Turns out you can have straighter teeth by mail! Well, at least that is what a few by-mail-only orthodontia companies believe. In an effort to help patients save money, some orthodontic companies are having patients send their impressions to them by mail instead of going in for a dentist’s consultation. While this approach may save patients money, it could cause harm to their teeth.
The way that companies like SmileCareClub and CrystalBraces work is that for a small fee they send you putty and trays that look like mouth guards for you to use to take impressions with. After the patient takes an impression with their teeth they then send them back to the company. The impressions are looked over by a dental professional and then sets of plastic dental trays are sent back to the patient to wear daily to help straighten teeth.
While these trays work similarly to the Invisalign dental straightening system, they are missing one key component, a dentist’s stamp of approval. Many orthodontists and dentists warn that if you try to get teeth straightening trays without first seeing a dental professional then you can face serious oral health risks. One of the major issues that orthodontists have with this no-visit system is that patients cannot be checked for oral health issues and barriers to straightening.
One doctor argued that you couldn’t check for gum disease without an in-person visit. Gum disease typically needs to be treated before any type of orthodontic work is started. Other specialists argued that some patients will not benefit from teeth aligners and that they are wasting money by getting these aligners that will not work.
While buying straightening trays online may seem like a great opportunity to get the smile you want while saving money, it can harm your oral health. Visit your dentist or orthodontist to discuss what teeth straightening method could be right for you.