Teeth Straightening – Over the past few years, orthodontic patients have been seen to pull away from the traditional metal braces and lean more towards clear aligners due to the superior comfort and aesthetically more appealing look. Results from a study that looked at the effectiveness between clear aligners and fixed appliance therapies concluded that both clear aligners and conventional brackets were effective in treating malocclusion. In fact, clear aligners showed an advantage in segmented movement of teeth and yielded shortened treatment times.
Despite the fact that the entire procedure is conducted from the comfort of your own home, patients in no way have to self-diagnose or treat their conditions. Fully qualified dental experts oversee the entire procedure and ensure that treatment is done correctly, professional consultations are also available remotely to confirm the treatment is working and to address any issues or questions that arise.
Who are the Best Candidates for the at-home Treatment?
Teeth alignment procedures can be done from any age provided that the patient has a full set of permanent teeth. This means that young teens and adults alike can benefit from the treatment. Those with mild to moderate misalignment issues are the best candidates as the treatment works just as effectively as in-house versions without the hassle of making in-office appointments and the steeper price task. Since at-home aligners are clear trays, they are also suitable for those who fit the criteria and would like a more discreet option in comparison to traditional metal braces.
However, at-home aligners may not be for everyone and there are certain instances that disqualify a person from the treatment. These are namely:
- Having severely misaligned teeth that require more complicated treatments.
- If the patient has any untreated jaw discrepancies that will need face-to-face orthodontic consultations.
- Any pre-existing dental restorations which include implants, bridges, or partial dentures do not allow for the treatment.
- Any gum disease or untreated cavities will have to treated and only once cleared is alignment treatment recommended
- Permanent retainers will have to be removed before you can start the alignment process at home.
Pros and Cons
The at-home alignment treatment boasts a variety of attractive features but much like with everything else, there are a few drawbacks.
Pros of at-home alignment:
- The aligners are not permanently fixed, they are clear, removable plates that allow for inconspicuous wear and can be removed for easy cleaning
- The treatment is typically faster than most in-office treatments, including Invisalign
- They are significantly more affordable than in-office treatments and most reputable brands allow for payments to be made in installments
- In-office visits are not required and you can have remote consultations with a dental professional to discuss any issues and progress
Cons of at-home Alignment:
- Treatment is slightly less predictable than what could be expected with in-office visits, and is only safe and effective with remote monitoring if it is done with an experienced orthodontist
- Not all cases can be treated at home, whilst a large number of conditions can be treated, those with severe alignment issues will require in-office visits and treatments
- Most aligners do not require x-rays before treatment is administered, this is why it is vital to go for regular dentist check ups to ensure that you do not have any cavities, gum diseases or plaque buildup that can cause deterioration of oral health
What are the Best Options Available ?
Smile Prep conducted extensive research on the various options available and have used their findings to narrow it down to the 5 options below.
- Byte: Best Overall Value
- Candid: Premium Service
- AlignerCo: Lowest Prices
- SmileDirectClub: Best-known
- NewSmile: Best Industry Newcomer
You can read more about each option in depth. Their Youtube channel also offers deeper insight into real customer reviews and experiences with various brands of at-home aligners.
Whilst at-home treatments may not be the perfect fit for everyone, the majority of patients with mild or moderate cases of misalignment, crowded and overlapping teeth, gapped teeth or well as minor to moderate spacing or bite issues will greatly benefit from the treatment as it is cost effective, faster than in-office treatments and provides both flexibility and convenience. The clear alignment trays are discreet and far less noticeable than their metal-bracket alternatives. Studies have shown that they are just as effective and in some cases even more effective than in-office treatments. It is always imperative that you stick with a reputable brand that has been recommended by professionals to ensure the best results.