7 Reasons to Post Your Dental Photos to Even28

The saying “a picture speaks a thousand words” is especially true of dentistry. There’s no question that your patients love looking at before and after treatment photos. Many successful dentists rely on their before and after treatment photos to showcase their talents to the world. From fixing broken teeth to replacing missing teeth, from straightening smiles to brightening those pearly whites, there’s no better way to showcase your artistic talents than to post photos of your treatment online.

Nevertheless, if photos are so important to dentists and patients, then why are there not more photos of dental treatments on the internet? The main reason for this is because dentists don’t have a dedicated place to share their photos. “Wait a minute” you might say, “but what about all the countless websites designed for sharing pictures, like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter?” Plus, don’t most dentists already have a website where they can post their treatment photos? As it turns out, there are several major hurdles to posting photos of dental treatment to your social media or practice website. Even28 has solved all of these problems and provides dentists the ideal canvas to share their work with the online universe. Here are 7 reasons why every dentist should post his or her treatment photos to their Even28 profile:

(1) Simplicity

Patients love looking at your before and after treatment photos, but they don’t want to bend over backwards looking for them! Imagine a patient who is searching the web for teeth whitening photos. The patient starts out searching Google by searching local dentists. The patient would have to visit multiple websites, browse through photo galleries, and get lucky to find a handful of teeth whitening photos. Since this is way too much work for most patients, they usually give up long before they see your beautiful treatment photos. Even28 has simplified things: All of your before and after treatment photos are listed right there on your Even28 Profile page. Patients can simply scroll through your profile to see all your amazing before and after treatment photos when they are looking for them.

(2) Convenience

Most dentists store their treatment photos on their personal computer or cellphone. Occasionally, we may send a few of these photos to our web developer to post them to our practice website. However, most web developers don’t offer this as a routine service and they typically charge you for it. Another option is to post these photos to your social media accounts, but how many people really view them there anyways? After all, the purpose of posting photos is so that they are easily accessible when patients are searching for these treatments. Posting your photos to Even28 accomplishes all of these goals flawlessly. Your photos are added to your profile, where they sit until patients who are looking for these exact treatments find them online.

(3) Getting credit for your hard work

In order to get credit for your photos, Google needs to acknowledge what the photo is about and to whom it belongs. Unless you tell Google, it has no way of knowing this information. The way this is done is by adding an alternative text (abbreviated as alt-text) to each photo. This explains why you don’t get any credit for posting treatment photos to your Facebook or Instagram page since Google doesn’t index these websites. In contrast, every photo posted to your Even28 profile has an alt-text that includes your full name (first & last name) plus the treatment itself (filling, crown, veneer, etc.). This means that when Dr. John Smith posts 5 photos of porcelain veneers to his Even28 profile, he gets full credit for all of these photos. Google knows that these 5 photos belong to Dr. John Smith and that they are photos of porcelain veneer treatment.

(4) Longevity

You must put your pictures on a website otherwise you will lose them sooner or later. When you post your treatment photos to your Even28 profile, they remain there forever. Since it’s free to create an Even28 profile, you can post and store all of your photos for when you may need them. Storing your photos onto your cell phone or computer is not the ideal solution. Not only do you risk losing your photos, but what good are your photos if they are stored on your personal electronics and patients can’t actually view them?

(5) Protection against image theft

One of the major problems with posting photos online is image theft. A simple cut and paste is all it takes for someone to take credit for your hard work. Even28 has solved this problem for dentists once and for all. We shrink and watermark each photo to render it useless on any other website. Shrinking photos reduces their quality so they don’t show well on other websites. Watermarking refers to that large “Even28” logo you see on top of each photo. Adding a watermark protects your hard-earned photos from being reused by anyone else by making them useless on any other website.

(6) Credibility

If you think that your practice website is the best place to post your treatment photos, think again! Patients don’t trust your website as much as they trust third-party websites. This explains why patients go to websites like Yelp to look up your reviews instead of relying on your practice website. The same goes for treatment photos. Patients put more trust in photos posted to an independent 3rd party website as opposed to your practice website. At Even28, we verify the authenticity of all photos prior to posting them to your profile. Patients can now browse through your photo galleries with confidence, knowing that the work depicted truly belongs to you. At the end of the day, it’s much more impactful to post your treatment photos to your Even28 profile as compared to your practice website.

(7) Categorizing your photos

This last feature is reserved for Premium Profile members who have way too many photos posted to their profile. Once you accumulate hundreds of before and after treatment photos, it becomes difficult for patients to search for a specific treatment. We solve this problem by creating “procedure-specific pages” to showcase relevant photos on an individual page. You can now display your more complex treatments like porcelain veneers, braces, and dental implants, on a single dedicated page. Categorizing treatment photos significantly improves your SEO and increases the odds of patients landing on your procedure-specific pages when they are searching for those treatments.

Show, don’t tell, patients what a great dentist you are

How do you presume most patients judge their dentists nowadays? Obviously having great reviews, multiple awards, and excellent credentials are great ways of marketing yourself. However nothing is as impactful as sharing before and after photos of your actual treatments online. Imagine a patient is searching the web to learn more about enhancing his or her smile by placing porcelain veneers. Would this patient prefer to go to dentist #1 who has 100s of positive reviews, dentist #2 who has dozens of awards, or dentist #3 who has 100s of verified before and after porcelain veneer treatment photos posted to his or her Even28 Profile? Posting photos of your work online is the single best way of attracting high-quality cash patients to your practice. Create your Even28 profile and develop your own beautiful photo galleries and share them with your patients. Email us at admin@even28.com to get started today. In the meantime, start gathering your photos and preparing them to share your awesome work with the online universe!

Benefits of custom whitening trays

custom-teeth-whitening-tray-treatment

What are custom whitening trays?

There are countless ways to whiten your teeth nowadays. Of course, the most effective whitening treatments are always delivered by your dentist. Dentists offer two types of teeth whitening methods, which are:

  • In-office professional whitening
  • At-home custom whitening trays

In-office teeth whitening is a professional whitening performed entirely at your dentist’s office. Your dentist will use a high concentration bleaching gel to whiten your teeth, typically during a one-hour session. Custom whitening trays is another way your dentist can help you brighten your smile. Your dentist designs your custom trays from moldings of your teeth. Use your custom trays to deliver high-concentration bleaching gel to brighten your smile. Let’s take a closer look at how custom whitening trays brighten your pearly whites:

Making custom trays

custom-upper-lower-whitening-trays

Custom whitening trays are specifically designed to fit your teeth. This explains why whitening trays are more effective at whitening your teeth as compared to over-the-counter alternatives. Dentists make these trays using impressions of your teeth. The lab blocks out space to accommodate bleaching gel onto teeth surfaces planned for bleaching. Custom bleaching trays fit comfortably in your mouth and they deliver the right amount of bleaching gel to teeth surfaces.

