As orthodontic treatments are becoming more affordable, many are turning to the convenience of online braces. With an increased demand for this type of treatment, many are asking if online braces are safe?
There are both good and bad points to consider before you make a decision on whether or not to try them. In this blog post, we will discuss why people turn to online braces, how the treatment typically works and the risks that may come with it. We also highlight some key factors you should take into account when deciding if this is right for you.
What are online braces?
Until recently, the only option for those considering getting straighter teeth was to find a local dentist and get braces. Now, the rise of mail-order braces makes the treatment options cheaper than ever before, seemingly by cutting out “the middle man”.
Mail-order or online braces make it possible for anyone to start orthodontic treatment with minimal supervision. Patients can order a putty mouth mould and return their impressions to a lab. This might be followed by a trip to a dental clinic for an X-ray to confirm they are a suitable candidate.
Finally, you receive your clear aligner braces in the post. You wear each one for the prescribed time and at the end of the treatment plan, the hope is that you will have perfectly straight teeth.
Online braces are a fraction of the cost of braces offered by most dental practices. And according to the reviews, most of them offer similar results.
So, what’s the issue?
There is a concern throughout the dental community that patients are starting orthodontic treatment without the correct supervision. There’s a reason that dentists spend at least 5 years obtaining specialist qualifications to be able to carry out this treatment.
Why orthodontics need close supervision
Teeth aren’t as predictable as you might think. They are not simply stuck in the jaw bone, they are held in place by ligaments that have limited stretch. A dentist needs to know how much pressure can be placed on a tooth to rotate or shift it into the correct position.
This is why regular checkup appointments are essential. Sometimes your teeth aren’t ready for the next stage aligners, but the patient won’t know if this is the case. This can lead to poor outcomes and a more uncomfortable treatment than is necessary.
Are online braces safe?
Online braces are cheaper because you remove an essential component in the treatment journey: expert supervision. Of course, it would be cheaper to buy a new boiler and attempt to install it yourself, but the law states that only a Gas Safe engineer can do this. This is because a Gas Safe engineer knows how to make sure your boiler is installed correctly and safely.
It’s no different with orthodontic treatment; except that this isn’t protected by law. It’s possible for one dentist to provide “remote” supervision for hundreds of patients, making costs much lower. Ordering the aligners and managing the treatment process yourself is cheaper. But you won’t have access to the same level of care and support.
If something goes wrong during your treatment with online braces, you won’t be treated as a patient, you’ll be treated as a customer. And there is no guarantee the advice you receive will be from a trained medical professional. You are much more likely to get through to a customer service representative.
There’s also the risk that the aligners will be poorly fitted from the start. Getting accurate impressions of your teeth is not as simple as biting into a putty form. These putty impression kits are notoriously difficult to use and can easily slip in your mouth. This will lead to poor-fitting aligners that don’t match your teeth. They’re also more likely to irritate your gums when they don’t fit correctly.
What is the best alternative to online braces?
We believe there is no replacement for supervised orthodontic treatment. We know that the price might be enough to make you want to go looking for a cheaper alternative, but it’s worth noting that most dentists (Sloan Dental included) will offer monthly payment plans to help you spread the cost of treatment.
Dentists can also offer additional perks, including access to dental hygienists to get your teeth looking stunning at the end of treatment. You might also be offered discounted teeth whitening or retainers to help keep your smile looking beautiful.
And finally, if you are set on using clear aligners for your teeth straightening journey, you’re far more likely to be accepted if you work directly with your dentist. Online braces providers will only accept cases of mild alignment issues. Aligners like Invisalign can be used for incredibly complex cases by using attachments and precision wings to get a better grip on your teeth.
Ready to start your journey to straighter teeth with Sloan Dental? Get in touch today to learn more about Invisalign aligners in Glasgow.