This article contains everything you need to know about mail order Invisalign.
Invisalign has become a popular option for millions of people who want to get that perfect smile in the past few of years. Indeed, invisible clear aligners offer a better-looking alternative than the old-fashioned and often unappealing traditional braces. However, in the past couple of years, many orthodontic supply companies have introduced another alternative in the market – the mail order invisalign. Factor in the rise to the popularity of online shopping, and the COVID 19 restrictions which discouraged a lot of people from seeing their dentists for various orthodontic treatments, these mail-order teeth aligners offer a convenient and easy solution for anyone who wants to fix their teeth.
You may have seen their ads on social media or on YouTube, these teeth-straightening products claimed a lot of good stuff. But are they legit? Can they really deliver on their promise? Like with most things in life, it is important to treat new solutions with caution. Here’s everything you need to know about mail order Invisalign products.
Understanding mail order Invisalign
If you are here, then you most likely have realized the importance of having a beautiful smile. And a beautiful smile is not just made of white teeth; equally more important is a straight set of teeth. The truth is no one has naturally perfectly straight teeth, not even the best-looking celebrities and Hollywood A-listers you know. People with the perfect set of teeth have undergone some sort of orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth.
Orthodontists use a number of time-tested and proven techniques and tools to correct crooked teeth; from metal braces, special dentures, and even newer methods like invisalign or invisible aligners. The last option paved the road for a solution that allows anyone to correct their teeth without having to visit their dentist – mail order invisalign, a DIY treatment anyone can do at the comforts of their own home. This dental appliance is being advertised as a cheaper, faster, and more convenient alternative than traditional braces.
What are they?
Before you go further, it is important to note that mail order invisalign companies do not use the products Invisalign. Invisalign is a specific brand of clear teeth straightener that is only administered by licensed and accredited orthodontists. Subsequently, Invisalign has patented its materials and tools, meaning they are exclusive for the use of its orthodontic partners. When it says mail order invisalign, it actually refers to mail order aligners. There are many companies that offer in-house or DIY teeth aligning treatment. Some of the best brands out there include AlignerCo, Byte, Candid, NewSmile, and Smile Direct Club. Also, many mail-order brands use their own plastics and have their own technology in making clear dental aligners. Some have exclusive partnerships with plastic makers.
Mail order invisalign’s popularity however is rising by the day. As a matter of fact, the market is estimated to rise up to more than $8 billion by 2026.
As with their in-clinic counterpart, most mail order invisalign are made up of clear plastic. Each product comes with an impression kit that takes your mouth’s impression, from teeth and gums, shape and size of your jaw, etc.
Invisalign treatments start by getting the impressions of the patient’s mouth and teeth. The impressions are then mailed to the manufacturer. The manufacturer will then make custom-fit aligners based on the patient’s mouth impressions. The clear alignment straighteners are then mailed to the patients, along with special instructions on how to properly use the aligners, care tips, and guidelines for the whole treatment process.
Mail order invisalign works quite differently than the traditional braces and in-clinic Invisaligns. You do not need to go through the hassle of visiting your orthodontist multiple times for oral health assessment, examination, scans, impressions, and going back every after few weeks for adjustments. The teeth aligners will be delivered straight to your doorsteps. Here’s how they do it.
With mail order teeth straighteners, the whole orthodontic treatment can be done remotely. The process can be summarized with these steps:
Most mail order companies provide online evaluations and tests that potential patients can take to find out if they can be a good candidates for the treatment plan. Only those with mild and moderate malocclusions can become eligible candidates for this mail order invisalign treatment. Thus, it is important to get properly assessed by a professional to find out if you can qualify for remote treatments like this one.
If your orthodontic problem is on the severe side, then no at-home solution will work for you. Your best option is to get in-clinic orthodontic treatment from your dentist.
3D scans and impressions
If the online assessment deems you as a good candidate for the treatment, you can start the process by ordering the impression kit online. The impression kit includes molds and instructions on how to use it and get the impression of your gums, teeth, and mouth structure. You will then send the impression kit/mold back to the manufacturer so they can start making the clear aligners.
The impression stage is the most crucial. Obviously, you need the most perfect impression of your mouth and teeth to get the best fit for your teeth. Most companies offer online guide and chat support to help patients make their teeth impressions at home.
From here, the aligner provider’s in-house dentists and orthodontists will use your molds to make a treatment plan and the aligner trays. Many aligner brands give patients their physical location where their representative can make the most accurate 3D scans. This way, patients are spared from the tedious and meticulous process of impression making.
Start of the treatment
The aligner provider will then send the lab-made clear aligners to your doorsteps. Most companies will send all of the trays at once so patients can commence the treatment process.
Another vital aspect of the remote treatment’s success is remote monitoring. With remote monitoring, orthodontists will monitor the treatment process of their patients by periodically checking on them. Some companies even use AI technology to help speed up the whole process and make it more accurate.
