. They are essentially positioning the orthodontist as nothing more than a middleman who drives up costs. Ultimately, this could create major problems for your dental health down the road. 


Orthodontic Treatment Is Complex, Not a DIY Project

Orthodontic treatment is a major medical procedure. Orthodontics involves the literal movement of the bone and tissue in your mouth and jaw, and it requires careful evaluation and planning before even getting started. If you receive the wrong treatment, you could experience irreversible and expensive damage that includes tooth and gum loss, change in your bite, and other health issues. 

This is precisely why orthodontists require extensive training and education before they can begin performing treatments. And that’s why proper orthodontic treatment has to include:

  • X-rays of your teeth and jaws
  • Clinical examination of your jaw alignment, teeth, bite, and relationship of your teeth to your bone structures
  • Digital scans and/or impressions of your teeth
  • Multiple available treatment options explained by a licensed professional who can provide the best recommended course of treatment and determine if you are even healthy enough for orthodontic treatment
  • Regular, in-person consultations to evaluate the progress of your treatment and make necessary adjustments
  • Personal interaction with a trusted professional who can explain the risks and answer all your questions
  • Access to a licensed professional who can help immediately if you have an issue or emergency during the course of your treatment


Orthodontic Treatment Is Not a Product

If you choose to buy aligners online from a company like SmileDirectClub, Smilelove, SnapCorrect, Orthly, and others, you are in essence just buying a product. It wouldn’t be much different than buying a cast online and applying it to your broken arm. The product might technically be a good product, but the application might be wrong or performed in such a way that it causes more damage than good. And you’ll have no one to turn to for help along the way. 

It may initially sound great to buy your orthodontic treatment directly online for 60% less without having to talk to anyone at all. That’s a big savings of both time and money. In reality though, you aren’t getting the treatment for less. You are simply purchasing a product and opting out of the many important aspects that make orthodontics work. The 60% you save today may end up costing you thousands of dollars in future corrective action. Even worse, it may cause you a great deal of discomfort, pain, and a worse smile down the road. 


Get a Free Consultation for Your Best Smile

If you are thinking about ordering aligners online without seeing a licensed orthodontist or dentist first, we strongly encourage you to schedule a free consultation with us before clicking that buy button. We sincerely care about your smile, and we will take the time to discuss the pros and cons of all your treatment options with you. Based on that consultation, we may not even deter you from purchasing your aligners directly online. At the end of the day, what we care about most is the health and happiness of our patients, and the beautiful smile you’ll achieve is simply a reflection of that. 

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