Bleaching gel

whitening-gel-refill-carpules

All . teeth whitening treatments use some type of bleaching gel. The bleaching gel helps break down your teeth stains and removes yellowness from teeth. Be sure to use a reliable bleaching gel to go along with your custom trays. Avoid using knock-off beaching gels simply because it contains a higher concentration of bleach. Unregulated whitening gels could damage your gum tissue or cause extreme tooth sensitivity. Be sure to purchase your bleaching gel refills from a reputable tooth whitening company. Here’s a list of some of the more reputable bleaching gel manufacturers who offer custom tray gel refills:

How to use your custom whitening trays?

correctly-wearing-teeth-whitening-trays

Begin by carefully applying the bleaching gel into your trays. Apply the gel evenly onto the front-facing surfaces of your teeth. Avoid placing whitening gel on the inside portion or onto your back molar teeth. Ask your dentist for assistance if you’re confused about where the whitening gel goes. Once you’ve applied the gel, carefully insert the trays into your mouth. Wear your trays as per the bleach manufacturer’s instructions. You may have to wear them for as little as 30 minutes or you may require overnight wear. Once done, slowly remove the custom trays from your mouth. Avoid swallowing the excess gel and rinse out thoroughly. Brush your teeth afterward, without toothpaste, and clean your custom trays thoroughly. Store your custom trays and bleaching gel in a safe area for future use. Be sure to avoid food items that stain teeth, such as tea, coffee, red wine, etc. for the next few days.

Important instructions on using custom whitening trays

teeth-whitening-trays-instructions

Custom whitening trays offer an effective and safe way of brightening your smile. Here’s a list of things to watch out for when using your custom whitening trays for the first time:

Minimize saliva contamination

Insert your custom trays carefully to minimize saliva contamination. Mixing saliva with bleaching gel dilutes the gel makes it less effective. It’s a great idea to eat something prior to using your whitening trays to reduce your saliva flow and get better results.

Use your bleaching gel wisely

Apply the bleaching gel evenly to cover teeth surfaces you want to bleach. Applying the gel unevenly could cause white spots where the gel is more concentrated and creates spotty results. Avoid getting the bleaching gel onto your gum tissue. Carefully remove any excess gel that sneaks its way out. Avoid applying bleaching gel where it’s not necessary. This includes your back molar teeth and the inside surfaces of your front teeth. Only apply the bleaching gel to the front-facing surfaces of your front teeth, the areas you actually want to whiten!

Be patient

Custom whitening trays need time to work. Leave your trays in your mouth until they finish doing their job. You’re usually looking at anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight wear. You may even have to use your custom whitening trays for several days in a row to see noticeable results. The longer you leave your trays in your mouth, the more effective the results will be. Follow the gel manufacturer’s instructions, be patient, and ask your doctor for assistance if you’re unsure about how to use your custom trays.

Stop treatment if it hurts

It’s normal to feel a bit of sensitivity when bleaching your teeth. However, if you start to feel extreme sensitivity or actual pain, you must stop your whitening treatment right away. Remove your trays, rinse your mouth thoroughly, and brush your teeth carefully. Consider switching to a weaker concentration of bleaching gel. If you already have sensitive teeth to begin with, it’s a good idea to use anti-sensitivity toothpaste before starting treatment. Toothpastes designed to help with sensitivity, like Sensodyne®, can help build tooth resistance to ease your sensitivity during and after whitening treatment.

Benefits of using custom whitening trays

teeth-whitening-at-home

So you know by now that whitening trays are among the most effective ways to brighten your smile. Here are some other benefits of using custom trays to brighten your grin:

  • Custom whitening trays uniformly administer whitening gel to your teeth surfaces for best results
  • You can use your custom trays from the convenience of your own home while watching TV, cooking, or even sleeping!
  • Custom whitening trays fit snugly onto your teeth surfaces which makes them super comfortable to wear
  • You can reuse whitening trays as many times as you’d like to continue maintaining your white smile over time

Despite what many people think, teeth whitening results are not permanent. As you consume tea, coffee, cigarettes, berries, wine, etc., your teeth slowly start to turn yellow again. Custom whitening trays have a slightly higher initial cost, however, you can reuse them as many times as you’d like. This means that you can maintain your whiter smile at a fraction of what other whitening treatment treatments cost. In the long-run, using whitening trays is more cost-effective than going to your dentist for a professional whitening, or continuously buying whitening strips. To learn more about custom whitening trays, visit your local dentist today. You may even be able to purchase your custom whitening tray online from your local dentists on their Even28 Online Store! Click here to use our dentist Search Engine to find a great dentist near you.

Should I wear an upper or lower nightguard?

upper-or-lower-night-guard
I

If you grind your teeth at nighttime, you should wear a nightguard. Wearing a nightguard helps protect your teeth from cracking and breaking. It also protects your tooth restorations, jaw joint (TMJ), and facial muscles. Heavy tooth grinders and those with actual symptoms, such as persistent headaches or a history of tooth fracture, should highly consider wearing a custom nightguard.

Before you go ahead and purchase a fancy nightguard, you need to decide between an upper or lower nightguard? And no, you can’t wear both an upper and lower nightguard at the same time (this would be considered a sleep apnea device)! This means that you need to choose whether you’re going to wear an upper or lower nightguard. So which is the best option for you and your mouth? Here’s how to decide:

Lower night guard is the default choice

lower-night-guard

Wearing a lower nightguard is considered the standard by most dentists. A lower nightguard is usually more comfortable to wear. It is also less likely to fall out of your mouth due to gravitational forces. Plus, wearing a lower night guard directly protects your TMJ and lower jaw. We recommend that you go with a lower nightguard, unless there’s a reason not to do so.

When to wear an upper nightguard

There are a few cases where you should opt to wear an upper nightguard instead of a lower one. Here are a few common examples of when wearing an upper nightguard is a more suitable option for your mouth:

(1) Multiple missing lower teeth
missing-lower-teeth-night-guard
If you’re missing a few of your bottom teeth then you should wear an upper night guard instead

If you’re missing a few lower teeth, then it’s going to be difficult to wear a lower nightguard. After all, you need to have enough teeth within the arch to stabilize your nightguard in its place. Having a few missing teeth makes it more difficult for your nightguard to stay in place. Therefore, if you have a couple of missing lower teeth, then it’s best to wear an upper nightguard instead.

(2) Dental implants

It’s best to avoid wearing a nightguard right on top of a dental implant. Nightguards hug your teeth very tightly and pull on your teeth. This added pressure could potentially damage your dental implants over time. As a result, it’s preferable not to wear your nightguard on top of dental implants. So if you have dental implants on your bottom teeth, then you might want to wear an upper nightguard instead. Another option is to visit your dentist to have him or her hallow out the areas that sit against your dental implants to help protect them.

(3) Orthodontic retainers
retainer-versus-night-guard

Those of you who have had braces or clear aligner treatment in the past need to pay attention to this one. Generally speaking, your lower teeth are more likely to shift, following the conclusion of your orthodontic treatment. This means you might be better off wearing an upper nightguard and a lower retainer. This is especially true if you still have your wisdom teeth in your mouth, which could cause your lower teeth to shift more.

(4) Difficulty wearing a lower nightguard

Not everyone ends up wearing their nightguard every single night. Some people have a smaller lower jaw, others have a large tongue, and some just can’t get comfortable with wearing their nightguard. Regardless of the reason, some folks find it difficult to wear a lower nightguard. If this has been your experience in the past, then you should try to wear an upper nightguard instead.

