Do you have a photo of yourself wearing metal braces tucked away in the dark recesses of your family album? If you are one of the lucky people who never had to get braces in their teenage years, then you will never know what kind of torture it was. Going to the dentist regularly to get wires and rubber bands pulled tighter meant pain. Then there is also the fact that there was always some kid mean enough to make fun of their classmate who was wearing braces.
If you think having braces when you are a kid means torture, imagine what it must be like for adults who need them. Although they might not get as much ridicule from peers and friends, the regular dentist appointments will take time out of their schedules.
There are several downsides to getting traditional braces. They can be:
• Expensive – the costs of traditional metal braces are not easy on the wallet. Braces can cost thousands of dollars.
• Uncomfortable – It takes a while to get used to having metal brackets on your tooth. Not only that, when the dentist pulls the wires and rubber bands for an adjustment, it is extremely painful. You are lucky if you have high pain tolerance.
• Time-consuming – Since traditional metal braces are only administered in the office, you need to schedule regular visits with the dentist. This is required to check on the progress of your teeth and if there are any changes necessary.
• Awkward looking – If you get the traditional metal braces that are visible on the teeth, it’s not exactly an aesthetic piece.
People who had braces when they were young might think that they won’t experience any changes with their teeth. But that is not always the case. There is a reason dentists provide aftercare retainers. As we get older, our teeth continue shifting. The retainers will help maintain the proper alignment of the teeth. If the retainers are not worn properly, the teeth will continue to shift as time passes by.
The good news is that there are now amazing alternatives to traditional braces that are very discreet. These are called clear teeth aligners or invisible braces and many companies now offer them online. But how does it work? Clear aligner companies have a team or network of dentists and orthodontists that provide assessment and evaluation of their customers’ treatment plans.
Orthodontic treatments such as braces are very personalized and customized. Each individual has a unique set of teeth and their concerns can vary from mild spacing and crowding to issues to more complicated misalignment and bite issues. Clear aligner companies that sell their products remotely have discovered how to customize treatment. Here’s a general overview of the process:
1. You will buy an impression kit that contains tools such as an impression tray and putty. You’ll use these tools to create molds or impressions of teeth. After you’ve successfully created impressions of your teeth, you need to send them back to the company. Some companies will also require pictures of your teeth and mouth.
2. Other companies will offer to do an impression for you in their retail locations. For this type of service, you might have to schedule an appointment with your chosen location.
3. Once the company receives the teeth impressions, the orthodontist or dentist will create a 3D image of the expected results and formulate a custom treatment plan for you.
4. The company will produce the clear aligners and send them to you through the mail. Most clear aligners are 3D printed from BPA-free plastic. You will need to check in with your assigned dentist or orthodontist so they can see the progress of your teeth.
There is a reason clear aligners have grown extremely popular in the past decade. In comparison to traditional metal braces, wearing clear aligners does not give you a smile that looks awkward. For people who are concerned about their aesthetics and how metal braces would ruin them, clear aligners are the best option. They are hardly noticeable and no one would be able to figure out you’re wearing them unless they’re really close to you.
2. Less Expensive
We’ve mentioned that traditional braces can rack up thousands of dollars. That is also the case for clear aligners that are administered in-office. There are several companies in the market that offer clear aligners online and most of them have cut the cost by half. The most expensive clear teeth aligners available online are still cheaper than any in-office treatment.
3. No regular office visits required
Clear aligners ordered online are also called at-home aligners since almost everything from start to finish is done at home. Most of the process can be done remotely, from the first step of getting impressions of your teeth, receiving the clear aligners in the mail, and even the consultation with the dentist or orthodontist. The fact that you do not have to pay for an appointment with your dentist also contributes to the cheaper costs of getting clear aligners online.
Traditional metal braces are glued to the teeth and they will stay there for months or years depending on the complexity and severity of the problem. When it comes to clear aligners, you can take them off when you eat, drink, or brush your teeth. There are also companies that offer night-only clear teeth aligners. Instead of wearing clear aligners the whole day, you only need to wear them in your sleep.
5. Personalized service
One key concern customers have about clear aligners bought online is that they will not have access to a dentist when they have concerns. That is not exactly the case. Clear aligner companies will always have a team of professionals available to respond to questions and concerns. Their customer service representatives will be available either through chat, phone, or email. Although it’s not a direct line of communication from dentist to consumer, you can be assured that a team of professionals will be handling the treatment and any concerns about it.
Of course, most people who are new to the idea of at-home treatments will have some second thoughts about ordering clear aligners online. And although remote or at-home treatment is less expensive than in-office treatment, the upfront costs are still not cheap. On average, getting clear aligners online can cost $2,000. If you are highly interested in straightening your teeth with clear aligners at home but have some doubts, there are some things you can do.
1. Read reviews
Online reviews from trusted sources are one of the best sources of information about brands and companies and the products and services that they offer. You need to do your research and find out whether a significant portion of the reviews is positive or negative. It’s better to choose a company with higher ratings. Aside from online reviews, look for testimonials of previous customers and see if they encountered problems and how the company acted to remedy those problems.
2. Get in touch with the customer support team
Companies will state what times of day their customer support teams will be available. It is better to check for yourself how fast they respond to questions and concerns before you get the clear aligners. That way, you can be sure that you’ll get a timely response if you ever have a question regarding your treatment.
3. Ask your circle of friends
If you found that online reviews are not enough, you can ask around your family and friends if they know anyone who got clear teeth aligners. Since they are not noticeable it is not easy to just point to one person and ask for their advice. Asking people you have connections to is a great way to determine which product and services you should go for. At least they have personal experience and the lessons that come with it that they can relay to you.
Clear teeth aligners are an amazing option for teens and adults. They are great for teens that might have confidence issues with getting traditional brackets. The invisible aligners will allow them to straighten their teeth without awkwardness. Clear teeth aligners, specifically at-home clear aligners, are also great for adults who live a busier life. Weekends are not always free. When you do get a free weekend, you would rather spend the time with family and friends instead of going to the dentist.
Getting clear aligners online is also cheaper. For both individuals and families, it is a great way to save money and free up some of the budget for other necessities. Make sure that you have done extensive research before you settle on a product. You are still investing time and money. You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money and deal with further complications later on.