Clear aligners are known to be one of the most efficient means of realigning crooked teeth
and getting a beautiful smile. They are easy to use, almost invisible, removable, and worth every penny spent on them. Orthodontists diagnose malocclusion through 3D scans, X-rays, and images of the misaligned teeth and the shape of the jaws. Only after they have a fair knowledge of the alignment issues and their severity, do they come up with a treatment plan. It includes a tentative prediction of how long the treatment is likely to take and how many sets of clear aligners would be needed. The patients can then pick up the aligners from the clinics or get them shipped to their homes.
Mail-order clear aligners
Another recent trend of teeth-straightening with clear aligners
has patients buying the aligners online. These are also known as mail-order clear aligners. People suffering from crooked and misaligned teeth
can avail this option if they do not have the means or time to visit an orthodontist for an in-person consultation. The process involves the customer sending impressions of their teeth to the clear aligner provider. Once the provider has received the impression, an in-house orthodontist remotely evaluates it and manufactures the aligners. The aligners are then shipped to the customer who wears them as per instructions.
While mail-order clear aligners are a good option if you do not have the bandwidth to visit an orthodontist, they have certain drawbacks, as well. Taking teeth impressions without professional help can lead to a faulty outcome, thereby affecting the final setting of the clear aligners. And if the alignment of the clear aligners does not match with that of the teeth, then the whole exercise becomes futile. The number of aligners required is also predicted based on the impression. If the impression is incorrect, then the total number of clear aligners sent might not be sufficient. However, with an online purchase, the option to get add-on aligners becomes difficult. Therefore, with not many proper follow-ups, the treatment remains incomplete and can result in more severe problems.
The ideal scenario
With hectic lifestyles and lack of time, online buying of clear aligners
is an obvious choice for most people. However, despite this easy accessibility, no one wants to compromise on quality and end result. The role of an orthodontist is crucial here for at least one face-to-face interaction at the diagnosis stage. The remaining process can be conducted online along with progress tracking and future check-ups. With this arrangement, one can get the best of both worlds of physical as well as online treatment, yet not compromise on the treatment quality.