Your smile is important. The state of your oral health can affect your opportunities, your confidence, and your overall health. Correcting crooked or misaligned teeth can play a vital part in creating a more optimal level of health and a more beautiful smile. One recent trend has been enticing patients with promises of equal quality care with lower costs and no in-office visits. Unfortunately, many people are discovering too late that these promises are indeed too good to be true.
What is this trend?
The recent trend wreaking havoc for so many is remote orthodontic care, generally in the form of mail-order aligners. Private companies are advertising online to provide the same kind of clear aligners used by orthodontists’ offices and purport to be able to give the same level of care at a lower cost without office visits by working remotely.
What is the problem?
Problems with this remote care option can occur at many points in the process. In an orthodontist’s office, your aligners are fabricated based on a complete digital scan of your mouth. This ensures the aligners are a precise fit for your mouth and teeth and that each new aligner in the series is custom-created to guide your teeth into position.
Mail-order aligners are fabricated based on a mold you take of your teeth without the benefit of a professional to ensure the correct placement and fit. Molds are generally less accurate than digital scans, meaning the aligner may not be an accurate fit for your teeth.
During professional orthodontic care, such as our doctor provides, you will have a series of visits to our office, where our team will evaluate your progress and monitor for any early-warning signs of complications. If you are not following recommended guidelines, you can lengthen or undermine your treatment, so these appointments are a critical part of ensuring optimal outcomes.
During remote orthodontic treatment, your care is overseen by a doctor you never meet in person. While you will generally be able to email if you have questions or concerns, the burden is on you to know whether there is a problem that may need to be addressed. Unfortunately, by the time you realize that something is wrong, it may be too late to avoid complex and costly treatment to fix the issue.
When you make the decision to straighten your teeth, don’t be swayed by false promises and cheap alternatives. Schedule a consultation with our doctor and be confident about your investment in your smile.
S. Jay Waguespack, DDS
4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200, Lafayette, LA 70508