Many of our patients ask whether online/at-home teeth aligners are safe and effective. As seen by the recent closure of the largest online aligner provider -Smile Direct Club, buying online can be fraught with problems. Find out more about the risks and what your options are for safe, trusted teeth straightening.

What is online teeth straightening?

The online clear aligner process involves patients taking an impression of their teeth at home, sending that off, then receiving clear aligners through the post, and going through the treatment without any dentist intervention.

These options are increasingly popular as they’re convenient, easy to use, and may fix minor misalignment problems. Also, given they can be up to 60% cheaper than prescribed alternatives through a dentist or orthodontist, you can see why it’s an attractive option at face value.

However, they have downsides you must consider. The abrupt closure of the largest online aligner provider – Smile Direct Club- has highlighted the potential risks associated with non-traditional, direct-to-patient dental services and reaffirms the value of professional, reliable and safe dental care.

The risks of at-home teeth straightening

Harm to your teeth

Our teeth are not only important for smiling and feeling confident, they also define our face shape, speech and chewing ability. All these factors will be taken into consideration by a dentist when planning treatment. At-home aligners don’t take your bone and teeth structures into account. A professional dentist will examine your mouth and plan your treatment around your bone structure. Other aspects online aligners do not consider are dental issues like root resorption. If your teeth shift too aggressively or quickly, their roots will shrink and won’t be able to hold the teeth in place. A professional can help you avoid these issues.

Furthermore, you won’t get routine check-ups with online teeth straightening. Regular check ups are important as they allow the dentist to fix any issues and ensure your teeth are moving correctly. Orthodontics is a complicated field and this lack of professional supervision can lead to serious dental problems such as a misaligned bite, untreated gum disease and tooth damage. This damage means more treatments and expenses down the line.

Poor results

If you straighten your teeth at home, without a dentist’s help, the results will not look as good due to the limitations of the system. Direct to patient aligners are limited in the movements they can perform. Professional teeth straightening uses much more advanced methods of straightening so you get a better result. Furthermore, throughout the treatment, you will have the full support of a dentist, who will monitor tooth movement to ensure the best aesthetic and the safest outcome.

Put your oral health first

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, we strongly recommend consulting with a professional dentist. Naturally it costs more to receive treatment from a qualified dentist, but they can provide you with safe, effective, and personalised dental care that aligns with your specific needs.

Find out more about our orthodontic treatments on our Invisalign treatment page. To explore our payment options head to our financing options page.