May 8, 2019

Why Go to an Orthodontist Over At-Home Orthodontic Care?

As new at-home orthodontic companies arise with the promise of cheaper braces and shorter treatment periods, you can’t help but wonder… what’s the catch? Should you try out an at-home orthodontic treatment? Or should you schedule an appointment with your orthodontist instead?

The answer is simple: Visit your orthodontist.

Though at-home orthodontic care might sound idealistic, there are a significant amount of downfalls to not receiving treatment from your orthodontist in person. Save yourself the potential damage, the money, and the time by scheduling an appointment with your orthodontist for braces.

The Initial Consultation

During your initial braces consultation with your orthodontist, you will have x-rays taken of the inside and outside of your teeth. These x-rays are used to assess the overall condition of your teeth as well as the behavior of individual teeth. (For example, an x-ray will show the position of each tooth, down to the root.) You will also have an impression taken of your mouth, which hardens into a 3-D mold of your teeth and bite. Your orthodontist will use x-rays, molds and other visuals of your mouth to customize the most effective treatment plan for your goals.
During your initial braces consultation with at-home orthodontic care, you will receive an at-home impression kit. (There’s a good chance you haven’t earned your doctorate in orthodontics, so taking your own impressions leaves great room for error.) If the impressions sent back to the at-home orthodontic company are inaccurate, you will receive an ineffective, damaging set of braces. Without taking x-rays, at-home orthodontic companies cannot examine all aspects of your condition. Specific bite conditions (such as openbites, underbites, overbites) as well as airway functions are neglected without the use of x-rays.

Save yourself from damage.

At-home orthodontic care is infamous for causing damage to the mouth. In fact, in 36 states, the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) is asking the Attorney General to investigate an at-home orthodontic company for violating state dental laws and endangering patients. A whopping 19,000 orthodontists around the world filed complaints against an at-home orthodontic company last year for improper treatment!
Since at-home companies don’t take x-rays or meet with patients in person, a lot of orthodontic conditions are overlooked. Say you’re hoping to correct your gapped front teeth with a braces treatment. With an at-home company, they will take your at-home impression and design a set of braces based on your one goal (correcting your gap) and the one impression mold you took yourself. Without a thorough assessment of your condition, the treatment you receive may push your teeth closer together with the intent of filling in the gap. Your treatment plan won’t account for the amount of space in your mouth or the position of individual teeth. Your teeth may be pushed closer together to fill in the gap, but now you may be left with crowding on either side of your front teeth, which can cause tooth loss and increase your risk for developing gum disease.

Save yourself the time and money.

At-home orthodontic companies promote their cheaper prices compared to the price of proper treatment with your orthodontist. If you use at-home orthodontic care and it causes damage to your mouth, you’ll need to visit your orthodontist regardless to reverse the damage. This means you’ll end up paying for two separate treatments and enduring two treatment periods, when you could’ve underwent a single, effective treatment through your orthodontist.

The AAO reports 13% of its orthodontists are seeing patients who were damaged by at-home orthodontic care, and many of these patients are left with irreparable damages.

When you take a gamble with at-home orthodontic care, you’re taking a gamble with your health, your wallet, and your time. Choose the professional care you know will bring you the results you’re seeking without causing damage!
If you’re looking for an orthodontist in Millbrook or you want to know the average cost of braces, we can help.
Are you ready for your free, no-obligation exam with Dr. Dunn and Dr. Schreiber in Montgomery, Wetumpka or Millbrook? You can request your initial free exam or schedule your next appointment here!
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Braces, Orthodontics, Uncategorized