Nowadays, you can get almost anything done online. One of those emerging trends is orthodontics. With direct-to-consumer orthodontics, customers don’t even have to step foot in an office. They simply take a picture of their teeth and send them in. While this may seem convenient and easy, it isn’t always effective. Before you sign up for direct-to-consumer orthodontics, ask yourself these questions.
1. Does the Company Ask for X-Rays?
One vital step of making braces, veneers, and other supports for your teeth is an X-Ray. Orthodontists need to know the interior structure of your teeth before they can devise a treatment plan. If you asked yourself this question and the answer was yes, then you should also ask yourself if the X-ray included your jaws, the alignment of your teeth, your entire face, and did it include making impressions of your teeth?
If the answer is no to any of those, then you should proceed with caution.
If the answer was no originally, then you might want to think about whether you want X-Rays taken. The only way that an orthodontist can make a treatment plan for you is if they know how your alignment looks compared to the rest of your bone structure. X-Rays will allow them to see that. If you’re willing to have X-Rays taken at your local dentist office, then perhaps you’d also be willing to see an orthodontist in their office.
2. Did you receive any in-office appointments with the orthodontist?
For those that did, how many visits were you able to make? Is the person who saw you an actual licensed orthodontist? Because orthodontics involves the movement of biological matter, it’s important that you’re being treated by an actual professional. Your teeth and well-being are at stake.
If you didn’t receive any in-office appointments, does that really make you comfortable? How can you be certain that the person treating you knows exactly what you need if they haven’t seen your teeth personally?
3. Do you know the name of the dentist or orthodontist treating you?
Research is always a good practice to take when trying to find a doctor or dentist. You should know the name of the dentist or orthodontist specifically assigned to your case. This allows you to look up their credentials and see where they studied and how long they have been working. It’s also worth it to check out reviews from other patients.
If you can’t find the name of the dentist or orthodontist who is treating you, then are you comfortable with being unable to check their credentials? It could be just anyone trying to straighten your teeth.
4. How many treatments do they offer?
If it’s just one, then are you sure that it’s the best fit for you? Why do you think that they only offer one treatment? You may be able to benefit from an easier or cheaper treatment plan than what they offer.
If they don’t offer just one treatment plan, then how can they be sure that the one they do choose is the right treatment for you?
5. Can you determine if your teeth and gums are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment?
Unless you went to school for dentistry, you likely can’t tell the difference in subtle changes in your oral health. A dentist and an orthodontist can. They may decide that your aren’t ready yet for a treatment plan.
6. What are the risks?
You likely won’t hear about any risks with a direct-to-consumer orthodontist. The in-office kind has to inform you about possible risks that you may face with certain treatments.
Your best best for having a beautiful smile is to visit an orthodontic specialist. Dr. RJ is a board certified Austin Orthodontist offering free consultations and evaluations for patient of all ages.