In today’s economy, consumers (our dental patients) have come to expect services to be provided more easily, conveniently, and with greater flexibility than ever before. Just take Uber, Amazon Prime, and GrubHub; it’s no wonder that the same concept of “fast, affordable goods and services directly to the home” has rubbed off into the medical and dental fields.
As a dentist, you have probably fielded questions about the popular new trend of direct-to-consumer aligners. Many patients have questions about their effectiveness, quality, and price. Below, we’ve provided some talking points that will help you answer questions your patients may have. By talking together, you can help them see the value of partnering with a dentist for any and all dental and orthodontic treatment in the future.
Dentists Take a Closer Look at All Alignment Problems
The problem with many direct-to-consumer aligner brands is that their only method of determining alignment treatment is through a DIY bite impression. X-rays, examinations, and dental health history such as the presence of crowns and implants and jaw bone density information is not at the center of planning treatment like it would be in a dental or orthodontic practice. It’s important to discuss with patients that alignment problems are not just caused by the visibly crowded, gapped, or overlapping teeth; structures underneath the gumline play a pivotal role in the shape and function of the bite, and it’s important to consider them as much as the visible areas of the teeth.
Dentists Create More Accurate Impressions
While impressions are not the only factor that should be used to determine orthodontic treatment, they do remain an important part of treatment. The DIY impression kits that are shipped to consumers seem easy enough: simply follow the instructions! But dental impressions that guide treatment should be of the utmost quality and precision. Though a patient may do their best to create a quality impression, only trained dental professionals can really tell if an impression is done well.
Visiting A Dentist Provides Accountability
Regular check-ins with a dentist can help a patient hold themselves accountable during treatment. This is especially important for treatment involving a removable aligner such as these. A dental practice can provide regular examinations to determine progress, and offer support along the way for patients who may be struggling to commit to treatment.
Oral Health Always Comes First
It’s easy to understand why a patient desires a straighter smile. Cosmetic improvements to the smile can pay off with increased confidence and improved smile aesthetics. But first and foremost, your mouth should be healthy and free from tooth decay or gum disease. Patients with these conditions who order direct-to-consumer aligners are treating the cosmetic aspects of the smile before they are correcting their underlying health and functionality. In dental care, putting the cart before the horse can mean the cosmetic results do not last as long, or do not produce the desired end result.
OrthoSnap: Doctors are our Partners
Connect with OrthoSnap for additional information on our unique clear aligner solution and learn how to become an OrthoSnap provider in your area. With three patents and registration with the FDA, OrthoSnap provides a unique molding system for better-fitting aligners. Learn more about OrthoSnap by scheduling a meeting with our founder, Yan Pogorelsky. You can also call us at 516-606-7606.