Mail-order braces are a controversial dental topic, and the dentists of Abilene Family Dentistry weigh in with their opinions today. Direct-to-consumer orthodontics companies make many appealing promises—no dental visits, aligners delivered to your door, and lower costs. But are the risks worth it?
Not according to this consumer alert from the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). As of November 2017, the AAO had filed complaints with 36 State Dental Boards, alleging direct-to-consumer orthodontics can not only cause long-term oral health problems for their users but may be illegal. (These claims are pending investigation.)
A licensed doctor is not seen before or during self-managed orthodontic treatment. While direct-to-consumer braces companies base aligner prescriptions on computer-simulated mouth scans as licensed dentists do, teeth movement doesn’t always follow the initial computer assessment—and self-managed orthodontic treatment makes no further adjustments to correct that.
In short, wearers get what they get—and it may not be what they signed up for. Regular checkups are part of Invisalign® or any other orthodontic treatment so that dentists can make adjustments as teeth are moving.
Dentists say moving teeth without thorough examinations of mouth and gums may lead to permanent tooth loss and damage. Self-managed orthodontics customers have reported ruined bites, teeth that looked more crooked than before, and badly damaged gums from ill-fitting aligners.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
*Dr. Jeff Webb and Dr. Adam Awtrey are general dentists performing orthodontic dentistry services.