We don’t think so, and it’s not just that we’re biased. Mail-order aligners can be cheaper and easier than in-office orthodontic treatment, but you’re really getting what you pay for (in a bad way).
Straightening teeth is a complex and delicate process, and it’s different for every patient. It’s definitely worth the investment to benefit from the specialized training and experience of an orthodontist.
One problem with mail-order aligners is that they can’t solve all of the orthodontic problems that traditional braces can. Clear aligners can correct things like crowding, but when it comes to having a bad bite, traditional braces are better. That’s true of high-end clear aligners you could get from an orthodontist, so it’s an even bigger flaw with aligners that come in the mail without ever meeting in person with an orthodontist.
The orthodontist can determine what kind of treatment will be most effective for your teeth, and whether clear aligners would be an effective option for you.
Mail-order aligners are part of an automatic, faceless process. It’s a service that doesn’t include attention and care from a professional who can take all the factors into account. Your oral health status will go unchecked throughout treatment, particularly if you’re also avoiding regular dentist visits.
If there’s an error in your aligners, there won’t be an orthodontist to correct it and you could end up with misaligned or damaged teeth, problems with your gumline, or an unwanted change to the shape of your bite. If you’re going to get clear aligners (or braces if clear aligners won’t work for your teeth), it’s best to get them under the trained eye of an experienced professional.
While mail-order aligners can be a cheap option in the moment, you’re putting your teeth at risk of needing even more expensive treatments down the line if any new problems (or the same original ones) arise. Aligners that aren’t fully optimized or molded to your unique smile might result in additional corrective treatment later. It’s best to get the job done right the first time around, even if it costs more.
When making a plan for getting the straight smile you deserve, the best first step is to schedule a consultation with a trusted orthodontist. At our practice, we can determine the most effective type of orthodontic treatment for your case and provide that treatment tailored perfectly to your mouth.