If you’re a certain age, you’ll remember falling asleep to late-night infomercials selling everything from jewelry and pajamas to cleaning supplies and popcorn. Once the internet took over, these classic ads faded into the background a bit. Today’s consumers still have the chance to cut out the “middle man,” though! The advertising may be in a more polished package, but the idea is still the same—direct-to-consumer companies offer superior products for less, delivered right to your door with no hassle. Not even the world of orthodontics is exempt from this slick marketing!
Here at Pioneer Orthodontics, we’ve noticed an uptick in the number of direct-to-consumer companies looking to make a quick buck off consumers in search of a straighter smile. It’s easy to see why this would be tempting—who doesn’t love a bargain? Who wouldn’t prefer to do everything from the couch these days?—but there’s a reason why most orthodontic and dental professionals are warning patients to steer clear of these companies. To learn more about why you should only trust your smile to an expert like Dr. Cserna, keep reading below!
It all started with Invisalign
Our practice is proud to offer Invisalign clear aligners to patients in Lincoln, York, and the surrounding communities. Instead of relying on brackets and wires the way braces do, this popular system uses a series of customized removable aligners to move a patient’s teeth into the desired positions over time.
Most direct-to-consumer companies have based their aligners on the innovative design Invisalign pioneered. Don’t be fooled! While they may look and even sound similar, there are several key differences in how the treatment process works with DTC aligners and Invisalign clear aligners.
How Invisalign treatment works with a trained orthodontist
An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Cserna spends many years learning how to identify and treat misalignments, crowded teeth, and a number of other orthodontic issues. The first step in any treatment process will normally be a consultation that includes an orthodontic evaluation. At Pioneer Orthodontics, your first visit will include a complete oral exam and a discussion with Dr. Cserna about any specific areas of concern. She’ll be able to tell you if you’re a good fit for Invisalign at this time.
If you decide to move forward with Invisalign treatment, we’ll begin by taking a set of digital photos and x-rays to create a 3D image of your mouth. We’ll generate your first set of aligners from these images, which ensures a custom fit that’s both comfortable and effective. You’ll be scheduled for regular follow-up visits with Dr. Cserna throughout the treatment process so she can check your teeth and ensure everything is proceeding according to your treatment plan.
Once treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer to help keep your newly straightened teeth in place. As you can see, you’ll be supported by our team throughout your orthodontic journey!
How this differs from treatment with DTC aligner companies
When you choose aligners from a direct-to-consumer company, the treatment process is noticeably different. The biggest issue is that there is no expert guidance involved. You won’t receive an exam or have any digital images taken before deciding on a treatment plan. The company will ask you for some basic healthcare information and expect you to take your own tooth impressions and send them back in. Since most patients aren’t trained in taking orthodontic impressions, this isn’t ideal! It can easily lead to inaccurate or inexact molds that produce aligners that don’t fit as precisely as they should.
Dental health can also be an issue. The teeth and gums should always be in good condition before attempting any type of tooth movement. When you have a patient providing their own images and impressions, cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems can be missed or worsen over time.
Additionally, clear aligners are not recommended for everyone. For example, patients who have especially complex or severe cases may require more precise tooth control than aligners can provide and traditional braces may be a better option. Without the guidance of an expert orthodontist, you’re opening yourself up to a “one size fits all” approach to straightening smiles which may not give you the results you hope for.
Why expert guidance is so important
When you work with an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Cserna and the rest of our talented team, you’ll have access to trusted support, guidance, and supervision throughout your orthodontic journey. This is something DTC aligner companies just aren’t able to provide to patients, which leaves you more or less on your own as you straighten your smile.
This can open you up to a number of unforeseen issues. Take aligners that don’t fit well, for example. The friction can cause irritation and pain, and may also affect how effective the treatment process is. With no orthodontist directly involved, this can go untreated and may cause damage to your bite over time. It can even impact your overall oral health, eventually. While DTC aligners may seem like an inexpensive and easy way to straighten your smile from home, they could end up costing you more in the long run when you consider all the potential risks!
Trust your smile to the experts at Pioneer Orthodontics
Your smile is one in a million. It’s too important to trust just anybody! At Pioneer Orthodontics, you’ll receive a customized treatment plan that’s built around your own specific needs, preferences, and goals. Dr. Cserna will take care to only recommend the treatment method that best fits your smile, whether it’s Invisalign or another option. It’s impossible to find this level of skilled, supervised care with a generic direct-to-consumer company.
Furthermore, many orthodontists offer pricing that is comparable to DTC aligner companies. We are committed to providing high-quality care and affordable treatment options. We’ll also have payment plans to fit every budget. If you’d like more information on how our expert team can safely and effectively transform your smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Cserna!