Achieving that perfect smile is something many people strive for. Over the years, Invisalign has become the go-to option for straightening crooked, misaligned teeth. The market has also been flooded with do-it-yourself (DIY), at-home aligners that can easily be purchased online. It is important to be aware of the potential risks of using DIY options over in-person care from licenced professionals. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) strongly discourages the practice of do-it-yourself orthodontics because of the potential for harm to patients. Using
Here are the top 6 advantages of Invisalign vs DIY aligners:
- Close Monitoring
During aligner treatment, it is important to gradually move the teeth toward the final planned and aesthetic tooth arrangement and smile design. Periodic monitoring of this progress (aligners tracking) is usually done every 4-8 weeks. The close monitoring allows for early intervention and adjustments which can prevent prolonged treatment times. For example, if an issue is identified early, time is saved. If the opportunity is missed, the issue is not going to self-correct. Making an adjustment many months later will lengthen treatment time or the final smile design could be compromised. Receiving Invisalign treatment from a professional can prevent these issues.
- Customized Tooth Movement
In most cases, certain teeth need to move or be de-rotated or angled in a specific way to position them optimally in the overall smile. Many of these movements require small tooth-coloured buttons to be placed during the course of aligner treatment to turn the tooth into an ideal position. DIY online aligner treatments do not allow such customization, leaving the final outcome short of a beautiful result.
- Screening and Monitoring of the Gums Health
It is critical for the health of the bone surrounding and holding the teeth in place that tooth movement occurs in the absence of gum inflammation and disease. Full periodontal measurement of the pockets around teeth and treatment of any issues is paramount to an end result of beautiful teeth which are healthy and surrounded with healthy gums.
- Increased Risk of Tooth Elongation (gum recession)
This risk is related to the starting thickness of gums around teeth and the pre-existence of long teeth (recessions). Careful evaluation, measurement and adjustment of tooth movement is necessary to avoid or worsen tooth elongation.
- Bite Correction
Aligners can fix many bite issues, however, often there is a need to use rubber bands to shift the back teeth forward to align the upper eye teeth properly relative to the lower teeth. These steps require applying a button to the back molars to attach the elastics and cannot be performed with do-it-yourself online aligner treatment.
- Root Resorption
Every tooth movement is accompanied with the risk of changes to the length of the roots of the teeth. The teeth length is monitored with radiographs. Do-it-yourself online aligners cannot monitor for root resorption unless the online company providing the aligners have offices taking and evaluating radiographs on a regular basis during and at the end of treatment.
Although it might seem convenient to purchase your aligners online and manage your own treatment at home, there are risks associated with this option.
It’s always best to receive treatment from a licenced professional. An experienced cosmetic dentist or orthodontist will be able to monitor your progress and ensure the end result is that beautiful smile you’ve been waiting for.