It seems like you can do everything online nowadays. When was the last time you went to the bank to transfer money or sent a bill payment through the mail? The internet has made our lives more convenient in so many ways, but we believe there are still certain things that are best done in person rather than over wi-fi.

One such thing is straightening your teeth. Believe it or not, there are companies that offer to fix your smile without ever setting foot in a dental or orthodontic office. They sell their product based on the convenience of not having to go to appointments and a reduced cost. Because traditional braces would be impossible to do at home, these companies sell plastic trays similar to Invisalign, which you wear on your teeth for a specified amount of time before switching to the next tray. To get started, you simply take a 3-D mold of your teeth in your own home and send it in.

Why It’s Best to Have an Orthodontist Straighten Your Teeth

While we are all about people getting the smile they’ve always wanted at a price they can afford, there are several reasons why we believe this is not the best approach for everyone.

1. It is important to have x-rays done before starting orthodontic treatment. Taking impressions of your teeth may show how your teeth are positioned above your gums, but it doesn’t take into account what is going on below the gums, such as impacted teeth, shortened roots and other radiological findings. Some issues may not be able to be treated just by fixing what you can see on the surface.

2. Even the best-laid plans may need to change. When you see an orthodontist about getting braces or Invisalign, a treatment plan is put in place. But as your orthodontist reviews your progress throughout treatment, he or she may need to alter the plan slightly to give you the best result. If you have ordered your treatment through the mail and don’t follow up with an orthodontist, you have no way of knowing whether or not you could benefit from changes to the plan.

3. There may be a better treatment option available. Plastic aligner trays can be very effective, but they are not for everyone. Some orthodontic issues require other treatments, such as appliances or other traditional braces. A company that only offers aligner trays may be hesitant to tell you there are better options and may try to do the best they can with their product. When you meet with an orthodontist, every treatment type is considered and discussed, giving you a clear picture of your options and which will work best for you.

4. Sometimes you need someone to call for help. When you go to an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign, you establish a relationship with him or her and the office staff. If you ever have an issue, these professionals are familiar with your treatment and are ready to help. If your treatment has come through the mail, you miss out on this relationship and personal assistance when you need it.

We’re not saying mail order treatment has never helped anyone with their smile, chances are it has. But we believe seeing a real, live orthodontist and his team gives you the greatest odds of having that perfect smile you’ve always wanted.

To experience the benefits of seeing an orthodontist for yourself, give us a call at (843) 4-BRACES and schedule a free initial exam.