Are at-home aligners a smart choice for your wallet or your oral health?
Conduct a quick Google or Facebook search about orthodontic care — you’ll be bombarded with ads touting at-home aligners. These companies promise to cut treatment costs and provide an alternative to traditional orthodontic care.
While these companies may provide convenience and savings, what are you being asked to sacrifice in order to achieve those aims? Your budget is an important part of your treatment choice, and no one likes the idea of assuming another bill. But when it comes to your teeth, you want your money’s worth.
Here’s what you’ll be sacrificing if you choose at-home DIY treatment:
1. The team of office professionals devoted to your wellbeing
When you call Sturgill Orthodontics, the phone will be answered by a knowledgeable individual who knows you by name, knows your interests, knows your unique financial situation, and knows your schedule. You are not a customer, but a patient. You are not one of many, but one that matters.
2. The team of skilled dental assistants and lab technicians
At-home aligner companies cut costs by shifting responsibility for certain orthodontic tasks to unlicensed auxiliary staff and to their customers. Moreover, they limit the amount of correction to only extremely minor corrections. For example, customers are expected to take their own molds and are provided with the materials to do so. Sounds simple, right? In actuality, taking and making dental molds is a complicated task best performed by a licensed dental professional. Slight errors in the process could result in aligners that do not fit or do not properly shift your teeth. Still sound simple?
3. The licensed, highly-educated orthodontist of your choosing
While at-home aligner companies state that a dentist reviews each case, customers are not permitted to choose which dentist, do not know how much time the dentist spends reviewing their case, and do not receive a proper clinical exam. Many of these dentists are foreign-trained and pressured to never deny a case.
When choosing your orthodontist, you should consider their educational background, their work, and their patient reviews. You want a care-provider who fits your needs; and you should be able to choose that dentist. Moreover, clinical exams are a vital part of your treatment. Your orthodontist examines you, talks to you, and considers factors such as your oral health and skeletal structure when reviewing your case. At Sturgill Orthodontics, you will see Dr. Sturgill at every visit: reviewing your case, chatting with you, and making sure you are progressing well.
4. The full comprehensive treatment you deserve
Many at-home treatment companies limit the number of trays provided as the movement that occurs is very minimal (1mm or less). In actuality, comprehensive aligner treatment could require several rounds of aligners, not to mention enameloplasty, occlusal equilibration, elastic wear, or interproximal reduction. “Straighter” teeth does not necessarily mean “straight” teeth. At Sturgill Orthodontics, additional aligners — called a “refinement” — are part of your fixed treatment quote. We will do whatever it takes to get you the perfect smile you deserve, without cutting corners. Furthermore, at Sturgill Orthodontics, you pay for your final results. This means that even if Dr. Sturgill determines that you need braces to get ideal results, he will do so at no additional cost, because we guaranteed a Sturgill Smile. We won’t settle for a job half-done; your teeth won’t be “a little better” but beautiful!
Remember that moving teeth is a medical procedure best performed by a licensed orthodontist. When choosing your care provider, make sure you have all the facts and make the selection that best suits your needs.