How to choose between an upper or lower night guard?

deciding-between-upper-lower-nightguard
If you’re still struggling between an upper or lower night guard, then talk to your dentist and have them help you out

The first step to wearing a nightguard is to decide between an upper or lower nightguard. Talk to your dentist if you’re still struggling with which type of nightguard is best suited to your needs. Another method is to experiment with an over-the-counter nightguard to see which one you’re more comfortable with. This allows you to make a more informed decision when it comes to getting your custom nightguard. Either way, be sure to get a well-designed nightguard and wear it every night. Otherwise, be ready to spend a lot of time in your dentist’s chair, fixing your broken teeth and failed dental restorations!

Teeth Straightening Options for Adults


Teeth straightening has come a long way within the past few decades. It’s never too late to start straightening your smile. Plus, there are plenty of ways to straighten your teeth nowadays. Here are the 3 basic ways you can straighten your smile:

  • Braces for complex tooth movements
  • Dentist -supervised clear aligners (like Invisalign ®) for moderate tooth movement
  • At-home clear aligners (like Smile Direct Club™ ) for simple tooth movements

The type of orthodontic treatment that’s best suited to your needs depends on how much tooth movement is required. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with your age. Let’s take a closer look at how each one works:

Complex tooth movements

What are complex tooth movements?

Complex orthodontic tooth movements are when your teeth need to move quite a bit. These types of movements require the most amount of forces. For example, moving your back teeth (molars), correcting more than 5 to 6 mm of crowding, and any type of tooth movement combined with tooth extraction falls into the complex category.

Examples of complex tooth movements

  • All underbites
  • All crossbites
  • Large overbites
  • Large openbites
  • Severe teeth crowding
  • Any type of problem caused by poor skeletal relationship (not dental)
  • Orthodontic treatments requiring tooth extraction

How can I fix complex orthodontic cases?

Complex orthodontic treatments almost always require braces. Clear aligners are typically not an option for treating these more complex orthodontic conditions. Braces put lots of forces on your teeth and they can move teeth in ways that clear aligners simply can’t. Here are several different braces options to consider for treating more complex tooth movenments:

  • Standard braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Ceramic braces

To learn more, talk to your dentist or orthodontist to see if you’re a candidate for braces treatment.

Mediocre tooth movements

What are mediocre tooth movements?

Mediocre tooth movements are those which don’t require as much force to move your teeth. Most mediocre tooth movements qualify for clear aligner therapy as well as for braces. This means that if your orthodontic condition is not too complicated, you may qualify for clear aligner treatment. We recommend using a dentist-delivered clear aligner program, such as Invisalign®, to fix mediocre tooth movements.

Examples of mediocre tooth movements:

  • Moderate overbites
  • Moderate openbites
  • Moderate teeth crowding
  • Large gap teeth

What are my treatment options for mediocre tooth movements?

There are a few different clear aligner systems to choose from when considering dentist-delivered clear aligners, such as:

  • Invisalign®
  • ClearCorrect
  • Some local labs make their own clear aligners

Your dentist plays an integral role in these types of clear aligner treatments. For instance, your dentist may have to perform tooth contouring, bite calibration and/or attachment placement to help your teeth move to their ideal position. Plus, your dentist or orthodontist will continue to monitor your progress to ensure that your treatment is on track. Dentist-delivered clear aligner treatments generally give you similar results to braces for fixing mediocre tooth movements. They also give you better results as compared to at-home clear aligners. Plus, the results you get from having a dentist supervise your treatment is likely to last you a lifetime (so long as you wear your retainers every night!)

Simple tooth movements

What qualifies as simple tooth movement?

Simple tooth movements are those which require the least amount of force to move your teeth. Typically, orthodontic cases that involve no more than 2 to 3 millimeters of movement per arch fall into this category.

Examples of simple tooth movements:

  • Mild overbites
  • Mild openbites
  • Mild teeth crowding
  • Mild-to-moderate gap teeth

What are my treatment options for fixing simple tooth movements?

Simple orthodontic movements can be treated with braces, dentist-delivered clear aligners, or at-home aligner programs. Did we say at-home? Yes, you may be able to treat some simple tooth movements with at-home clear aligner programs. In fact, these at-home aligner programs are very popular and there are plenty of different at-home clear aligner programs which you can choose from:

At-home clear aligner programs are not necessarily at-home only. There’s still a dentist involved in your treatment with these types of clear aligner programs. However, chances are you will never meet the dentist or orthodontist since they are working remotely. At-home clear aligner programs work well for fixing simple orthodontic movements. However, they are not recommended for complex or mediocre tooth movements. More complicated tooth movements must always be treated under direct dentist supervision using braces or dentist-supervised clear aligner programs. Otherwise, you risk damaging your teeth, gums, or even screwing up your bite in the long run!

Best orthodontic option for me?

Orthodontic treatment is not a one size fits all. Each patient is unique and requires a unique treatment option. For example, one patient may have very crooked teeth and requires 3 years of braces along with tooth extraction, palatal expansion and even jaw surgery. A second patient may have moderately crooked teeth and requires 18 months of Invisalign© treatment at their local dentist. Finally, a third patient may need very little tooth movement and requires just need 4 to 6 months of Smile Direct Club™ at-home clear aligners. As you can see, the orthodontic treatment that best suits your needs depends on how much tooth movement is required. Talk to your local dentist or orthodontist to see which treatment option is most suited for your needs. Be sure to enjoy your smile journey and best of luck with your new and improved smile!

The 7 benefits of clear aligners

Clear aligners or braces?

benefits-clear-aligners

So you finally decided to straighten your smile with Invisalign®, Smile Direct Club™, Even28 at-home®, or some other clear aligner system out there (and believe me, there are lots of them out there). Congratulations! Having straight teeth is awesome. And straightening your smile with clear aligners is even more awesome! But why choose clear aligners? Why not just go with traditional braces? It turns out that there are several benefits to wearing clear aligners as compared to braces. Let’s check out some of the reasons why more and more patients are choosing clear aligners over braces treatment:

(1) Aligners are more comfortable to wear

One of the most obvious advantages of clear aligners is that they are much more comfortable than braces. This doesn’t mean that clear aligners don’t hurt at all. There’s always some level of pain and discomfort when your teeth start to move. This is because no pain means no tooth movement. Having said that, wearing a removable plastic in your mouth is much less painful than having permanent brackets and wires attached to your teeth. You’re also not as likely to cut your cheeks, lips, or tongue with clear aligners as you are with braces. Overall, clear aligner therapy is a much more pleasant experience as compared to braces for most patients.

(2) Less noticeable in your mouth

clear-aligners-more-comfortable

It’s hard not to notice someone who has braces in their mouth. Those brackets and wires can be pretty hard to miss! On the other hand, clear aligners go unnoticed most of the time. In contrast, you’d have to pay very close attention to realize when someone is wearing clear aligners in their mouth. This is another reason why most adults choose clear aligners over braces when given the option.

(3) Ability to remove clear aligners from your mouth

What happens if you’re in the middle of clear aligner therapy and all of a sudden an important job interview, date, or other life event comes up? Well, you simply skip wearing your clear aligners for a couple of hours or one day, and problem solved! Unfortunately, wearing braces doesn’t give you this option since braces are stuck to your teeth for the duration of your orthodontic treatment and can’t be removed. The ability to remove clear aligners is another reason most adults prefer clear aligners for less complicated orthodontic tooth movements.

(4) More hygienic than braces

It’s very easy to clean your teeth and gums during clear aligner treatment. Simply take your clear aligners out and you’re all set to clean your teeth as you normally would. The same can not be said of braces. Cleaning your mouth, especially at the gumlines and in-between teeth, can be very tough during braces treatment. And flossing your teeth? You might as well forget about it during your braces treatment. As a result, you’re more likely to develop dental cavities or gum disease when wearing braces if you are not meticulous with your oral hygiene.

(5) No white spot lesions

white-spot-lesions-braces-side-effect

Ever notice someone with a smile that looks like the photo above? This phenomenon is referred to as white spot lesions. White spot lesions are a rare side-effect of wearing braces. They are the result of your brackets creating a discoloration which leads to an undesirable mismatch in your teeth color. Unfortunately, fixing white spot lesions can be very tough. This type of discoloration does not respond well to most teeth whitening treatments. You may require extensive cosmetic dentistry to correct this color mismatch. The best way to avoid white spot lesions during braces treatment is to monitor your diet, minimize your processed sugar intake, and brush your teeth really, really well. In contrast to braces, clear aligner treatment bears no risk of developing white spot lesions, since there are no brackets attached to your teeth.

(6) Increasingly comparable costs

When clear aligners were first introduced to the market, they used to cost two to three times more than braces. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Clear aligner technology has become quite affordable these days and it is very similar to the cost of braces at most dental offices. As clear aligner treatment cost continues to drop, more and more patients are able to afford aligner therapy. In fact, simpler orthodontic movements can oftentimes be fixed with at-home clear aligner programs (like Smile Direct Club™ and Even28 at-home™) and cost less to treat with clear aligners as opposed to with braces!

(7) More fun!

I know the word fun and orthodontic treatment don’t necessarily go together… Having said that, most patients who undergo clear aligner therapy find out that wearing aligners is actually kind of fun! In fact, some miss not wearing their aligners once treatment is complete. Plus, seeing your teeth move on a 3-D animation model before starting treatment is sort of fun. Seeing your teeth move in person and watching your smile straighten week-after-week is even more fun! And having a straight and beautiful smile in just a few months is the most fun!

Am I a good candidate for clear aligner treatment?

clear-aligners-good-candidate

Most of you are probably ready to start your clear aligner treatment after having read this article. But before you get too excited about clear aligners, you need to make sure that you actually qualify for clear aligner therapy. After all, not every orthodontic condition can be treated using clear aligners. The most complicated of all orthodontic conditions still require traditional braces. To see if your orthodontic condition qualifies for clear aligner therapy, visit a dentist or orthodontist near you today. You can also take our clear aligner assessment quiz to see how likely you are to qualify for clear aligner therapy. Good luck with your smile journey and be sure to smile often once your grin is all nice and even!

What is the clear aligner process?

clear-aligner-process

Let’s be honest for a second, we all want a more attractive smile. After all, your smile is the first thing that others notice about you. It comes as no surprise that straightening your teeth improves your appearance. Having an even smile makes you look and feel better. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean because they trap less food practices as compared to crooked teeth. This is why straight teeth are also healthier teeth!

So what are the ways you can straighten your smile? Traditionally, braces were your only option to fix your smile problems. That changed 20 years ago when clear aligner technology was introduced. Clear aligners are a series of plastic trays designed to move your teeth without the need to wear brackets and wires. Clear aligners are comfortable, barely visible, and they can be removed when needed. In contrast, braces hurt more, can be an eyesore, and are stuck to your teeth for the duration of treatment.

Naturally, patients love wearing clear aligners. Clear aligners can be used to close small gaps, straighten crooked teeth, fix overbites, and many other types of orthodontic misalignments. If you’re considering straightening your teeth with clear aligner technology, you’re probably wondering about the process of wearing clear aligners. How do clear aligners fix your smile? Let’s take a look at the 7 steps involved in clear aligner therapy:

Step 1: Orthodontic consultation

clear-aligner-consultation

The first step is to make sure that you’re actually a good candidate for wearing clear aligners. Difficult orthodontic misalignments, such as a crossbite or underbite, do not qualify for clear aligner treatment. The most complicated orthodontic movements always require braces, sometimes in conjunction with tooth extraction, palatal expansion, or even jaw surgery. Schedule a consultation with a local dentist orthodontist to see if you’re a candidate for clear aligner therapy or if you need to wear braces.

Step 2: Orthodontic treatment

The next step is to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong enough to handle clear aligner therapy. Placing clear aligners on teeth with cavities or gum disease is dangerous and risky. You should always obtain clearance prior to starting any type of orthodontic treatment. This involves a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, probably a dental cleaning if you are due one, and fixing all essential underlying dental conditions. Once cleared, you’re set to start your clear aligner treatment immediately.

Step 3: Dental records

clear-aligner-dental-records

Your dentist or orthodontist must obtain necessary dental records to start your clear aligner treatment. The most important dental record are moldings or digital impressions of your upper and lower teeth. These are used to communicate your teeth shape, size, and position with the dental laboratory. Your dentist will either take impressions of your teeth using putty or scan your teeth using an intraoral scanner. Additional dental records may include photos, necessary X-rays, and bite relationship. Obtaining dental records is easy and quick and usually takes about half-an-hour to an hour.

Step 4: Treatment planning your clear aligner therapy

clear-aligner-treatment-planning

Once your doctor has obtained all necessary dental records, he or she will send them to the laboratory. The lab technician will scan these records into the computer. They will follow your doctor’s prescription to design a 3D animation of your projected tooth movement. There are many factors which must be taken into consideration to give you the best end results:

  • What is your primary concern regarding your smile?
  • Which teeth should be moved and which ones should (dental implants, bridges, etc.)?
  • Are there teeth that are too large and require contouring?
  • Is there a tooth that needs to be rotated with additional torque?
  • Does your midline, canine, or molar teeth require correction?

The lab technician and your doctor work together to design a projected animation of your tooth movement. Your doctor either approves this design or makes necessary modifications to improve the design. This process is repeated until your doctor is satisfied with your tooth movement projection. Why go this process? Because you only get one set of adult teeth and messing them up is not an option!

Step 5: Start wearing your clear aligners

Once your doctor has approved your treatment plan it’s now time to make the actual clear aligners. The lab technician uses 3D printing technology to create a series of clear aligners for your smile. You receive your clear aligners at-home (for at-home aligner programs like Smile Direct Club™ or Even28 at-home™) or from your dentist (for Invisalign®). It’s now time to start wearing your clear aligners and straightening your smile. The key to success with any orthodontic treatment is compliance, so you must wear your aligners as instructed. Whether it’s all day, half-a-day or overnight, you must follow your dentist instructions to get the results you desire. Click here to learn about the 3 different methods you can wear your clear aligners to achieve the best end results.

Step 6: Monitoring your progress

Simpler orthodontic treatment can be completed using at-home clear aligners, without the need to visit your dentist or orthodontist every few weeks. However, for more complicated tooth movements you must visit your dentist or orthodontist periodically. This means that you need to see your dentist or orthodontist every two to eight weeks until you’re treatment is complete. Your doctor will perform treatments such as tooth contouring, attachment placement or bite adjustment to ensure the success of your treatment. They will also monitor your progress to ensure treatment is going as planned and make corrections if necessary.

