Since its debut, Invisalign has served 5 million patients over twenty years. These clear tray-like aligners are a popular alternative to clunky, metal braces. Adults especially love Invisalign to straighten crooked teeth and correct mild to moderate misalignment because they’re almost invisible in appearance. Align Technology, the company that makes Invisalign, has worked hard to constantly improve the technology. As a result, it is respected by orthodontists and dentists alike.
But many imitation start-up companies are popping up, attempting to copy the Invisalign model. These companies use telemedicine and e-commerce to cut costs and directly compete with Invisalign. Cutting costs certainly means cheaper, but it doesn’t necessarily mean better, and it can come with serious risks. Here’s what you need to know about orthodontic imitators and how to avoid them.
Customers, Not Patients
Startups like Candid Co. leverage technology to promise faster results and more convenience, calling themselves the “Warby Parker of straight teeth.” Using apps and the postal service, customers of startups like Candid Co. take impressions of their own teeth at home and track their progress. However, this should be the first red flag for anyone considering orthodontic treatment. If you’re treating yourself, you’re not a patient, you’re a customer. No matter how smart your phone is, it will never provide the professional service and knowledge that a dentist does in person. Patients who need to correct a bite alignment or who wish to cosmetically straighten their smile, need X-rays and personalized care by a cosmetic dentist.
The Risks are Higher
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has filed complaints with 36 state dental boards and attorneys general against SmileDirectClub, one such e-commerce teeth straightening company. Customers have complained of ill-fitting aligners, worsened bite alignment and even chipped teeth. SmileDirectClub even stated that they were ill-prepared to provide treatment for their customers and could not keep with demand. As a result, many customers did not receive their aligners on time. Some had aligners stop arriving altogether halfway through treatment. As a result, their orthodontic progress was inhibited and caused serious problems such as loose teeth, chipped teeth and worsened alignment.
Put Your Smile in Professional Hands
Invisalign is the preferred orthodontic treatment because it has many benefits including greater comfort, no diet restrictions, fewer office visits, and more. This method is proven effective to treat overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, gapped teeth and crowding. Most importantly, it will successfully improve your smile without causing further dental problems. Unlike many imitators, it’s trusted by professionals like Dr. Nancy Nehawandian. To learn whether your smile is ready for Invisalign in San Jose, please call (408) 354-5600 for an appointment at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos.