The Pros & Cons of DIY Clear Aligners

In the past few years, there has been a potentially dangerous orthodontic trend that is becoming more and more popular–DIY Clear Aligners. In an attempt to save money and avoid seeing an orthodontist, many people are turning to this modality of treatment. However, most Idaho Falls orthodontists will agree that getting aligners this way not only will not help to correct your smile correctly, but they will actually end up doing more harm than good. Continue reading to learn more about the process of getting invisible aligners online, the pros and cons of this method of orthodontics, and how to get a professional orthodontic treatment that works.

What Are DIY Clear Aligners?

Portrait of beautiful patient holding orthodontic retainers in dental clinic - DIY Clear Aligners

If you’ve been on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably seen an ad for mail-order braces or invisible aligners. You may have also seen commercials showcasing these products and touting their success. For clarity, throughout this article, we will discuss the DIY clear aligner treatment options that people can order online. These braces are much like the invisible aligners that your Idaho Falls orthodontist will have you fitted for. Depending on which company a person chooses will determine the quality of the material used.

For these at-home orthodontic treatments, people may pay a monthly fee or one lump sum for their trays that have been created using the impression they are sent at the beginning of their treatment. From this impression, the manufacturer creates a series of trays that overtime shifts your teeth to the “correct position.” 

What Are The Pros & Cons Doing it Yourself?

Woman In Dental Chair - DIY Clear Aligners

So why would anyone want to purchase these trays rather than go to an orthodontist? For the most part, people are looking for a more convenient option or saving money or both. Let’s take a look at the advantages of going the DIY clear aligner  route:

  • Convenience – It’s difficult to say that this is an advantage of using invisible aligners in this way because, in some cases, it may not be accurate. For example, even though using this method of straightening your teeth takes out the need to go to an orthodontist’s office if something goes wrong because you’re not working closely with an Idaho Falls orthodontist that can continually monitor your progress, you may end up needing an entirely new set of trays and have to restart the process all over. So in that respect, membership-based clear trays have the potential to be less convenient than going to an orthodontist for treatment. 
  • Cost – Since you’ll be taking out the need for a professional to create the impression of your teeth and appointments every four to six weeks, the price of getting invisible aligners on your own is most often lower than getting them from an orthodontist. 

Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of using this method as an orthodontic treatment:

  • No Professional Help – Even though some of these DIY clear aligner “clubs” stand behind the claim that accredited dentists and orthodontists help to make the trays using the impression you made, you are not a professional. What this means is that the impression you send in may not be 100% correct. Therefore, the trays that are designed to fix your teeth or bite may not be successful. And, without an orthodontist to track your progress (how your teeth and shifting, how your smile and bite are changing, etc.) you’ll have no way of knowing until your done or the trays stop fitting the shape of your smile. 
  • Cost – Cost can also be a disadvantage because, while many membership-based programs for invisible aligner trays can seem cheaper, dental insurance doesn’t cover a penny of it. Alternatively, depending on your dental insurance provider, your insurance may cover the cost of your orthodontic treatment when you work with an Idaho Falls orthodontist. 
  • Can Be Harmful – Since you don’t have an orthodontist providing you with assistance, there is a higher chance of something going wrong. For example, using aligners to “correct” your smile into the wrong position can be painful and may require additional treatment to correct the issue.

If you believe that you are a candidate for invisible aligners, the best course of action is to schedule a consultation with a qualified Idaho Falls orthodontist. At your appointment, he or she will be able to guide you in deciding which orthodontic treatment will be the most effective option.

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