Step 7: Review your final results

clear-aligner-final-results

Straightening your smile is a delicate process and subtle details make a big difference. Things like establishing an accurate bite or correcting your tooth-to-tooth contact will affect the overall well-being of your mouth for the rest of your life. Wearing clear aligners without proper dentist supervision could mess up your bite, harm your teeth, or damage your existing dental restorations. Therefore it’s important to follow up with your dentist to ensure that treatment has gone according to plan. Occasionally, your doctor may take additional corrective measures to fix unforeseen issues. This may involve bite calibration, fixing certain teeth or using additional clear aligners for corrective measures.

What are my options for straightening my teeth with clear aligners?

clear-aligner-treatment-options

Clear aligners are becoming very popular. There are now more than a dozen different companies that can help you straighten your teeth using clear aligners. We categorize clear aligners as either at-home or dentist-directed programs. Here’s how they work:

Option 1 – Clear aligner treatment at home

At-home clear aligner treatment is suitable for the simplest orthodontic movements. This includes closing small gaps, straightening slightly crooked teeth (1-2 millimeters of crowding), closing tiny overbites, and other very minor orthodontic tooth movements. Here’s a list of a few different companies that offer at-home clear aligner therapy:

Option 2 – Clear aligner therapy at your local dentist or orthodontist

More sophisticated tooth movements require dentist supervision. Your dentist does more than just hand you a bunch of aligners. They place attachments to torque stubborn teeth, perform tooth contouring to create additional room, and adjust your bite to correct any interferences. Dentist-delivered clear aligner treatment is suitable for more advanced orthodontic cases. These include teeth crowding, moderate overbites, openbites, and other moderate-to-advanced orthodontic misalignments. Here’s a list of a few different dentist-delivered clear aligner treatment options which you can choose from:

By now you should have a clear understanding of how clear aligners work and what they can and can’t accomplish. Now all that’s left is finding a great dentist who can straighten your smile for you. Head on over to our Search Engine and research nearby dentists to find a great dentist near you. Best of luck with your clear aligner journey!

Am I too old for braces or clear aligners?

Naturally, the sooner in life you start your orthodontic treatment, the easier it is to treat your condition. This is why orthodontists recommend that you have your orthodontic condition evaluated by age 6 or 7. Early assessment allows for interceptive orthodontic treatment, also referred to as Phase one. Most patients end up starting their orthodontic treatment during their teenage years. So the question is, can adults, or even seniors, still qualify for orthodontic treatment? And when exactly are you simply too old to wear braces or clear aligners? Let’s find out:

What is the best age to start orthodontic treatment?

best-age-comprehensive-orthodontic-treatment

The best time to start orthodontic treatment is in your teen years, between the age of 11 and 16. Orthodontists usually recommend you start comprehensive orthodontic treatment, also referred to as phase two, once all of your adult teeth have fully erupted. This usually occurs around age 11 for girls and 12 for boys. It’s best to finish your orthodontic treatment by age 17 because that’s when your facial bones finish fusing, which makes it more difficult to move your teeth around.

Is there an age cutoff for receiving orthodontic treatment?

clear-braces-braces-adults

Luckily, age is not a limit factor when it comes to receiving orthodontic treatment, both with braces and clear aligners. Whether you’re in your forties, fifties, or sixties, you can still qualify for orthodontic treatment so long as your teeth and gums are healthy enough to support braces or aligners. It also doesn’t matter if it’s your first time getting ortho work or if you’re planning on straightening your teeth a 2nd time (or even 3rd!). In fact, there are plenty of benefits to receiving orthodontic treatment as an adult if you need it, for example:

  • Adults are better at keeping their appointments, which makes it easier to complete their orthodontic treatment on time
  • Adults are better at following their dentist or orthodontist’s instructions, therefore they get better end results
  • Since adults are better at understanding the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene, they end up with fewer complications during their ortho program

You’re never too old to improve your oral health, straighten your smile and enhance your beauty! Don’t let age be a deciding factor in whether or not you fix your smile with braces or clear aligners.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment for adults?

benefits-clear-braces-braces-adults

There are plenty of benefits to straightening your teeth, regardless of whether you do it using clear aligners or braces. Here are some benefits of orthodontic treatment for adults:

Enhance your smile and improve your appearance

There are no questions that having a straight smile is an important part of your overall appearance. After all, your smile is the first thing that others notice about you. Straightening your smile improves your appearance, increases your self-confidence and makes you feel better about yourself and your appearance.

Reduce the risk of cavities

Patients with crooked teeth are far more likely to develop cavities between their teeth. This is because it’s much more difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene when your teeth are crooked or when you have gaps in between your teeth. Straightening your smile can help reduce your chances of developing new and recurrent cavities, regardless of how old you are.

Improve your gum health

It’s also much more difficult to maintain healthy gums when you have crooked or gap teeth. Crooked and gap teeth cause more plaque to accumulate on your teeth as compared to straight teeth. If you can’t remove this plaque from your teeth, it calcifies and becomes tartar. Tartar harbors bacteria which cause your gums to bleed and become infected. Eventually, you may develop gum disease. Straightening your teeth makes it much easier to maintain adequate oral hygiene, regardless of your age. Having straight teeth improves your gum health and often times reduces, or even eliminates, gum disease (along with maintaining proper dental cleanings).

Improve your bite relationship

Having a poor bite relationship is when your teeth don’t touch the way they’re supposed to. A poor bite makes it more difficult to chew food. It also causes your teeth and dental restorations, fillings and crowns, to chip and break more frequently. Finally, having a poor bite relationship can lead to migraine headaches, tension, and other head and neck-related pains. Improving your bite relationship with braces or clear aligners helps reduce these complications.

Is it better to go with clear aligners or braces for adults?

clear-aligners-versus-braces-adults

You may be given the option to wear either clear aligners or braces. Most adults prefer clear aligners over braces when given a choice. Clear aligners have several benefits over braces, especially for adults, which are:

  • Clear aligners are much more comfortable and less painful than braces
  • You can remove clear aligners to eat or clean your teeth whereas braces are permanently stuck to your teeth
  • Clear aligners are barely visible inside your mouth which makes them much less noticeable than braces
  • Clear aligner plastic is less likely to cut or bruise your mouth as compared to the wires and brackets used for braces
  • There’s no metal in clear aligners which makes them a better option for people with metal allergies or those seeking holistic care

Your dentist or orthodontist will discuss clear aligners or braces to help you decide between the two. Keep in mind, the most difficult ortho cases always require braces, and they can not be treated with clear aligners like Invisalign® or Smile Direct Club™.

How long does adult orthodontic treatment take?

Adult orthodontic treatment takes a bit longer than treatment for teenagers. This is primarily due to the stiffening of your jawbones which makes it more difficult to move your teeth around. Simpler cases, and those of you who already had braces before, usually require 6 to 18 months of Inivisalign® or braces treatment. More complicated cases usually take 2 years or longer. Schedule a consultation with your local dentist or orthodontist to have your teeth evaluated and determine exactly how long your treatment is going to take.

