Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Mail-Order Smile? Why You Should Say “No, Thanks!”

By: | Sunday, December 30th, 2018 | Invisalign

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Invisalign Burke, VAWe all love the idea of a good shortcut now and then. However, when it comes to the smile, you’d think we would know by now that the best value to be found is in a dentist’s office. Consumers have collectively spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on commercial teeth whitening products only to eventually turn to their dentist to get the results they want. Today, we’re seeing something entirely new: mail-order orthodontics. Here, we discuss what the process of a mail-order smile looks like and why this solution is not an alternative to systems like Invisalign.

I’ll Have One Great Smile, Please

Mail-order orthodontic treatment is often structured like a club. For a start-up fee that usually hovers around $100, a consumer receives a kit in the mail. The package includes a dental impression mold and instructions on how to take impressions at home (all without professional help). When returning the impression to the mail-order orthodontic company, the consumer may also have to report that they are current on their checkups and x-rays with their family dentist (although rarely is proof requested). Also, the company may want a few “selfies” to get a good idea of oral anatomy and tooth alignment.

Using front-image photos of teeth and a potentially ill-performed impression, the orthodontic company then develops clear aligners similar to Invisalign. These aligners are worn as directed to achieve a better, healthier smile – again, without one ounce of professional supervision.

Your Smile Matters

You want a straighter smile because you care about how you look. You also care about your general health and well-being, we would assume. For this reason, we encourage you to seek professional dental care to correct your alignment concerns.

Invisalign and mail-order aligners do not compare. When you begin Invisalign treatment, digital impressions create a full-view observation of all of the teeth in your mouth. The imaging sent to the Invisalign lab is processed using software integration that has been extensively studied for efficiency and accuracy. The processing mechanism knows precisely where your teeth are and exactly which changes need to take place at which time to achieve the desired outcome. This process was developed after years of clinical testing to ensure proper bite alignment. Using nothing more than self-made impressions in which there is a large margin for error, and zero supervision, there is a higher likelihood that mail-order orthodontics could worsen a bad bite. This could lead to jaw problems and ongoing symptoms related to TMJ disorder.

Get your teeth straightened the right way using Invisalign. To learn more about this simplified method of teeth-straightening, call our Burke office at (703)-935-2879.



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