Wouldn’t you love to simply take a selfie, and/or impression of your teeth or get your teeth scanned, and receive aligners that straighten your teeth in a few months without even leaving your home? Sounds too good to be true, huh?
This is exactly the type of convenience offered and advertised with direct-to-consumer orthodontics. Companies like SmileDirectClub, Smilelove, SnapCorrect, etc. are appealing because they address the concern most people have about orthodontics: time. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises you to take a step back and look at the overall picture before considering the latest alternative to straighten your teeth.
Ask Questions, Gather the Facts
First off, find out who is making the decisions about your treatment. Will you be seen by a licensed dentist or orthodontist? Some online orthodontic companies do not require an in-person visit to an orthodontic practice or in-person supervision during treatment. Are you comfortable with proceeding without expert advice and a comprehensive examination?
Orthodontic treatment involves more than just straightening teeth, it also affects your bite, jaw position, and jaw joint function. For these reasons, it is crucial to have a certified dental or orthodontic professional advising your treatment from start to finish.
It is common for patients undergoing regular orthodontic treatment to run into problems here and there. If you run into an orthodontic emergency using direct-to-consumer orthodontics, who do you contact? This is definitely a question that should be answered before choosing to start treatment with any business. Check the policies on situations like these so that you can have an idea of how your oral care will be managed, especially in the case of an emergency.
Take Your Oral Health Care Seriously
Your health and well-being are extremely important. This is why, at Dennis J. Flanagan, DDS, MS Orthodontics, we strive to provide resources that both educate and stress the importance of quality orthodontic care in local communities across the United States and Canada.
While the convenience of online orthodontic companies promote sounds promising, it is important to remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device, but a professional, medical service that should be treated as such. When your orthodontic treatment is overseen by a member of the AAO, you can be certain you are in the hands of an experienced and trusted orthodontic specialist.
Before signing that contract to start direct-to-consumer orthodontics, ask yourself this one important question: Are you willing to gamble with the first thing people see when you walk into a room… your smile?
Contact our office for more information about direct-to-consumer orthodontics compared to traditional orthodontic treatment and which is the best option for you.