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Online orthodontics what you need to know.


New “do it yourself” online orthodontic companies are emerging, targeting younger individuals. Stating and promising straighter teeth “3x faster than braces” and invisible aligners delivered straight to your door. How it works is you simply answer a few multiple choice questions, take a photo of your smile on your phone, and take your own dental impressions. So the real questions is, is it safe?

What you need to know.


Online, mail to order orthodontics services reportedly include remote treatment planning and case review for each customer by a licensed dentist. However, the appropriate standard of care for determining the suitability of an individual for orthodontic treatment requires a clinical examination to see if you would be a good candidate, as well dental x-rays. When you see your dentist, he or she will oversee your overall oral health. This includes your teeth, your bite, jaw alignment, relationship between your teeth to your skeletal structures. This way your dentist can determine any problems, especially those not seen with the naked eye. A comprehensive exam and dental radiographs are essential when planning your orthodontic case; this ensures the treatment does not lead you to more dental problems.

What are the risks?

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The Massachusetts Dental Society and the American Dental Association discourage the use of direct- to – consumer orthodontic aligners because self administered, unsupervised dental treatments have the potential to cause damage and irreversible complications for patients. You must not forget that your teeth are alive, and have complex features such as nerves, blood circulation, and roots that extend to the jawbone. Stabilized by ligaments in close proximity, teeth are not meant to move easily. Without a proper exam and up to date x-rays that could identify undiagnosed dental disease or underlying issues that would make you more at risk for irreversible harm.

According to the Massachusetts Dental Society, many licensed dentists across Massachusetts have encountered patients who have suffered the consequences of online orthodontics. To give you an example; one case has been reported that one dentist saw a patient in his mid 30s reported completed online orthodontics. He came to his office, still did not have straight teeth. Upon further evaluation, the orthodontist noted that the patient would have benefited from tooth extractions to alleviate crowding, attachments bonded to his teeth, and a procedure to remove enamel from between his teeth. All of these solutions to healthy, straight smile were not offered to the patient using DIY aligners. There are more stories reported online, the Better Business Bureau’s online portal shows nearly 900 complaints against a single company, including patients who experience enamel damage, jaw pain, tooth loss. Please, we ask that do not put your dental care in your own hands your talk to your dentist.

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Our office has payment plans available should you decide to proceed with clear aligner therapy. Our team is able to merge your facially guided smile design with your Invislaign treatment plan.

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