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Why Your At-Home Aligners Aren’t Working

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a bunch of clear aligners

Chances are that you’ve seen a commercial for at-home clear aligners, and based on the ads, this type of orthodontic treatment sounds too good to be true. You can get straight teeth without having to wear braces or visit a dental office?! As you can imagine, this caused thousands to sign up, but unfortunately, it really was too good to be true. A quick online search will take you to thousands of negative reviews (and a few lawsuits) from unsatisfied customers. One of the most consistent issues is that the aligners simply aren’t working, and here are the top 3 reasons why.

1. No Monitoring by an Orthodontist

Clear aligner treatments can handle severe cases of misalignment, but only with the advisement of an orthodontist. Teeth don’t always move predictably, and with Invisalign, an orthodontist can take rescans and make adjustments as needed. When you use at-home aligners, there’s not an orthodontist constantly evaluating your treatment, so if something is off, it will stay off until it creates an issue. Because an orthodontist will see a patient routinely throughout the Invisalign process, they can evaluate someone’s teeth firsthand so their movement can be changed as needed to achieve the best possible result.  

2. The Treatment Plan Was Wrong

While straightening the teeth seems like a fairly straightforward process, it is anything but. That’s why to become orthodontists, dentists have to spend years completing special training after graduating from dental school. In many cases, the treatment plans for at-home aligners are designed by general dentists or technicians with little or no orthodontic training. So, the planned tooth movements might not be feasible or correct, causing a patient to not get the results they paid for.

3. No Attachments or Rubber Bands

Orthodontists have many tools at their disposal beyond braces and Invisalign. To make the teeth move in certain ways that can’t be accomplished by these treatments alone, they often utilize attachments and rubber bands. These place pressure on certain teeth so they shift in a particular way. They are primarily used for teeth that stick out compared to the others, or they can help realign the bite as a whole. With at-home aligners, all you get is the aligners, which simply isn’t enough for many patients. As a result, problems go unaddressed, which can lead to several issues as well as overall dissatisfaction.

How to Avoid These Hassles

While at-home aligners might be less expensive upfront compared to professional treatment, the money and time needed to correct the problems they cause often make them more expensive and stressful in the end.

By working one-on-one with an orthodontist, you can avoid all of these issues, enjoy a more comfortable treatment, and achieve a healthier, more attractive smile as well. Your treatment will be more personalized, plus you can trust that the person guiding your teeth is more than qualified to do so. And, if any issues pop up, they can be quickly corrected before you even notice anything.

Are at-home aligners too good to be true? YES, and that’s why if you’re thinking about straightening your teeth, you should always contact an orthodontist rather than a glorified technology company!

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a board-certified, award-winning orthodontist who has served the Columbus area for over a decade. He is an Elite Invisalign Provider and has helped countless teens and adults get the smiles they deserve with this treatment. If you have used at-home aligners in the past and were unsatisfied, or you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey on the right foot, you can schedule a FREE in-person consultation at Shirck Orthodontics by clicking here.