3 Red Flags With Mail-Order Orthodontics

There are no two individuals on the planet who share the same fingerprint; the same goes for teeth. Every mouth is different, which means there is no one-size-fits-all approach to orthodontics. Every patient that walks through our doors requires a specialized treatment plan that works for their unique case. There is no substitute for that level of individualized care, which is why Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny are concerned about the recent trend toward buying mail-order orthodontics. 

Although mail-order aligners promise a straight smile from the comfort of your own home and a discounted price, all without visiting an orthodontist’s office, mail-order aligners sacrifice a lot. 

You know what they say about things that sound too good to be true. 

Mail-order aligner plans treat you as a customer, not as a patient. At Sawgrass Orthodontics, we believe that you deserve to be treated like a member of the Sawgrass family. That means personalized care and advice on your path to a brighter smile. Don’t be swayed by mail-order orthodontics! Keep reading to find out more below. 

What are mail-order aligners?

As the name states, mail-order aligner trays promise to treat your smile with a remote orthodontic experience. This experience includes a series of aligner trays and an app that essentially serves as your orthodontist throughout your treatment. This app monitors your progress and updates you on when to change out your trays. 

Companies like Smile Direct Club claim that meeting regularly with a trained orthodontist isn’t necessary, which puts the ball entirely in your court. From your first impressions to choosing how often you wear your aligner trays each day, these companies allow you to take the role of your own orthodontist — all without the training or experience. And although mail-order aligner companies claim that their products are cheaper than traditional orthodontics, it’s easy to see why: they’re subtracting that discount from the quality of your care. 

When you are looking into any non-traditional product  — especially products designed with your health and wellness in mind — beware of wild, too-good-to-be-true statements. Loaded words like “Smart” or “Pro” should raise a red flag when you don’t know the training of the person using them — in this case, a for-profit company, not an individual orthodontist. Take an extra look at prices that seem drastically lower than you’re used to. It’s a very common tactic for bigger companies to lead customers astray by trying to sound “sciency” on the cheap without the training to back it up. 

Red Flag #1: There is no direct supervision of your care. 

When you step into Sawgrass Orthodontics to begin your treatment plan, your entire journey from start to finish is overseen by Dr. Kristen or Dr. Penny. With companies like SmileDirect Club, the orthodontist is nowhere to be found. Essentially, you fill the role of your orthodontist. 

Typically, the orthodontic process begins with an initial examination of your teeth by a trained professional. This exam allows the doctor to determine the type of treatment required for alignment and assess the patient’s need for additional dental care before beginning. Afterward, you’re usually required to meet regularly with your orthodontist for follow-up meetings every six to eight weeks so your doctor can monitor your progress. These appointments aren’t just for kicks — they’re essential to making sure your teeth are straightened safely and successfully. 

Mail-order orthodontics skip these steps entirely. Placing you at the head of your treatment plan, these companies outsource the direct supervision that is so vital to a virtual appointment with an orthodontist at best and an app at worst. Mail-order companies claim to provide in-person care through one of their physical locations. They don’t tell you that these locations are few and far between or that some states don’t have a “SmileShop” at all.  

Red Flag #2: You won’t receive specialized care. 

Imagine you needed a life-altering, body-altering surgery. How would you feel if your surgeon FaceTimed you, asked you your opinion on the process, and then let you perform the surgery yourself with little instruction? 

Orthodontic treatment is a much more long-term process than surgery, but it is life and body-altering. As such, it requires the specialized care of a trained physician to be sure you’re safe. With mail-order orthodontics, you make your own impressions. You choose how long to wear your aligners and when. You decide when to consult your doctor, if ever. 

At Sawgrass Orthodontics, we know that every smile is different. From the way your teeth grow naturally to the bite pattern or malocclusion you exhibit, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan – no matter what mail-order orthodontics may tell you! Without the direct supervision of either Dr. Kristen or Dr. Penny, your treatment plan cannot adapt to the way your mouth reacts to treatment. Without adjusting, you may cause more damage to your teeth overall. Besides, there is a range of different treatment options, and aligners aren’t designed for every individual’s oral health needs. 

3 Red Flags With Mail-Order Orthodontics

Red Flag #3: Mail-order aligners have ruined smiles. 

Did you know that there are several lawsuits against companies like SmileDirect Club? Due to the ineffectiveness of their treatment, multiple people have come out seeking action against mail-order orthodontic companies that ultimately caused their teeth to become worse and even led to long-term pain. 

Without the direct supervision of an orthodontist, it isn’t surprising that your teeth could end up worse off than before treatment. In fact, respected organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) are decidedly against mail-order aligners for the reasons listed above.

When mail-order aligners cause issues for patients, professional orthodontic treatment is often required to address these issues, leaving the patient right back where they started and owing even more money to their orthodontic journey than if they had simply begun this process with an orthodontist. 

It’s All Green Flags at Sawgrass Orthodontics!

Our trained professionals have years of experience straightening teeth and creating smiles in Sunrise. They know every mouth is unique, so Dr. Kristen and Penny take the time to develop each and every treatment plan. Trust the professionals at Sawgrass Orthodontics! 

If you are considering mail-order orthodontic treatment, why not try a free consultation with one of our highly-experienced orthodontists first? Your treatment plan is essential. Make sure that you have all the information you need before deciding on your healthcare. We can’t wait to get you started on your journey to a straighter smile!

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