What are things I should consider when receiving orthodontic treatment as an adult?

Dental-conditions-affecting-braces-clear-aligners

If you excellent teeth and gums, then you really have nothing to worry about. You’re most likely a great candidate for orthodontic treatment and you can get started right away. However, those of us who have had other their fair share of dental work in the past, have a few things to consider before starting orthodontic treatment. Here are a few things you should be aware of prior to starting your clear aligner or braces treatment:

You must have healthy gums before starting orthodontic treatment

Having healthy gums is the most important prerequisite to starting orthodontic treatment. Chances are you will require a thorough dental cleaning before starting your clear aligner or braces treatment. If you suffer from gingivitis, you need to get your gum disease under control first and foremost. Those who suffer from advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, must postpone all orthodontic treatments until their gum disease is under control. Those suffering from the most advanced stages of gum disease will not qualify for orthodontic treatment. This is because it’s simply too dangerous to move your teeth around if you already have extensive bone loss as a result of advanced gum disease.

You should not have any major underlying dental problems

There are a few dental procedures that have an impact on your orthodontic treatment. For example, if you already have porcelain veneers on your front teeth, there’s a chance you may have to redo your veneers after completing orthodontic treatment. Or if you have dental implants then you need to discuss them with your treating dentist or orthodontist to make sure they avoid putting any force on your dental implants. The same goes for fillings, crowns, and bridges, which may be impacted as a result of your orthodontic treatment. Your dentist or orthodontist will evaluate your mouth and review these things with you prior to starting any type of orthodontic treatment.

Have plans to fix the rest of your mouth afterward

It’s no surprise that the older we get, the more dental problems we start to have. Cavities, crowns, dental implants, and missing teeth can complicate your orthodontic treatment. It’s important to have a long-term plan to fix these dental conditions. Typically, it’s best to straighten your teeth first and them fix your remaining dental problems. Just be sure not to forget about fixing the rest of your mouth, otherwise, your bite may collapse soon afterward and you’ll be back to where you started within a few months or years!

Long-term retention plan

As you’d imagine, it’s not uncommon for teenagers not to follow rules and forget to wear their retainers. This usually means that they end up having to redo their orthodontic treatment as an adult. Surely, you don’t want to have to redo your orthodontic treatment if you already are an adult! This means that you need to have a plan to wear your orthodontic retainers and keep your teeth in their correct position. Be sure to wear your retainers as per your dentist or orthodontist’s recommendation. Consider placing a fixed retainer on your teeth if you’re the type that forest to wear his or her retainers. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist to come up with a plan to keep your smile straight and make sure to follow their instructions.

What if I already had orthodontic treatment and require a simple touch-up?

There is good news for those of you who are considering redoing their orthodontic treatment: it’s usually much easier to move your teeth if you’ve already had braces or clear aligners in the past. You’re also much more likely to qualify for clear aligner therapy over braces if this is your second-time doing orthodontic treatment. Finally, you’re expected treatment time shouldn’t be much shorter the second time around. Most orthodontic relapse cases can be treated within a few months, as compared to years.

Ready to get started with your new smile? As you can see, you’re never too old to improve your smile! Find a dentist or orthodontist near you to fix with your smile today. If you’re interested in learning more about straightening your smile with clear aligners, find a dentist near you to get started today:

SEARCH FOR A DENTIST NEAR YOU

Is Smile Direct Club™ safe?

Smile Direct Club™ specializes in teeth straightening using clear aligner technology. They are a remote clear aligner supplier, a concept known as tele-dentistry. Smile Direct Club™ is one of several startups that promise to straighten your teeth without the need to visit a local dentist or orthodontist. Candid Co.™, Byte™, and SmileLove™ are a few other companies that operate identically to Smile Direct Club™.

So what are clear aligners? Clear aligners are a series of firm, plastic trays designed to incrementally move your teeth into a more desirable position. They come as a series, where each clear aligner moves your teeth a fraction of a millimeter. As you continue going through your clear aligners, your teeth start to settle into their ideal position. This means that you can straighten your smile using clear aligners without having to wear braces!

Now let’s take a look at how SmileDirectClub™ clear aligners work? Traditionally, you had to visit your local dentist or orthodontist to receive clear aligner therapy. Well, this is no longer the case. Smile Direct Club™, and a few other internet-based clear aligner suppliers, offer clear aligners directly to customers without any direct dentist involvement (at least not one whom you’ll ever meet). There are two ways to receive Smile Direct Club™’s clear aligners: (a) Take your own teeth impressions using their starter-kit or (b) go into one of Smile Direct Club™’s stores, known as a Smile Shop™, and have your teeth scanned by a technician. You will receive your clear aligners in the mail within a few days and can start straightening your grin.

Now that you understand what clear aligners are and how SmileDirectClub™ works, let’s take a look at how safe it is to buy your clear aligners online:

Risks of at-home clear aligners like Smile Direct Club™

As we mentioned above, there are two general ways to receive clear aligner therapy: (1) go to your local dentist or orthodontist (referred to as dentist-delivered clear aligners) or (b) purchase them online from Smile Direct Club™, Candid Co.™, etc. (known as at-home clear aligners). The biggest concern surrounding online clear aligner programs is their safety. Are DIY aligner programs such as Smile Direct Club™ safe? or are there risks and dangers which you need to be aware of? and is straightening your teeth without direct dentist supervision worth the savings? Let’s take a look at the top 5 risks of straightening your teeth sing do-it-yourself clear aligners, the likes of Smile Direct Club™ or Candid Co.™:

(1) Lack of proper initial diagnosis

smile-direct-club-risk-lack-proper-diagnosis

Is it safe to put clear aligners on teeth that have cavities? Definitely not! Should you wear clear aligners if you are suffering from periodontal disease? Most definitely not! This is why you must always see a dentist before starting any type of orthodontic treatment. Clear aligner therapy is no exception and you should visit your dentist first to make sure you have no cavities or gum issues prior to starting treatment. Only then is it safe to start wearing clear aligners and moving your teeth around.

Smile Direct Club’s approach:

  • Customer: “My gums are bleeding. Is it safe to straighten my teeth using clear aligners?”
  • Representative: “I don’t see why not? Our clear aligners might fix your gum issues!”
  • Customer: “Can I wear clear aligners if I have cavities?”
  • Representative: “Sure. Your cavities can’t get that much worse within a few months.”
  • Customer: “I still have my wisdom teeth and they hurt occasionally. Can I still wear clear aligners to straighten my teeth?”
  • Representative: “Of course! wisdom teeth have nothing to do with clear aligners.”

Straightening your teeth should only be done once all underlying dental conditions have been properly diagnosed and treated. Cavities, gum disease, wisdom impaction, and many other dental conditions can affect the final outcome. Do not rely on the advice of a smile concierge and always consult with a licensed dentist prior to starting your clear aligner therapy.