After completing the clear aligner treatment, you will have to wear a special and custom-fit retainer each night, probably for the rest of your life. Yes, you read that right, you may need to wear the retainer forever.
Actually, depending on your situation, it is important that you wear the retainers daily for 12 to 22 hours from 12 to 18 months. After that, you may wear your retainers three times a week for the rest of your life. Why? This is to ensure your teeth will never go back to their original position. While there may be enough bone structure underneath your teeth to support them in their new position, wear and tear from chewing, speaking, swallowing can cause your teeth to be pushed to different positions. While you may not notice your teeth moving, you will realize they have moved from their position when you wear your retainers after a few days of not wearing them. Your retainers will feel tight, which means some of your teeth have moved from their position.
Since each patient is different, every aspect of the treatment process is customized to their needs. The initial protocol was only up to 6 months to 12 months. However, patients may still be subject to their teeth moving and shifting over time due to pressure from chewing, etc. In this case, some patients are required to wear the retainers for the rest of their lives.
Note that not all mail order invisalign companies include retainers in their treatment plan. Others may require you to purchase it separately.
Are mail order invisaligns safe?
This largely depends on who you ask. Many orthodontists oppose DIY and in-house kind of orthodontic treatments since patients are not getting one-on-one and in-person monitoring in their teeth straightening process. Others, however, recognize the benefits and importance of making orthodontic treatment like teeth straightening accessible to more people.
Thus, it all boils down to you. If you follow the instructions to the dot, and if you start with a minor malocclusion that needs minor monitoring and adjustments, then you are good to go with mail order teeth straighteners.
Pros and cons of mail order invisalign
- Far more affordable than traditional braces
- Less noticeable
- Convenient to use
- Cannot treat severe cases of malocclusions
- Some companies do not have in-person supervisions by dentists or orthodontists
When is mail order teeth aligner a good choice?
As said earlier, clear aligners like these mail order teeth straighteners are specially designed for minor to moderate malocclusions. As with most orthodontic treatments, mail order invisalign is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to do your part in researching which one is the best fit for your smile and your pocket. Here are some good reasons why these invisible aligners would be a good idea for you:
- You want a discreet teeth-straightening solution
- You have a tight budget
- You want convenient removable aligners
- You don’t want to visit your dentist often for readjustments
- You want faster treatment time
Considerations before getting mail order aligner treatment
You may have to pay for the impressions, scans, and x-rays.
When you go to a dentist for orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisaligns, scans and x-rays are parts of the whole procedure. In mail order companies, however, you have to pay for the impressions (impression kit), scans, and x-rays yourself.
There may be no orthodontic acceleration
Mail order teeth straighteners may save you from the hassles of visiting your dentist’s clinic often. However, you also don’t have the option to cut the treatment time. In traditional braces and Invisaligns however, you may cut the treatment time from years to even months in most cases.
You may have a faulty impression of your mouth.
Many mail order companies send in starter kits that come with the mold and instructions on how to make your impression of your own teeth. This is a huge part of the treatment; you cannot afford to make any mistakes on your impressions, as seemingly simple and small mistakes could mean big when your aligners arrive and they don’t fit perfectly.
Creating the mold takes skills. The best way to do it, unless you are a trained professional (like a dentist), is via a 3D laser scanner.
Invisible aligners aren’t meant for everyone.
While most mail-order invisible aligner providers start their treatment plans with a thorough oral examination, they still cannot solve severe orthodontic issues with their plastic clear retainers.
Also, each person is different. Thus, not everyone can get the perfect impressions, aligners, and retainers. Many companies offer a cookie-cutter kind of solution, but often, their treatment plan is not tailored to each patient.
Some companies have faulty treatment plans
Often, mail-order invisible aligner trays are made all at once. This means the manufacturer’s orthodontists simply gauge the movements of your teeth after wearing their aligners for a specific amount of time, based on the available data you provided. Without frequent visits to your dentists, however, these aligners are just mere estimates, and may not be fully accurate.
Subsequently, since there are no dentists that supervise the treatment, your teeth may move to the wrong direction, or worse, cause permanent damage to your teeth, bite, and jaw. Thus, it is crucial that you choose a mail-order invisalign provider that supervises your progress remotely.
DIY and at-home solutions like mail order Invisalign are becoming more and more popular each year, and its hype is truly understandable. More and more people are opting to do the treatment themselves right at the comforts of their own home, to save big in the process. However, it is important to remember that this treatment is for minor and medium malocclusion problems only.
Also, by not seeing your dentist, you may be missing out on the opportunity for a thorough dental evaluation and supervision of your treatment.
For those with slight to moderate teeth, alignment problems offer an affordable, convenient, practical, and versatile solution.