At-home orthodontics might sound like a good idea at first, but there are actually a lot of risks involved. When receiving at-home treatment, you’re not usually required to set foot in a dentist or orthodontist’s office before receiving your appliance. This means that you will not have x-rays taken nor a thorough examination performed, both important for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
If not fitted properly, the appliance could end up causing permanent damage to your mouth and teeth. Quick and easy is rarely better.
Considering At-Home Treatment? Read This First.
We strongly caution consumers against using at-home orthodontic services unless you have done thorough research into the company’s treatment process. If you decide to use an online orthodontic service, we want to stress the importance of asking the right questions.
Below are a few key questions you should be asking during your online orthodontic consultation.
Is an orthodontic specialist supervising your treatment?
In most instances direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies do not involve the in-person evaluation and/or in-person supervision of your orthodontic treatment by a licensed orthodontist.
Orthodontic treatment involves the movement of biological material, which could lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites, and other issues if not done correctly.
How customized is your treatment?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to orthodontic treatment. A thorough examination of the teeth, their position in the jaws and the relationship of the upper and lower jaws is essential to developing a custom treatment plan.
During an in-person visit, orthodontists closely study dental records such as panoramic x-rays to evaluate any concerns or potential problems that may be hiding below the surface. These are crucial steps of the treatment process that are usually left out when seeking at-home options.
Ask Questions, Get Answers
Again, we caution against at-home orthodontics. We strongly advise you to do your research and ask the right questions. Aside from the two key questions addressed above, here are a few more you’ll want to ask during your at-home treatment consultation:
We Have Your Best Interest in Mind
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is a professional association of orthodontists dedicated to improving the health of the public by promoting quality orthodontic care, the importance of overall oral healthcare, and advocating for public interest. Your health and well-being are extremely important to us.
Remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device – orthodontic treatment is a professional, medical service. When your care is personally supervised by an orthodontist who is a member of the AAO, you are assured that your orthodontist spent years in a post-doctoral residency program focused on providing appropriate treatment to patients.
Before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider doing some research and having an in-person consultation with a member of the AAO.