Dentist’s approach:

  • Patient: “My gums are bleeding. Is it safe to straighten my teeth using clear aligners?”
  • Dentist: “No, it’s not safe. Bleeding gums are most likely a sign of gum disease. You need to treat your gum disease before starting clear aligner therapy. Orthodontic treatment causes your teeth to become loose temporarily. This could contribute to additional bone loss which can damage your already infected teeth and gums. Let’s discuss how we can treat your gum disease first, then we can start your clear aligner therapy.”
  • Patient: “Can I wear clear aligners if I have cavities?”
  • Dentist: “Definitely not! Dental cavities can reach your tooth nerve at any time, causing pain and infection. There is no way to determine how long it takes for a cavity to cause problems. It could be days, weeks, or months. Therefore, I highly recommend that you fix your cavities first, before straightening your teeth with clear aligners.”
  • Patient: “I still have my wisdom teeth and they hurt occasionally. Can I still get teeth aligners to straighten my teeth?”
  • Dentist: “It depends on the condition of your wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are fully embedded in your jaws, they are unlikely to cause an immediate problem. This means that it is safe to start clear aligner therapy. However, if your wisdom teeth are sticking out or causing pain, then they should be addressed beforehand. Consider removing your wisdom teeth before starting clear aligner therapy. Otherwise, your wisdom teeth will continue to push on your remaining teeth and make them become crooked within a few years.”

Do-it-yourself clear aligner programs like Smile Direct Club™ undermine the importance of addressing your oral health before clear aligner therapy. Neglecting your cavities and gum disease can lead to infection, bone loss, and other long-term problems. Don’t gamble with your oral health! Having straight teeth is not worth damaging your teeth and gums. Be sure to consult with your dentist first and don’t start treatment until you’ve been cleared.

(2) Failure to identify cases which require braces

smile-direct-club-risk-failure-identify-cases-require-braces

Clear aligners have many benefits such as comfort, convenience, and the ability to remove aligners when needed. However, clear aligners have their limitations as well. The main disadvantage of clear aligners is that they can’t fix complex orthodontic conditions. Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine if your orthodontic condition is suitable for clear aligner therapy or braces. This comes from years of dental school education and training. Your dentist will you for the following conditions in order to determine how to treat your orthodontic condition:

  • Is your orthodontic condition due to skeletal or dental misalignment?
  • Do you suffer from Class I, 2 or 3 malocclusion?
  • What are your canine and molar relationship?
  • What is the extent of your overbite and overjet?
  • Are your upper and lower midline position correct?
  • What is the extent of your teeth crowding or spacing?
  • What is your anterior and posterior teeth relationship?
  • Is your bite correct?
  • Do you suffer from an overbite, openbite, deepbite, crossbite or underbite?

Certain orthodontic conditions can be treated perfectly fine using clear aligners. Others don’t respond as well to clear aligner therapy. In fact, some cases can worsen if you wear clear aligners! Properly diagnosing your orthodontic condition is crucial to deciding on the right treatment. Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine if you’re a good candidate for wearing clear aligners or if you need to stick with braces instead.

Smile Direct Club’s approach:

  • Customer: “Can I fix my underbite with clear aligners?”
  • Representative: “Sure you can. Our clear aligners can fix your underbite!”
  • Customer: “Can I fix my crossbite with clear aligners?”
  • Representative: “Of course. Our teeth aligners can fix your crossbite!”
  • Customer: “Can I fix my overbite with clear aligners?”
  • Representative: “You absolutely can. Our clear aligners can fix all overbites!”

The problem here is, Smile Direct Club™ ‘s representatives are not actual dentists and they have no understanding of different orthodontic conditions. Your smile concierge automatically assumes that every orthodontic case can be fixed using clear aligners. This is not true. The dentist who is in charge of your Smile Direct Club™ treatment, never gets to see you in person. You can’t properly diagnose one’s orthodontic status simply by looking at a computer scan from a thousand-miles away. Ultimately, your underlying orthodontic condition could go undiagnosed and won’t get properly treated using Smile Direct Club™ clear aligners.

Dentist’s approach:

  • Patient: “Can I fix my underbite with clear aligners?”
  • Dentist: “Most likely not. While clear aligners are very effective at straightening teeth and closing gaps, they can not fix most underbite cases. Treating your underbite will require braces.”
  • Patient: “Can I fix my crossbite with clear aligners?”
  • Dentist: “Definitely not. Crossbites are very difficult to fix and they almost never qualify for clear aligner therapy. Just about all crossbite cases require braces.”
  • Patient: “Can I fix my overbite with clear aligners?”
  • Dentist: “It depends on how large your overbite is. If your overbite is mild-to-moderate then you’re probably a good candidate for clear aligner therapy. However, if your overbite is large, then you will require braces instead.”

Certain simple orthodontic cases are treatable using at-home clear aligners. Other more complex cases can be fixed with clear aligners, but it’s important to have a dentist supervising your progress. Procedures such as tooth contouring, attachment placement, and bite calibration all require the presence of a dentist or orthodontist. These cases should only be treated using dentist-delivered clear aligners. Finally, the most complex orthodontic conditions don’t qualify for clear aligners and they require braces instead.

(3) Orthodontic relapse

smile-direct-club-risk-orthodontic-relapse

Clear aligners can be very effective at straightening your teeth when used correctly. However, if you want your teeth to stay straight, you need to figure out the underlying cause of your orthodontic condition. Here are a few questions you need to answer before starting clear aligner therapy:

  • Are your teeth crooked because they are too large for your jaw? or is it because your wisdom teeth have started pushing on your other teeth?
  • Are the gaps in your mouth the result of a size discrepancy between your teeth and jaw size? or were they caused by a missing tooth?
  • Is your overbite caused by poor positioning of your upper and lower teeth? or do you suffer from an underlying skeletal discrepancy?

It takes an experienced dentist to understand the subtle details surrounding straightening your smile. These little details can make a big difference in the final outcome and how your teeth will look 5, 10 or 15 years from now.

Smile Direct Club’s approach:

  • Customer: “My teeth are really crowded. Will they remain straight after clear aligner treatment?”
  • Representative: “Sure they will. Our clear aligners can fix your grin and they will remain straight forever!”
  • Customer: “I’m missing a tooth. Is this a problem if I want to straighten my teeth?”
  • Representative: “Not at all. Use our clear aligners to straighten your grin and fix the missing tooth afterward.”

Dentist’s approach:

  • Patient: “My teeth are really crowded. Will they remain straight after clear aligner treatment?”
  • Dentist: “It depends on how much teeth crowding there is. If your teeth crowding is minor then there’s a good chance that your teeth will remain in their new position without too much problem. Just wear your retainers as instructed. Do you still have wisdom teeth? If so, I would recommend placing a fixed-retainer to prevent your wisdom teeth from shifting your teeth. If you have more advanced teeth crowding, then it’s best to perform some tooth contouring to create more space for tooth movement.”
  • Patient: “I’m missing a tooth. Is this a problem if I want to straighten my teeth?”
  • Dentist: “It depends on which tooth you’re missing. If you’re missing a terminal tooth then this shouldn’t be a problem at all. Finish your clear aligner therapy and then place a dental implant to replace your missing tooth. If you’re missing a front tooth then you need to plan accordingly. Without replacing your missing tooth, your teeth will slowly shift into this gap. It’s important to plan accordingly to close this space after you’re done with your clear aligner therapy. By the way, would you like a fake tooth while I’m straightening your teeth? I can add filling material into your clear aligner to resembles your missing tooth. This way, you won’t be walking around with a front tooth missing during the course of your clear aligner therapy.”

