Smile Direct Club vs. Your Local Orthodontist
What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?
Today, it can be exhausting keeping up with all the quick-fix, minimal-effort-needed products that appear to make life easier at first glance.
Direct-to-consumer products have taken the business market by storm in recent years, from personalized meal plans to prescription eyeglasses delivered to your doorstep and ready for wear. After filling out a short questionnaire online, a person can seemingly get all the vitamins needed to supplement a healthy lifestyle.
While these products may be viewed as quick and easy solutions initially, you will notice upon closer examination that all these products have been substituted for the expertise of nutritionists, doctors, and other professionals.
Orthodontics: The New Quick-Fix Target
Now, this same marketing phenomenon has taken the world of orthodontics by storm with companies such as Smile Direct Club and Candid Clear Aligners.
With all the options available to the average person when it comes to orthodontic treatment, where to seek care can become quite overwhelming.
Because of this, it is important to differentiate between getting treatment from your local orthodontist versus a direct-to-consumer company like the Smile Direct Club and Candid Clear Aligners.
What’s the Difference?
While treatments to correct crooked teeth may appear straightforward at first, there are glaring differences between treatment conducted by board-certified orthodontists, such as those at Burke & Redford Orthodontists, and a Teledentistry company (virtual doctors online).
You may be tempted by the ease of use or lower prices that come with do-it-yourself invisible braces. In the long run, however, many find these quick-fix options with at home braces often cause more harm than good to their health.
Below are the key points detailing the differences between professional orthodontic treatment and direct-to-consumer products.
For most people, pricing is the main determining factor for choosing a product over a professional service.
When you compare the pricing of a board-certified local orthodontist with the Smile Direct Club cost, uninformed people may be instantly sold on the latter option solely based on price and nothing else.
However, if the at-home product does not achieve your expected goal or causes unanticipated problems, you will then need to seek specialized help from the local orthodontist. Orthodontic treatment involves moving biological material. If it is not done correctly, it could lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage like tooth and gum loss, poor bite relationships, and other issues. In the end, it can be a more costly option than simply starting with a reputable orthodontist that has years of experience treating all kinds of orthodontic problems.
Additionally, orthodontists base their fees on the complexity of the case being treated. Patients are often happy to find out that the fees are both reasonable and competitive with the direct-to-consumer companies when considering the amount of treatment needed.
Expertise & Licensed
Orthodontists go through years of intensive training and testing before they can enter practice. This involves four years of college, four years of dental school, and two or three years of post-graduate residency training. Achieving board certification requires additional testing.
Trained specialists like Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke have treated thousands of cases and are fully prepared to handle whatever orthodontic situation may come into their office. Patients with challenging aspects of their treatment are informed of what to expect before treatment begins. The biology of moving teeth can be unpredictable, and issues that may arise during treatment can be dealt with quickly, efficiently, and safely at their offices in Temecula and Lake Elsinore.
In addition, online services present several uncertainties to patients. Smile Direct Club reviews detail how buyers often feel they must go through treatment alone. Prospective patients should consider the potential downsides to not having a local orthodontist involved in their care:
- The inability to know who the orthodontist (or dentist) is that is involved with their case. Not having a provider’s name prevents the patient from knowing the doctor’s credentials and where they are licensed to practice.
- Not knowing if your gums and teeth are healthy enough for treatment.
- The uncertainty of having to self-assess if things are going well during treatment.
- The inability to contact the treating doctor directly if an emergency arises during treatment.
Additionally, if a problem comes up, it can sometimes take weeks for it to be resolved, especially if new aligners are needed.
Brick and mortar orthodontist offices can usually see patients at a moment’s notice if a problem with their aligners or braces come up. This gives you peace of mind, knowing the best orthodontist in Temecula and Lake Elsinore stand behind their patients and practice.
Be Careful Before You Get Any Type of Braces
The initial, free consultation with an orthodontist is an integral aspect of the treatment process. During this appointment, the doctor will not only examine the patient’s teeth but their overall dental health as well. Orthodontics involves more than moving the visible portions of the teeth. Taking necessary x-rays and examining the teeth, gums, and supporting skeletal structures is an important part of the process and should be done prior to making a treatment plan.
Many patients do not realize when they have outstanding dental problems that should be dealt with before moving teeth. Beginning orthodontics before larger dental problems are resolved can do far more damage than good. Online orthodontic services often skip the steps of thoroughly examining the patient’s overall situation before deciding upon the next course of action. This can consequently lead to much bigger, more expensive problems down the road.
Range of Services
Licensed professionals in the industry are trained intensively to deal with a wide variety of orthodontic related issues for patients of all ages.
Whether the presented problem requires long-term or short-term intervention, an expert in the field will be able to competently address and treat any issue in the realm of orthodontics. Direct to consumer companies like the Smile Direct Club and Candid Clear Aligners typically offer only one treatment type (invisible aligners). Therefore, patients that seek direct to consumer treatment do not have the opportunity to hear if other treatment types would be a better option for them given their unique situation and oral condition.
With a wide array of “tools in their toolbelt”, including Invisalign, your local orthodontist has the flexibility to create a treatment plan that addresses the needs and wants of the patient, and assures that a great result can be achieved safely.
Why Should You Care?
It all comes down to the safety and health of the patient.
Orthodontic treatment should be viewed as an ongoing, supervised service, not a one-size-fits-all, quick-fix product. In other words, orthodontics is a professional, medical service. It is not a single product or device.
Invisible aligners or braces are simply a tool in the hands of an orthodontist. The results that are achieved are dependent on the skill level of the doctor and staff. It is important to choose your provider wisely.
How We Can Help You
Burke & Redford Orthodontists prides itself on being the best Temecula orthodontist when it comes to top-tier treatment, excellent service, and great results. We also have an office in Lake Elsinore for your convenience.
To take advantage of the free consultation for prospective patients, please call our offices at (951) 699-8011. We look forward to assisting you and addressing any questions or concerns you may have.