6 January 2020 | Dr. Frédéric Lavoie
New companies specializing in at home orthodontic treatments using custom made clear aligners, have recently made their place in the market. These American giants, newly arrived in Canada, claim to want to revolutionize orthodontics with the help of a cost-effective teeth alignment service that don’t require a consultation with an orthodontist. These companies have numerous stores in the United States and Canada, and have recently opened new stores in Quebec.
With their very aggressive marketing, you have undoubtedly seen ads on Facebook, Instagram, advertisements in the metro, emails, generous referral programs: these at home orthodontic treatment companies have put all their efforts to attract young customers!
How do these at home orthodontic treatments work?
These companies, which promise beautiful straight teeth with the help of clear aligners at a fraction of the price, claim to be able to achieve results in less than 6 months. All these beautiful promises are all well and good – but how does it truly work?
- Step 1 : The first step is to qualify using a form on a website.
- Step 2 : You will then receive a kit at home in order to take an impression of your teeth or you can head to a store to take 3D images.
- Step 3 : This dental impression or digital image is then sent to a dentist for an evaluation and you will shortly receive your clear aligner kit, which did not require the presence of an orthodontist at any point.
The industry giants claim that there will be a follow-up with a dentist or orthodontist about 90 days after the end of orthodontic treatment. However, this follow-up must be done remotely, by sending photos of your mouth to the company.
The risks associated to treatments without a specialist
Without the expertise of an orthodontist, the clear aligners will not function to their full potential and will only be able to treat “very minor” misalignment cases. Without the presence of an x-ray or an evaluation of the patient’s mouth, it is impossible to see the actual state of the roots, teeth and gum health. We have gathered the main issues raised by social media networks such as: transformed occlusion of the mouth, bleeding from the gums, pain, aligners that break, and much more.
By having patients sign a release form, these companies dissociate themselves from serious problems that can arise from these at home orthodontic treatments, such as a risk of tooth loss as well as irreversible damage to the teeth. According to the Order of Dentists of Quebec, Quebec dentists are not allowed to make a diagnosis without having met the patient in person or having done an examination, which poses another risk in terms of the patient’s safety.
When it comes to thinking about your oral health, be sure to choose a specialist to avoid disastrous problems in the short and long term. The F. Lavoie orthodontic clinic brings together a team of specialized orthodontists who care about your comfort, your health and your satisfaction!