At home invisible aligners. It’s a new trend in dentistry that’s emerged in the past few years with many companies marketing, producing and selling at home or do it yourself (DIY) orthodontic treatment systems.
On the surface, they seem like a quick, convenient way to straighten your teeth. There’s no need to schedule and work around orthodontist appointments. You simply order your kit, make your impression, mail it off, and receive your invisible aligners within a short time period. They make straightening your teeth with a series of removable trays seem simple. Combine this perceived convenience with decreased upfront costs, and it’s no wonder DIY invisible aligners are such an attractive option and alternative.
What many patients don’t realize, until it’s too late, is straightening teeth is a complex and dynamic process that changes the supporting tissues in the mouth – your bone and gums. If this process isn’t done correctly, it can cause long-term problems. That’s where orthodontists come in. They’re trained experts in designing, executing, and overseeing your teeth straightening treatment so you don’t experience problems down the road.
During the months or years it takes to straighten your smile and bite, your body naturally breaks down and rebuilds bone as the teeth are moved and rotated into their new positions. When this process occurs without treatment plan management and periodic monitoring by a dental professional, unforeseen consequences occur. These consequences often include the inadvertent and unnecessary loss of adult teeth.
The statistics around DIY invisible aligner treatments don’t lie. In 2017, the American Association of Orthodontists found that 39% of orthodontists who reported seeing patients after an attempt at DIY therapy had to provide some form of corrective dental treatment to address problems caused by a patient trying to straighten their own teeth.
It’s for these reasons that DIY treatments, orthodontic or otherwise, are not a covered benefit. As a dental benefit carrier, we have an obligation to help protect you. That’s why our dental benefit plans only cover treatment provided and completed by a licensed dental professional. Please keep this in mind when planning orthodontic treatment for yourself and your family.
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