Following the rise in popularity of mail-order orthodontic services, Australian dentists are warning the public to steer clear from these potentially dangerous cosmetic products and to use proven treatments like Invisalign. The use of products such as EZ Smile may lead to dental problems and the need for costly repairs down the road.
The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) is particularly concerned about mail-order clear braces’ noticeable absence of clinical exams, X-rays, or any supervision by a qualified dentist. ASO VP Howard Holmes recently told The Sydney Morning Herald that issues like gum disease or broken fillings are not considered by companies that purport to offer straighter smiles for a fraction of the price. If you start moving teeth with these underlying problems, those problems can become worse, he said. The mail-order braces may even result in bite alignment problems or damage to muscles and jaws.
The experienced dentists of Dockland Dental Studio support the ASO warnings against mail-order clear aligners. We proudly offer professional Invisalign treatments to patients in and around Port Melbourne, North Melbourne, Melbourne CBD, Southbank, and South Melbourne. By now, you have probably seen one or more advertisements offering alternative orthodontic treatments. Before you consider those unproven products, we encourage you to read this blog to learn about the proven and safe benefits of Invisalign treatments.
The Truth About Mail-Order Orthodontic Services
A growing number of online companies offer discounted treatments because they do not require professional examinations by a qualified dentist or doctor. To use these products, customers merely take a dental history quiz before making moulds at home and sending them to a lab that mails back plastic aligners. This, unfortunately, cuts out the informed care of a qualified dentist. The doctors at Dockland Dental Studio take the time to fully understand all of your oral health needs and cosmetic goals. Over the years, our patients have developed important relationships with our dentists, relationships that allow our dentists to make informed decisions about orthodontic treatments.
Professional orthodontists and dentists, beyond having extensive formal training, accumulated years of professional experience that allows them to notice irregularities or potential problems before they occur. Mail-order products do not have this important safeguard. Mail-order clear aligners do not take into account a patient’s oral health history, such as gum disease, fillings, and tooth decay. Before undergoing orthodontic treatments, most dentists require that patients address underlying dental problems first. Restorative treatments nearly always take precedence over cosmetic procedures. Mail-ordered braces risk exacerbating issues like gum disease and cavities.
Finally, the manufacturers of EZ Smile and similar products do not advertise the fact that their products do not give customers the benefits of tooth-colored buttons and interproximal reduction (IPR). Certain tooth movements are simply not possible without the use of the small protruding buttons that many patients who undergo Invisalign have placed at our dental practice. Similarly, IPR is important to address crowded teeth. IPR allows very small amounts of tooth structure to be filed down to allow for teeth to move with ease and without becoming stuck.
Benefits of Professional Orthodontics
At Dockland Dental Studio, our qualified dentists walk patients through the Invisalign treatment process, which can last several months to a few years. Invisalign clear trays are manufactured with greater precision and accuracy than EZ Smile trays. Patients who opt for professional treatments at our dental practice can benefit from proven and predictable results. More importantly, you will have regular check-ups from a qualified dentist who will monitor your progress and make corrections as needed.
An Overview of Invisalign Treatment
Candidates for Invisalign are in good oral health and desire better-aligned teeth. Candidates often have:
- Protruding teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth crowding
- Gapped teeth
- Malocclusion (“off” bite)
Invisalign is a great treatment for older teenagers and adults of all ages. Patients with underlying jaw alignment problems may need to address those issues first. Similarly, any symptoms of gum disease may also need to be treated before Invisalign treatments can begin. Candidates should be willing to wear the clear aligner trays for 22 hours per day.
Once your candidacy for Invisalign treatments is established, one of our doctors or a skilled staff member will take an impression of your smile. This mould, along with digital images, will be used to construct several or more aligner trays. After a few weeks, your aligner trays will arrive. During your visit, one of our dentists will check if the trays are a snug fit. You will be given detailed instructions on how to care and clean your new trays. Regular check-ups will be set so our dentist can monitor our progress.
Invisalign trays are designed to slowly nudge your teeth through micro-movements. Each new tray is slightly straighter than the previous one. With each passing week, you will begin to see noticeably straighter teeth! Throughout your treatment, you will be asked to visit our office so your dentist can observe your progress. These check-ups are a great time to ask questions.
The length of treatment will depend on the amount of tooth movement that is needed to reach your ideal smile. Some patients reach their goal in several months while others require 12 to 18 months or longer. Be patient with the treatment process. While placing and cleaning trays may be a periodic nuisance, the results will last a lifetime. In some cases, a new mold and new trays may be needed several months into your treatment. The best way to ensure a smooth treatment process is to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day while following your dentist’s instructions closely.
Adjusting to Invisalign
Patients will feel pressure on certain teeth when wearing the aligner trays. In general, Invisalign is more comfortable than traditional braces, but there can still be short periods of adjustment that are needed. To ensure that your orthodontic treatment is as comfortable as possible, we recommend that patients:
- Place new trays before going to bed
- Wear the trays for the requisite 20 to 22 hours per day
- Report excessive discomfort
- Regularly clean aligner trays using a toothbrush and water
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits
Don’t Risk Your Smile to Unproven Products. Schedule Your Invisalign Treatment Today
Mail-ordered products are unproven and may even be dangerous to your teeth and gums. InvisalignⓇ treatments deliver a straighter smile without the discomfort of traditional metal braces. Invisalign patients also benefit from a more discrete treatment since the clear aligners are rarely noticed by others. If you are interested in undergoing this cosmetic treatment at Docklands Dental Studio in the Victoria Harbour Precinct in Docklands, Melbourne, contact us today to book an appointment.