While many things may come to mind when you think of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects,
orthodontics probably isn’t one of them. However, the trend of DIY clear aligners was brought to life years ago and is now sustained by a handful of companies.
Smile Direct Club is currently the most well-known DIY clear aligner product. Consumers (who are technically not patients because a doctor-patient relationship has not been established) can visit one of the company’s scan centers to get started or have an impression kit sent to their home. There are two scan centers located in the Orlando area.
In the past several years, other companies have begun to provide at-home clear aligners as well, including Byte, AlignerCo, Strayt, SnapCorrect, Candid and Align9. The pricing varies between $1,145 and $2,600, depending on the brand, compared to a traditional orthodontic experience, which can cost thousands more. However with reduced cost, from DIY orthodontics, comes reduced satisfaction of the final result. There are thousands of complaints that can be found online.
DIY clear aligners can work in some situations, specifically if you have had previous orthodontic treatment and your bite has been corrected. If your problem stems from failure to wear a retainer then DIY might work for you. However, a thorough orthodontic evaluation is needed to determine if the DIY experience will be successful.
Remember that orthodontics is a process of many course corrections throughout treatment in order to get a quality final result. This is true whether your treatment plan includes braces or aligners.
It’s also important to keep in mind that all teeth in all people do not move alike. Some
movements and techniques work the first time, and sometimes you need a plan B, C, D, E or F. Since you aren’t being evaluated by a dentist/orthodontist in person, it can be difficult or nearly impossible for the technician treating your case from a computer monitor to make the necessary adjustments throughout treatment to be timely and achieve success.
When it’s time to consider orthodontics for you or your child, make sure you know the details behind all of the options available. That way you can make the most informed decision based on your individual needs.