Straight teeth in just six months: that is the claim that billboards and brick walls in large cities have crossed, that busy people promise to get the smile of their dreams.
If that sounds too good to be true, it may be ̵
Check out the different brands of invisible braces available in this guide, how they work, and whether you really need to see an orthodontist before spending a few thousand dollars on Invisalign-style dental plates.
What are invisible brackets?
"Invisible braces" is the default language for what is really called "clear aligners." It is also common for people to refer to all clear aligners as Invisalign, a brand name that has become a common term, such as Windex and Kleenex.
Invisible braces do the same as traditional metal braces – slowly adjust the teeth to straighten them and solve bite problems – except that they are transparent, made of plastic and are removable. You can take them off to eat and brush your teeth, and you never cut the inside of your cheek on a sharp metal bracket (something that all suspenders know too well).
Most clear-aligners for direct to consumers include a print package for mail order companies. You send the print set back to the company, where dentists or orthodontists analyze it and make your customized set of clear aligners based on the analysis of your teeth.
Where post-order get clear aligners
In a world where you can gettake a and even it should not come as a surprise that there are now several invisible brackets for mail order companies. Here are seven places to get clear aligners without visiting an orthodontist.
- Costs: $ 1,895 or $ 85 / month for 24 months
- Length: six to 18 months
- Insurance: Accepts FSA, HSA and CareCredit  Method: Get a 3D tooth analysis at a "SmileShop", or send the print set to your home.
- Costs: $ 1,900 or $ 88 / month for 24 months
- Length: six to 11 months
- Insurance: Accepts FSA, HSA and insurance with a orthodontic advantage with code D8040 for remote treatment.
- Method: Visit a personal Candid Studio to get fit for your aligners or order the $ 95 starter kit to make your impressions – fully refundable if the team of orthodontists decides that you are not a good candidate for erasing aligners .
- Cost: $ 1,890 or $ 180 / month for 12 months; additional costs for evaluation and holders at the end of the treatment.
- Length: five months on average
- Insurance: Contact your insurance company.
- Method: Order the print set and send it back to have your aligners made and sent to your door.
- Costs: For simple cases, $ 1,900 or $ 88 / month for 24 months. For complex cases, $ 2,600 or $ 122 / month for 24 months.
- Length: six to 10 months
- Insurance: Accepts FSA, HSA and most dental insurance policies.
- Method: Start with a personal dental visit at a Dandy location, where you will receive a 3D scan of your teeth. Your aligners are sent to your house every few weeks and you keep track of your plan via the Dandy app.
- Costs: $ 1,895 or $ 83 / month for 24 months
- Length: Average five months. You can opt for the Hyperbyte – a vibration frequency tool that supposedly pushes your teeth in place faster – for an average treatment duration of 3 months.
- Insurance: Accepts FSA, HSA, CareCredit and eligible dental insurance policies.
- Method: Purchase the display kit (fully refundable if you are not a good candidate), send back your impressions, and wait for Byte to send your aligners.
- Costs: $ 1,495 or $ 62 / month for 24 months
- Length: six to eight months
- Insurance: Accepts HSA and FSA; Ask your insurance company for code D8040.
- Method: Order your impression package for $ 79 (refundable), send your impressions back for review, and wait for your aligners to arrive by mail.
- Cost: $ 1,749 or $ 81 / month for 24 months
- Length: three to 18 months
- Insurance: Accepts FSA and eligible insurance.
- Method: Take an online assessment, complete a print package at home, and receive your aligners at home
What about Invisalign?
You may wonder why Invisalign, perhaps the most popular provider of clear aligners, is not on this list. That is because Invisalign is not a direct-to-consumer company, so you must visit an orthodontist to adapt to and be treated with Invisalign. You must also attend the periodic check-up appointments at your orthodontist's office at Invisalign.
These are disadvantages if you are purely looking for clear post-order aligners that allow you to complete the treatment at home, but the Invisalign route offers some advantages.
For example, if you regularly visit an orthodontist, make sure that your clear aligners work as they should and that you are on the right track for straight teeth. Your orthodontist can also check for new problems that arise, such as an opening caused by the aligners or gum erosion.
Who needs clear aligners?
Speaking of an orthodontist, clear aligners are not for everyone and they cannot handle everything. Most clear aligners can handle overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, small openings and crowded teeth to a certain extent.
If you have a serious case of any of these conditions, such as an opening wider than two millimeters, your orthodontist can recommend traditional braces. Other situations in which clear aligners may not be suitable for you include:
- Tooth rotation: If your tooth is rotated due to pressure, clear aligners may not be able to turn the tooth into the correct position.
- Burglary: Clear aligners cannot repair a tooth stuck in the jawbone.
- Extrusion: A tooth that sits high on the bone and is longer than other teeth cannot be fixed with invisible braces.
- Deformed Teeth: If you have teeth that are rounded, pointed or pegged, clear aligners may not fit them properly.
- Midline Movement: If your teeth do not match the imaginary line that intersects your face (your centerline), clear aligners may not correct the discrepancy if it is more than two millimeters on either side.
If you have any of the above conditions, it is best to see an orthodontist before trying a brand of clear aligners. Even if you have none of these orthodontic complications (or don't think you have one), it is still worth consulting a professional before you start treatment.
You may have an imperceptible condition now that can be aggravated by clear aligners; something that can only be reported by a trained specialist at a personal appointment. For example, the orthodontists who make your mail order clear aligners cannot see and evaluate the health of supporting structures, such as your jawbone and gums. They also cannot see underlying gum disease, which can be exacerbated by any form of orthodontic treatment.
"Better safe than cure" certainly sounds true when it comes to the long-term health of your pearly whites: your orthodontist will say that you are ready to send you on the road, or they will recommend other treatments to be safe, achieve healthy straight teeth and a good bite.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.