Orthodontic treatment has always been a very sought after option, especially with the advent of selfies and the social media era. In 1997, Invisalign® was invented by two guys, one of whom underwent orthodontic treatment as an adult. He came up with the idea after wearing his retainer and wondered if a retainer-like device could be used to straighten out teeth. Well, 20+ years later and millions of smiles changed, Invisalign is a mainstay in social media and the dental community. Recently, there have been a few clear aligner companies popping up that promise to deliver straighter teeth faster, cheaper, and without any need to physically visit a dentist or an orthodontist.
Essentially, you either take your own mold of your teeth and mail it in or a computer scan of your teeth is made at a store and sent to a treating dentist who will create a plan to straighten your teeth. Within a month or so, your own customized set of aligners is mailed to you and you are responsible for wearing the aligners and keeping up with your own treatment.
At Dallas Orthodontics, we strive to provide personalized, compassionate care to each and every single patient. Dr. Benitez feels like this personalized care is best obtained within a physical office with a treating doctor present. Every patient presents with a different set of circumstances, and it’s Dr. Benitez’s specialty training that allows him to respect the limits of orthodontic care and to deliver the safest treatment possible. The allure of mail order aligners is undeniable; you don’t ever have to visit a dentist/orthodontist office and the costs are typically less than treatment with a dentist or orthodontist.
Dr. Benitez understands that life is busy; he has four children of his own. We have families who have both parents working, we have patients who are heavily involved in extracurricular activities, and we have patients that work full time jobs. We understand that visiting the orthodontist on a regular basis can be a daunting task. These appointments, however, are critical for monitoring the progress of our patients’ treatment and ensuring that teeth are moving in a smooth manner. Visiting the orthodontist office allows the interpersonal relationship to develop and it helps us to understand our patients’ desires and wants for their smile. Dr. Benitez feels like you cannot get the same experience with mail order aligners. Often times, it is difficult to get a hold of customer service to express your concerns and it may be extremely difficult to directly talk to your treating dentist as well.
Another difference between the in-office experience vs. mail order aligners is the thorough diagnosis and treatment planning that happens in an office setting. We take full records including photos, necessary x-rays, and study models if needed and we sit down with our patients and/or their parents to discuss the problems we see and the options available to treat those specific problems. Any major concerns by our patients and/or their parents are thoroughly reviewed and addressed. Dr. Benitez believes that this interpersonal face-to-face communication is necessary to completely understands what choices are being made. With the mail order aligners, you may never get a chance to personally visit with the treating orthodontist and you may only deal with customer service individuals who aren’t trained to deal with the full array of potential complications that may arise. In addition, there are other things that Invisalign® offers that the mail order aligners do not.
Attachments are required in Invisalign to accomplish certain movements that would prove difficult without them. Also, slight polishing between the teeth is often times needed to correct the crookedness of the teeth and to aide in tooth movement. With the mail order aligners, you do not get the attachments and polishing between the teeth and this may make certain teeth not fully correct themselves in alignment causing bite issues and continued crooked teeth. Only dental professionals can safely perform the attachment process and polishing process between the teeth to allow the full correction of bite and alignment issues Dr. Benitez went through a rigorous protocol of four years and dental school and three years of orthodontic residency to give him the knowledge how to safely treat patients and ensure that treatment is occurring in an efficient manner. He understands that moving teeth from the comfort of your own home can be enticing and convenient, however, please inform yourself completely before undergoing a procedure that could end up with detrimental results.