We live in a moment in which convenience is a top priority to a lot of people. Why go out to dinner when Uber Eats or Grubhub can bring it to you? Have you ever wandered around a major chain bookstore, decided you wanted a book, and then couldn’t find it? Every time, the employee trying to help you will ask if you want them to order it for you. You’ll probably say, “no.” And why? