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Are You Taking Chances with Straightening Your Teeth? Atlanta, GA
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You may have seen advertisements for direct-to-you orthodontics for straightening your teeth. These companies entice you with great savings for orthodontic work. They make it seem easy, not to mention considerably more affordable, to buy your plastic aligners directly from the lab. Unfortunately, you may save money in the short run, but the trouble that may be awaiting you later may end up costing you hundreds of dollars.

Choosing the Correct Method for Getting Your Teeth in Alignment

Depending on the circumstances that need to be corrected, your dentist will make a recommendation on the type of system that will be best for straightening your teeth. There are several types of treatment available. Traditional metal braces are the most commonly recognized.

Metal brackets are adhered to the teeth and wires are threaded through slots on the brackets. The wires stay connected to the brackets by tiny rubber bands. The constant force on the teeth causes them to move slowly into the proper position. The pressure is gentle and just enough to get the teeth to move.

Plastic aligners are often used for realignment of anterior teeth. People prefer this type of orthodontic treatment because you can remove the aligners for brushing and flossing your teeth. There are no special tools needed to maintain oral hygiene.

The aligners are clear and almost invisible. This is another advantage that people appreciate; it is not obvious that you are getting your teeth straightened. Also, since there are no wires and brackets, you will have fewer trips to the dentist for repairs and adjustments.

Plastic aligners like Invisalign® are perfect for straightening teeth when the teeth that need to be straightened meet certain requirements. Not all cases of misaligned teeth will fit the model for using plastic aligners.

In general, plastic aligners are used for mild to moderate misalignment cases. They are also usually only used to move anterior teeth and those directly in your smile line. If there is misalignment with back teeth that needs to be corrected, your dentist will most likely advise you to get traditional braces.

Just because you have crooked or misaligned teeth, does not necessarily mean you are a good candidate for clear aligners. This is why it is imperative that your dentist or orthodontist do a thorough evaluation of your teeth, gums and supporting structure.

When you choose to go through a direct-to-consumer orthodontic company, you miss this valuable part of the treatment. Some individuals may have problems with their teeth that cannot easily be corrected with treatment such as Invisalign.

Evaluation and Pre-Treatment

Before your dentist recommends a treatment option for straightening your teeth, you will need to undergo an evaluation. Many factors are considered when determining the best way to straighten the teeth. In addition to deciding the best treatment option, your dentist will need to do a thorough examination so other dental issues can be identified and corrected before the orthodontic process begins.

Pre-treatment includes a thorough cleaning of the teeth and other dental procedures that may be required. Any teeth that need to extracted or repaired will be taken care of at this time. This is also the time that the dentist will address any periodontal problems.

X-rays may need to be taken to check bone density and identify any problems below the gumline that could affect the treatment process. Some individuals require spacers be put in before the orthodontic treatment begins.

If your dentist determines that you have severe overcrowding of the teeth, you may not be a good candidate for systems such as Invisalign. Traditional metal braces are most likely to be most effective and provide the desired results.

Clear aligners are good for many situations, but not all problems with misalignment are solved with them. For example, teeth that need to be raised to match the height of other teeth are not going to yield the results needed if plastic aligners are used. Large gaps and rotated teeth are best treated with traditional braces. Some dental work such as dental bridges are not conducive to treatment with clear aligners.

When you choose to use a direct-to-consumer company for your orthodontic treatment, these issues may not be taken into account. Ordering your clear aligners through the internet without proper dental supervision is taking a risk that could prove to be quite costly in the long run.

The Easy Way vs. the Right Way

Direct-to-consumer companies make it seem easy to get your teeth straightened with their products. Besides being easy, it is also cost effective. By skipping the oversight of a qualified dentist, you can save hundreds of dollars, or so they would have you believe.

Without proper evaluation and treatment of dental issues before the orthodontic treatment begins, you could actually be setting yourself up for a painful and expensive outcome on the back end. Many of these companies do not have a dentist on site and their products are not checked by one. Consequently, the outcome you are expecting may not be the one you get.

Good orthodontic care is provided by a trained professional in the field of dentistry. Experienced orthodontists are qualified to treat all levels of orthodontic need. Your dentist is a highly trained professional who can determine what level of orthodontic care is required in order to produce the desired results. Without proper dental supervision, serious problems can develop by using direct-to-consumer aligners.

The Risks You Take

Direct-to-consumer companies are reluctant to share the many stories of patients who did not have successful treatment using their services. Some patients have returned to their dentist with bigger problems after treatment with mail order aligners than they had to begin with.

Minor problems such as cut or sore gums due to poorly fitting aligners are just the tip of the iceberg. Some patients have complained about not being able to chew properly while others developed an inability to close their mouth. Some patients have had teeth fall out due to this type of treatment.

You are given a form at the beginning of treatment letting you know that the problems you may encounter while wearing these aligners are not the responsibility of the company but rather your own responsibility. If the aligners do not work, there is not much you can do.

One of the enticements mail order aligner companies offer is faster treatment. While this may sound good, consider that you are moving teeth through bone and soft tissue. If the teeth move too fast, the process can cause damage to the bone and gums. The teeth being moved need to move to the right position, otherwise additional damage could occur and the teeth may have additional wearing down of the enamel. Also, if the teeth are not moved correctly, your bite can be thrown off. When teeth are moved too fast, they can also migrate back to their original position faster.

Even though it may be cliché to say you get what you pay for, the truth is, in the case of DIY orthodontics, saving money up front may cost you dearly later on. Your dental professionals have the training and expertise to ensure that you get optimal treatment for optimal results.

At Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta, we are committed to helping our patients attain their best smile. Call us today and schedule your appointment with us.

Posted on behalf of Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta

200 Galleria Pkwy SE, Suite 1830
Atlanta, GA 30339

Phone: (770) 955-0550

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What Our Patients Says
Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta

4.9 / 5

Based on 136 reviews

I was recommended this practice from another dentist who told me this is where she would send her own family. I can definitely see why. This is a state of the art practice that is clean, modern, and well lit. The staff did a superb job.

James R.

Everything about my experience was enjoyable. I felt like the practice used all of the most advanced and best technology out there which gave me a wonderful feeling of confidence. They were very professional and straight forward and I have never had a better dentistry experience. I'd highly recommend checking them out if you're looking for a new dentist. They're friendly and efficient and they really do know what they're doing there.

Meghan D.

Dr Zelby has been my dentist now for almost 17 years. Not only is he a really nice person, his dentistry is completely top notch. If you need any restorations, I don't think that there is another place to even consider. You'll be amazed with his work!

Brian S.

Dr. Levine was great, and Dr. Zelby stopped by and answered some questions I had about sheering forces on enamel. They were both very friendly, and the hygenist (whose name I forget, unfortunately) gave one of the most thorough cleanings I've ever had. The office was clean, the devices all seem shiny and well maintained, and overall it was a great experience

Benjamin S.

After going to another dentist, doctor Zelby was able to fix my front two teeth so that the front two teeth were back to the same length and color. I'm so thankful he was able to make them look normal again. Dr. Zelby and his staff are so pleasant to be around as well. I highly recommend this office if you have a major problem with your teeth that need to be fixed. He can get it done and he will make sure you are happy.

Carrie G.

I had been going to the same dentist for many years and switched to Aesthetic and Implant recently. My experience with Dr Levine was incredible. I cannot be happier with the decision I made. The cleaning and other services I received were well above and beyond any other I have ever had. Highly recommend this practice to everyone!

Matthew G.

Couldn't be happier! Absolutely worth the travel time. Dr Zelby is without doubt the best - caring, knowledgeable, reassuring and very professional. Couldn't ask for better dentistry. Staff also very competent and professional. Beautiful, clean environment

Diane W.

Megan is the best dental hygienist I’ve ever had. She does a phenomenal job keeping your teeth clean, is super nice, and makes you feel right at home. The whole staff is very friendly and I couldn’t recommend this place enough!

Vincent C.

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Cobb Galleria Office Complex, Building 200, Suite 1830

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200 Galleria Pkwy SE, Suite 1830
Atlanta, GA 30339

Phone: (770) 955-0550
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Wednesday 9AM – 3PM
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