The Pitfalls of DIY Clear Aligners from SmileDirectClub and Candid Co.
You might’ve heard of companies like SmileDirectClub or Candid Co. that capitalize on the ease of the internet to provide orthodontic services to anyone through mail-order DIY clear aligner kits. While this kind of orthodontic treatment is admittedly tempting, you should think twice before choosing them over a local orthodontic office like OoLi Orthodontics.
If you’re considering one of these mail services, we recommend getting a second opinion from a board-certified orthodontist such as Dr. Park. There’s a degree of professional skill that’s not possible though these DIY clear aligner kits, and since your smile is our top priority, we want to ensure you’re making an educated decision.
At OoLi Orthodontics, we’ve created a Price Match Program to make sure our patients don’t fall into the DIY clear aligner trap. Click here or scroll to the bottom to learn more about this program and how it can help you smile with confidence!
What are DIY Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are typically used in two common situations: after traditional braces as a retainer to maintain your teeth’s position, or as clear corrective braces (aligner trays) that go largely unnoticed. Clear aligners have grown immensely in their popularity over the past decade with the most popular kind that straightens your teeth being Invisalign.
This booming popularity has inspired other companies to create their own versions of Invisalign that can be ordered from the internet and done from the comfort of your own home, hence the do-it-yourself part of these kits. These mail-based DIY clear aligner kits advertise their simplicity, quickness, and price compared to visiting an orthodontist in-person.
While we know how appealing these companies sound, it’s a risky move choosing that route. Your smile is an invaluable asset, and there’s a level of knowledge, customization, and security that’s unattainable without visiting a board-certified orthodontist for your personalized clear aligner plan and orthodontic needs.
Why are DIY Clear Aligners a Bad Choice?
There are a number of reasons why choosing a mail-order DIY aligner kit, like SmileDirectClub or Candid Co., is a poor and risky choice. As this kind of treatment gains popularity, more people and news outlets are shining light on the reasons why they’re actually a terrible, terrible idea. The very things that they say are advantages when choosing their kits are what you should be weary of: the simplicity, quickness, and price.
No checkups if something is wrong
The simplicity of DIY clear aligner kits shortens the time for a thorough, personalized evaluation and treatment, lessening the face-to-face interaction with a board-certified orthodontist. While these mail-order kits offer the chance to visit one of their centers for in-person imprints to create your treatment plan, in addition to doing an imprint yourself at home, there’s no additional check-ups throughout the treatment process.
If something is moving incorrectly, or if something feels wrong, you don’t have an office like OoLi Orthodontics you can walk into for questions. This is especially important in the next bullet: there’s not really any security if something is going wrong, and there’s not a qualified orthodontist ensuring everything is moving according to your treatment plan on a regular basis.
Can cause more harm than good
Moving a tooth too quickly can actually cause more harm than good. The process of moving teeth is an intricate procedure that involves physics and knowledge of the biology of teeth. In short, it takes time to do correctly, and in most cases, takes longer than these DIY aligner kits advertise. If a tooth is moved too fast for your mouth to adapt to, it can cause damage to your gums and bone. A tooth moved too quickly also has a greater chance of a fast relapse: the tooth moves back to its original position quicker than it was moved by your retainer.
Moving a tooth too quickly also heightens the chance that it’s moved into the wrong spot. This can mess up your bite, which can cause long-term issues. An incorrect bite can cause additional wear and tear on your teeth, tension headaches, and can even put more teeth out of alignment from incorrect pressure points.
One of the areas these companies are able to cut costs to offer low prices is with their materials. When you see a dentist for your clear aligners, you’re getting the most durable and FDA-approved dental-grade plastic on the market. When you choose a mail-order DIY aligner kit, you’re getting material they can purchase to create the lowest price. This will lead to lower quality aligners that wear out quicker than what you’d get through an orthodontist.
There’s a reason why the expertise of an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Park costs more than these DIY kits. There’s an unparalleled value in choosing a qualified, experienced, and local orthodontist for your teeth straightening needs. If you’re looking for a second opinion, or want a consultation to see how you can start smiling with confidence, contact OoLi Orthodontics!
What are Better Options?
There have been modern improvements in the orthodontic landscape over the past couple of decades that have created a number of different solutions to achieve a straighter smile. The choices for a straighter smile generally fall under two categories: traditional braces and clear aligners in the like of Invisalign. Depending on your specific case, goals, and lifestyle, your orthodontist will recommend a specific kind of treatment customized for you.
Traditional braces are still, by far, the most popular orthodontic treatment for children and teenagers. This kind of braces is the industry-standard and can treat the most severe cases. Advances in orthodontics have made traditional braces more comfortable, affordable, and effective than ever before.
Another option in this category is the Damon System, which takes a different approach to traditional braces. With Damon braces, patients experience shorter treatment times, more comfortable hardware, and less noticeable brackets and wires.
Clear braces are more popular among adults who don’t want the noticeable hardware of traditional braces. We do offer different Invisalign treatment specific to teens and even Invisalign LITE, which is our most affordable Invisalign option. Companies like SmileDirectClub and Candid Co. fall under this umbrella, but aren’t recommended for the reasons above.
If you’re considering going with a mail-based option, we highly recommend consulting Dr. Park for a second opinion to ensure your treatment will be safe and effective, as we also now offer a price matching program to help patients avoid the pitfalls of DIY aligners.
OoLi Orthodontics’ Price Match Program
To help our patients achieve their ideal smiles at an affordable price, and without them incurring the risks of a DIY aligner kit, we’ve created a Price Match Program! Our program offers a faster and more predictable treatment than what you’d get with a mail-order kit. With this program, we promise to price match both SmileDirectClub and Candid Co.’s prices and terms, but with the industry-standard braces.
We chose traditional braces for a number of reasons. This kind of orthodontic treatment has been around the longest, has unmatched and proven reliability and effectiveness, and can correct the widest range of issues. It’s also not possible for us to price match with an Invisalign-type product due to the lab fees we have to pay. With our Price Match Program, we hope to provide our patients with fast, predictable, affordable, and beautiful results that will have you smiling with confidence!
Always consult an orthodontist for a second opinion
If you’re thinking about choosing SmileDirectClub, Candid Co, or a similar DIY clear retainer company, we recommend getting a second opinion from a local orthodontist. Depending on the severity of your case and your specific orthodontic needs, choosing one of these companies could just be a waste of money, and in some cases, cause more harm than good. If you’re an Arizona resident, Dr. Park can help you evaluate what options will be suited best to your needs and goals. Contact Ooli Orthodontics for your orthodontic needs and start smiling with confidence today!