Ordering things online is so much fun. You pick out what you want, and with the click of a button, your new gadget or cute outfit is on its way directly to your door. Sometimes, however, ordering things online causes problems because what’s advertised isn’t always what you get.
The same happens with direct-to-consumer orthodontics. It may sound convenient, cost-effective, and efficient at first, but in reality, this treatment option can cause more harm than good. If you’re wondering what you’ll miss out on should you choose to get mail-order treatment, keep reading to learn three things you won’t get with direct-to-consumer orthodontics.
Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics: Here’s What You Should Know
At its core, mail-order or direct-to-consumer orthodontics (DTCO) is exactly what it sounds like: plastic aligners that are shipped to you without in-person supervision by an orthodontist. DTCO companies that deliver mail-order aligners often make huge claims they cannot support. They may say they are the cheapest, most convenient, and most efficient treatment providers on the market, but board-certified orthodontists know this isn’t the full picture.
In this consumer approach, patients of mail-order companies communicate through an app with a provider they will never meet or speak to. From taking their own mold to deciding when to move to the next tray, the patient is responsible for their own treatment. At the end of the day, mail-order orthodontics is the do-it-yourself version of straightening teeth.
Here’s Why DTCO Doesn’t Make the Cut
Settling for the DIY version of a complicated dental procedure could lead to more complex orthodontic issues down the road. Dr. Chamberlain agrees that patients looking for the best quality care should steer clear of mail-order orthodontics. This is why:
Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics Won’t Save You Time or Money In the Long Run…
…but supervised orthodontic treatment is an investment that will stand the test of time.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment in an individual’s overall health and confidence. Although DTCO companies promise cheaper services, the discount they provide comes at the cost of quality treatment. Mail-order patients will rarely, if ever, meet with a provider in person, which means that diagnostic records, including facial and intraoral photographs, radiographs, and 3D scans, won’t be taken or incorporated into the aligner sequence.
Many orthodontic issues lie below the gum line, so patients need these in-office scans, imaging, and X-rays to determine the best treatment plan. With online orthodontics, patients skip these crucial steps, which makes treatment risky and potentially ineffective. Improper diagnosis and treatment planning could result in needing further corrective treatment in the long run (which could become much more costly). As a recent study put it, “Good treatment costs money, and bad treatment costs money, but bad treatment will cost even more if it must be redone.”
When patients meet with Dr. Chamberlain, on the other hand, they recognize the level of personalized care that Chamberlain Family Orthodontics offers from the start. They never have to worry that their treatment lacks what it needs to give them a beautiful and healthy smile, and our flexible payment plans mean they can afford the treatment they deserve.
Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics Won’t Provide Consistent Case Monitoring…
…but at Chamberlain Family Orthodontics, we’ll track your treatment progress and make adjustments as needed.
Patients looking for a highly customized treatment plan will not find it with mail-order orthodontics. That is because online providers treat orthodontics like a one-size-fits-all process. This approach can be highly problematic for the success of your treatment plan because it fails to consider your body’s unique response to aligners, leaving little room for adjustment as needed. Additionally, mail-order companies require patients to check in with their provider through a smartphone app via self-assessments – and that process leaves too much room for error.
Working with a professional orthodontist like Dr. Chamberlain, however, means your treatment plan can be adapted to your unique needs. In-person appointments are critical so that our team can closely track your treatment plan as it progresses and adjust the treatment plan when necessary. You’ll never know if you need adjustments like interproximal reshaping, attachment changes or elastics for more efficient tooth movement if you’re not monitored in-office by a qualified orthodontist.
Dr. Chamberlain recommends Invisalign clear aligners, which are the highest-performance aligner brand on the market. Invisalign’s SmartTrack technology delivers a comfortable and effective treatment process, making your smile transformation a breeze. Plus, for younger patients, Invisalign comes with compliance indicators to help your child or teen stay on track with treatment. All in all, Dr. Chamberlain will design a custom treatment plan that takes into account the complexity of your case as well as your smile goals and lifestyle.
Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics Won’t Give You a Personalized Approach…
…but at Chamberlain Family Orthodontics, we consider your individual needs and goals to give you a treatment plan that’s as unique as you are.
Orthodontists like Dr. Chamberlain spend years in school learning how to influence facial esthetics with precision and accuracy to give patients smiles they can be proud of. Total orthodontic care means your needs and goals are balanced within a customized treatment plan.
The typical, high-quality orthodontic treatment process requires patients to meet for an initial assessment with an experienced orthodontist to determine the right treatment plan for their unique needs. Not every patient requires a comprehensive treatment plan, and unlike DTCO companies, our team can target specific alignment issues with competitive pricing, including touch-ups for as low as $1,800.
With goal-driven treatment plans, we can treat a range of cases, from simple relapse to surgical correction. Should you require extra care, we can also work with a team of other dental professionals to provide a more comprehensive treatment plan than you would receive from a DTCO company.
For patients married to the idea of straightening their teeth without the bulky wires and brackets of braces, it is far better to stick with Chamberlain Family Orthodontics treatment plans like Invisalign than resort to online orthodontics. Like DTCO, Dr. Chamberlain’s Invisalign treatments use a series of clear aligner trays to shift smiles in gear over time. However, Dr. Chamberlain personally designs each set of aligners to fit our patients’ individual needs so they avoid getting the cookie-cutter treatment that online companies offer.
Stick With the Experts: Choose Chamberlain Family Orthodontics!
Getting the smile of your dreams is an important step toward feeling more confident in your own skin, and as orthodontic experts in Beaumont and Redlands, we know a thing or two about helping you reach your smile goals. We’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for Invisalign clear aligners, InBrace hidden braces, or traditional braces, so schedule your free consultation and get started today!