Is It For Me?
We have been monitoring the recent development of direct marketing orthodontic treatment to the public. Smile Direct Club’s advertising makes it seem to be an easy – and much less expensive – alternative method of obtaining orthodontic treatment. Quite frankly the consumer should be asking a lot of questions before considering this method of orthodontic treatment. Let’s briefly review how this system works:
- Prospective patient takes an impression of their teeth, unless they live in a major city that has one of Smile Direct’s new centers. The Smile Direct center will digitally scan the patient’s teeth (eliminating the need for self-impressions).
- The impression, or scan, is used to make the aligners which are mailed to the patient. If the self-impression is inaccurate the aligners will not fit properly.
- The patient never sees the prescribing doctor.
While Smile Direct may be useful in patients with minor crowding or spacing it is unlikely that a patient could accurately determine if they are in that very limited category of patients. There is no interaction between the prescribing doctor and patient to evaluate if this method of treatment is appropriate.
Here are some of the pitfalls a patient is not aware of when using this method of treatment:
- No x-rays are required. The patient may have missing teeth, impacted teeth, decayed teeth, periodontally-compromised teeth – these issues need professional treatment before orthodontic treatment is started. Without x-rays and a professional examination/treatment these conditions can lead to serious consequences.
- If aligners do not fit properly teeth will not move properly. Smile Direct Club has no method to correct this right when it first happens.
- There are no updates on how treatment is progressing.
- Straight teeth are only part of the equation – the bite also needs to correct to achieve a stable result.
- Treatment may need to be completed by an orthodontist
With the above information in mind wouldn’t it make sense to seek the personal advice of an experienced orthodontist from the beginning? Or would you prefer to be treated as a “customer” rather than a patient?
You owe it to yourself to make an informed choice about “do-it-yourself” orthodontic treatment.
We invite you to schedule your complimentary evaluation at one of our two convenient locations to discuss the best option for your orthodontic care. Our orthodontists have over 70 years of combined specialty orthodontic treatment experience. We are more than happy to discuss the treatment options available to achieve your best result.