If you’re interested in straightening your teeth, you may have heard about a new braces alternative that gets mailed straight to your house. It’s less than half the cost of traditional braces, and you never have to visit the dentist at all. Does that sound too good to be true? That’s probably because it is.

Getting Braces By Mail?

With this mail-order system, you first receive a kit that allows you to take impressions at home. Then you send in your DIY impressions kit and start receiving clear aligners monthly by mail. But while this may seem convenient — particularly for people who experience dental anxiety and dread visiting the dentist — there’s a reason that most people have a dentist take their impressions, fit their aligners, and monitor their treatment plan. When you get clear braces from your dentist, you have your impressions taken by a professional who has experience taking dental impressions and can ensure that they are taken properly. But impressions aren’t all you need to get started: A good dentist will also take x-rays, evaluate your gum health, check for decay, ensure that your crowns are all intact, and generally analyze your oral health before starting the process of straightening. Then, when your aligners have been fabricated, your dentist will ensure that they fit your teeth properly before sending you home with them. Each time you return to the dentist to receive your next set of aligners, your dentist will monitor your progress and ensure that the treatment plan that was created after your first visit still applies and is still the most effective way to straighten your teeth. This is because clear aligners and other types of braces aren’t just a product, they’re a service. That service includes the expertise of your dentist.

Is It Really That Convenient… Or Effective?

There’s another consideration: Is years of mail-order braces really that much more convenient than six months of braces from your dentist? The clear braces that Dr. Kenneth Siegel can offer specially designed to work quickly to get you the smile you dream of in just six months — that’s four times faster than most mail-order aligners promise. But even if you were game for four times the treatment time and a risky, “do-it-yourself” medical treatment, these kinds of mail-order aligners aren’t as effective as the work your dentist can do, either. In fact, while realself.com shows that 85% of people who found traditional braces effective, only 64% were happy with their mail-order aligner results. Patients have reported frustrations with trying to have problems resolved by call center techs, aligners that don’t fit or create cuts or sores in their mouths, and even aligners that shift their teeth even further out of place. If you want a straighter smile, don’t fall for the “easy” option — at best, your treatment will take longer than it needs to, and at worst you could seriously damage your teeth. Instead, talk to your dentist about your options.

If you’re worried about cost, convenience, or the anxiety of dental visits, your dentist can talk you through your concerns and help you find the treatment plan that’s right for you. Call (610) 272-0828 or contact us online to make an appointment and learn more.