Smile Direct and other consumers to Patient direct companies say that they use dentists and orthodontists to help them achieve good results. What am I missing?
Beware! Don’t be misguided!
A highly trained and experienced orthodontist specialist must personally talk to you, examine your teeth and personally evaluate a host of complex factors that can directly impact the health and longevity of your teeth and smile and bite.
Questions your orthodontic specialist should ask and ascertain during a detailed evaluation include
How much bone is around each tooth? He or she will use a cone beam volumetric tomographic image of your teeth with carefully prepared sectioning that can be analyzed and studied. (A carefully taken series of periapical and bitewing images plus a lateral and frontal cephalometric image and panorex image with tomograms of the tmj can also be used.)
What is the condition of the periodontium (gums and supporting tissue)?
What is the condition of the connective tissue?
Where is the cementoenamel junction of every tooth?
Where is the center of rotation of each tooth?
What is the size and shape of the roots?
What is the condition of the pulp (including the nerves and blood vessels)?
What is the size, shape, color, contour and emergence profile of each tooth?
What is the position of each tooth relative to the jaws?
What is the position of the jaws relative to the cranial base and to each other?
Is the lower jaw positioned correctly?
What is the condition of the temporo-mandibular joint?
Is the disk (meniscus) in the correct position?
Is the head of the condyle in the correct position?
What is the direction and amount of growth and development and what impact will aging have based upon your stage of life? This is vitally important to the decisions made and appropriate accommodations can be made.
What are the axial inclinations of each tooth, the amount and degree of rotations and extent of marginal ridge height disparities, proximity to adjacent and opposing teeth in centric occlusion and centric relation and the torque and angulation of each tooth in the maxillary and mandibular arch?
These are just a few examples of the bare minimum basic information that cannot be ascertained, except by a comprehensive examination and an in-person consultation with a specialist equipped with excellent appropriate records.
Highly trained and experienced specialists do this well and much faster and better than less experienced clinicians or dentists that are not specialists. Direct to patient companies that bypass the in-office care, invite immeasurable compromise and unknown dangers. Problem can manifest at any time, sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes long after treatment is rendered.
Saving money. Looking for that bargain?
Highly trained specialists can discuss your budget and formulate a treatment plan appropriate for you often at a similar or better fee but safer.
Amazingly, a highly trained, experienced orthodontist specialist can usually provide you with a better result in less time at a better cost than any direct-to-consumer company or any dentist. If you see or hear about a cheaper option — be skeptical. Select only a trusted orthodontist specialist and he or she can easily explain your options and alternatives, including lower cost options if you so choose.
Which is the cheapest?
Do consumer direct or do-it-yourself kits work? What are the dangers?
Always consider what is safest and best for you.
There are so many complex variables that are instrumental to the health of your teeth, bite, and jaws that can be affected by any appliance you use in the mouth. Consider all factors.
Amazingly a highly trained specialist can create a treatment for you comparable to the cheapest deal advertised by Smile Direct or Byte or Snap Correct or Candid Company or The Invisible Orthodontist or 360 Orthodontics — but can do it much safer for all the reasons listed below.
Ask representatives of the American Dental Association, or the American Association of Orthodontists, or your doctor or specialist or a university trained and experienced orthodontist about the dangers and disadvantages of going direct.