Believe it or not, more than half the people who wear braces or clear aligners need to redo their treatment in less than a decade! Band-aid treatment may produce satisfactory short-term results, but it fails in the long-run. Fixing your teeth without addressing the underlying orthodontic condition leads to orthodontic relapse within a few years. Ultimately, you end up exactly where you started off in just a few years.

(4) Damaging your bite

smile-direct-club-risk-damage-bite

Your bite refers to the way your back teeth come together when you chew or close your mouth. A correct bite is the cornerstone of orthodontic science. Having a correct bite is very important to the long-term health of your teeth. If your teeth don’t come into proper contact with one another, then your bite is considered to be off. Having an incorrect bite has some serious consequences, such as:

  • An incorrect bite increases the likelihood of chipping and fracturing your teeth
  • A poor bite increases the chances of your fillings and crowns breaking and failing
  • Having a poor bite overstresses your jaw joints which can lead to headaches, migraines and tension pain in your head and neck region

Let’s take a look at how Smile Direct Club™ and dentists approach your bite:

Smile Direct Club’™s approach:

  • Customer: “Will clear aligners fix my bite?”
  • Representative: “They just might!”

You won’t hear a lot of no’s from Smile Direct Club™ people. This is because they don’t understand the problems associated with negligent orthodontic treatment. Trying to fix complicated orthodontic misalignments using clear aligners is usually ineffective. Simply wearing a couple of aligners to straighten your front few teeth will do nothing to address your bite problems. Neither will it fix any underlying symptoms caused as a result of a poor tooth relationship.

Dentist’s approach:

  • Patient: “Will clear aligners fix my bite?”
  • Dentist: “Clear aligners can make some minor bite improvements. However, if you are suffering from bite issues then you should wear braces. Avoid at-home clear aligners if you want to improve your bite. In fact, since at-home clear aligner programs are unsupervised, they could mess up your bite. Consider dentist-delivered clear aligners if you’re looking to improve your bite using clear aligners.”

If you’re looking to enhance your bite relationship, we recommend that you rely on the expertise of a dentist or orthodontist with the training and experience to understand complex bite relationship issues. Your dentist has the knowledge and expertise to explain these complications to you in advance and they are suited to fix your bite relationship whenever required.

(5) Lack of accountability

smile-direct-club-risk-lack-responsibility

What happens when something goes wrong during your clear aligner treatment? Accidents happen, especially when you’re moving teeth around:

  • Your dental fillings may separate from your teeth
  • Your crowns or porcelain veneers may pop off
  • You could cut your lips or cheeks

When there’s a dentist in charge of your clear aligner treatment, you have nothing to worry about. Simply visit your dentist and he or she will fix the problem. But what if the same thing happens with Smile Direct Club™? One option is to hop on a plane and go to Nashville to meet the dentist who approved your clear aligner program! The more practical solution is to find a local dentist, but be prepared to pay a hefty sum to fix your problem. However, a $75 crown cementation now turns into a $1,000 new crown scenario. Lack of access to a local dentist can be problematic when emergencies like this occur. There’s simply no substitute for having access to a local dentist when you need one.

Smile Direct Club’s approach:

  • Customer: “My teeth have been hurting when I wear my aligners. What should I do?”
  • Representative: “Just give it some time and it should get better. Our aligners are extremely safe and they are BPA-free so you should be okay.”
  • Customer: “I think my clear aligners might be cutting my gums. Should I be worried?”
  • Representative: “Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll get better within a couple of days.”
  • Customer: “I finished my clear aligner therapy but I feel like my teeth are not that straight. What should I do?”
  • Representative: ” I think your teeth look great so I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Dentist’s approach:

  • Patient: “My teeth have been hurting when I wear my aligners. What should I do?”
  • Dentist: “Is it just one tooth or are all of your teeth hurting? It’s very likely that the discomfort you are experiencing is related to your clear aligners. However, there are other things that could go wrong which we need to rule out. Let me examine your teeth and I will let you know exactly what is happening so you don’t have to worry about it.”
  • Patient: “I think my clear aligners might be cutting my gums. Should I be worried?”
  • Dentist: “When did you switch out your most recent clear aligner? It’s very likely that the pain you’re experiencing is related to your new clear aligner. However, there are other dangerous conditions that can mask themselves as sore lesions and we need to rule them out. I will examine your mouth to make sure that there’s nothing serious going on. We can also review how you’re wearing your aligners and make sure your progress is on track.”
  • Patient: “I finished my clear aligner therapy but I feel like my teeth are not that straight. What should I do?”
  • Dentist: “There’s always the chance that your teeth didn’t settle into their ideal position. Let’s examine your teeth to see what’s going on. If you require additional movement, I could make you a series of refinement aligners. Come on in so we can discuss your concern and come up with a solution to improve your new smile.”

Dentists are medical professionals who are trained to care about their patients. Their reputation and license depends on it. Companies and corporations care about profits and income statements. If you’re comfortable being a customer, then you’ll do fine with do-it-yourself programs like Smile Direct Club™. Just don’t expect the same level of personal care and attention to detail as you would from your neighborhood dentist. If you’re seeking one-on-one personal care with a human touch, then we recommend that you see a local dentist for your clear aligner therapy.

Is there another way to get clear aligners from your dentist at a comparable price?

There are a couple of ways to go about getting affordable clear aligners directly from your local dentist or orthodontist. Of course you’ll have to do some research first. Here are a few different ways you could straighten your smile with dentist-delivered clear aligners at a price comparable to Smile Direct Club ™ :

(1) Invisalign® Express

One option to get affordable clear aligners from your local dentist is to see if you qualify for Invisalign® Express. Invisalign® charges dentists based on how many clear aligners it takes to straighten your smile. If straightening your smile is simple, where it requires 5 to 6 clear aligners, then you may qualify for Invisalign® Express. Of course, you will probably have to do some shopping around to get a good price on any Invisalign® program. To get started, find a local dentist or orthodontist near you to see if you qualify for Invisalign® Express.

(2) ClearCorrect™

Another affordable clear aligner treatment option is to go with an Invisalign alternative like ClearCorrect™. ClearCorrect™ is a cost-effective clear aligner system used as a substitute to Invisalign®. Plus, ClearCorrect™ clear aligners usually cost 10 to 20% less than Invisalign® clear aligners. While not nearly as expensive as Invisalign®, Clear Correct™ clear aligners are still priced a bit higher than Smile Direct Club™ ‘s clear aligners.

(3) Even28 at-home™

smile-direct-club-alternative-even28-at-home

A final option to affordable clear aligner therapy is to see if you qualify for Even28 at-home™ clear aligners. Even28 at-home™ is perfect for those who would otherwise qualify for Smile Direct Club™ clear aligners but prefer receiving treatment from a local dentist. Your dentist will perform a diagnosis, take your impressions and design your clear aligner program. The rest of your treatment can be completed at the comfort and convenience of your own home. As a bonus, you will have access to your Even28 provider dentist should you ever need them. The best part about Even28 at-home™ is that it is priced similarly to Smile Direct Club™, but without the risks and dangers of do-it-yourself clear aligner programs. Even28 at-home™ has a fixed cost of $1,995 which is similar to Smile Direct Club™’s price.