You will likely have seen an advert, social media post, or even billboard when out shopping, about the promises of straighter teeth, a brighter smile, and enhanced confidence by purchasing an At-Home aligner. Many people feel that having the perfect smile is the key to ultimate confidence, but for most, the cost of today’s most popular hidden brace system, Invisalign, is just a dream. This is why so many people are turning to other forms of invisible aligners, to try and imitate the same results, at a fraction of the price.
Although enticing, the cost of these at-home aligners can be more than just financial. They promise convenience, affordability, and faster alternatives to traditional braces and other forms of clear aligners, however, what they don’t tell you are the risks you are undertaking by essentially taking your oral health into your own hands.
The Appeal of the At-Home Aligner
At-home aligners are an Invisalign alternative that is often cheaper and requires almost no outside intervention from a dentist or orthodontist. They promote a fuss-free approach including a ‘do it yourself kit’ at home to make impressions of your teeth, which is then sent off to create your treatment plan.
This fuss-free approach usually doesn’t include check-ups with a dental professional, or even a pre-assessment in person, to check that the aligners are suitable for the candidate, not to mention whether the patient has any underlying conditions that may influence the effectiveness of the treatment, therefore possibly rendering it useless.
Why Have At-Home Aligners Increased in Popularity?
There are many reasons these at-home aligners are increasing in popularity. They promote a list of “conveniences” that promise to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of with no need for continuous check-ups with an orthodontist. The process begins with an online assessment, where the individual will provide photos, answer questions, and carry out an impression of their teeth with an at-home, DIY kit, which is then posted, and in return, you will receive your custom aligners, right to your doorstep.
At-home aligners are often more affordable and accessible than their alternatives. The absence of in-person visits, shipments straight to your door, impressions created at home, and the elimination of office overheads contribute to reduced costs in these DIY aligners. Mild to moderate cases of misalignment are the target audience of these DIY aligners, making them a viable option for many individuals, meaning that these minor issues can be fixed quickly and easily.
The Dangers and What You Need to Know About At-Home Aligners
The lack of supervision from a qualified orthodontist is the biggest danger these at-home aligners create. Orthodontists ensure that your treatment is working, your oral health remains intact, no damage to your teeth or gums is being caused, and your treatment follows the path mapped out by 3D scanning.
Many dangers need to be understood before undertaking treatment with at-home aligners, including:
Lack of Professional Supervision
- The moulds that need to be created to gain an impression of you will need to be carried out by the individual, at home, with a DIY impression kit.
- Due to the lack of professional supervision when carrying out impressions, this can lead to ill-fitting aligners which can be too loose, too tight, and painful.
- Patients can receive up to 20 trays at a time which are completely unmonitored, except for ‘online check-ins’ where a lot of complications can arise in the meantime.
- No professional adjustments are made, for example, some patients may need interproximal reduction for overcrowded teeth, which includes fine filling between teeth to make room for movement. If the space isn’t made, then the teeth can end up moving further out of alignment.
- Without individualised attention, users risk complications that may not be immediately apparent but could manifest in the long run.
Misdiagnosis and Treatment Risks
- Gaining accuracy through at-home impressions is very difficult and can easily lead to a misdiagnosis, leading further to oral health issues.
- Misaligned teeth are often indicative of underlying dental problems that only a qualified orthodontist can properly diagnose and address. Due to this, DIY aligners are not a solution for specific or complicated dental issues and could lead to your dental issue’s getting worse and encountering unexpected complications during treatment.
Unsupervised Tooth Movement
- At-home aligners lack the necessary monitoring of tooth movement to achieve a balanced and functional bite.
- Unsupervised tooth movement can lead to issues such as root resorption, where the roots of the teeth shorten, compromising their stability. Also, moving teeth too quickly or without proper guidance may result in a misaligned bite, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, and other complications that can be challenging and costly to rectify.
Inadequate Monitoring of Oral Health
- Orthodontic treatment goes beyond just moving teeth; it involves monitoring the overall health of the teeth and gums throughout the process.
- DIY aligners may not provide the necessary tools or protocols for regular check-ups, potentially allowing oral health issues to go unnoticed until they become more severe.
- Regular dental visits are crucial during orthodontic treatment to address problems, ensure proper hygiene, and adjust the treatment plan as needed. DIY aligners lack this essential component, putting individuals at risk of developing complications that could have been prevented with professional supervision.
Invisalign in Darwen: Our Trusted and Reliable Alternative
At Darwen Orthodontics, we believe that Invisalign is one of the best forms of orthodontic treatments available today. Some reasons we believe you should choose Invisalign as your trusted and reliable invisible aligner are:
- A thorough and realistic treatment plan is ensured through in-person assessments.
- The best possible results are guaranteed with a qualified dental professional throughout your treatment.
- Accurate and precise aligners are created with the best possible and most comfortable fit using the latest 3D iTero Intraoral scanners.
- A set number of trays are created for you to take home and swap out every 2 weeks, alongside in-person appointments every 5 to 8 weeks to discuss any issues or concerns.
- Extra steps can be taken to ensure the precise movements of teeth including adding extra attachments such as tooth-coloured bonding to provide extra grip for the aligners.
Darwen Orthodontics: Invisalign from Your Trusted and Reliable Orthodontists in Darwen
At Darwen Orthodontics, we understand it is costly to undertake Invisalign treatment, however, we offer payment plans and discounts for payment up-front, which will hopefully help you in deciding to perfect your smile under the supervision of professionals.
We are a specialist orthodontist in Darwen with a team of highly qualified orthodontists. So, if you would like to talk to us about Invisalign, contact Darwen Orthodontics today and book your free consultation.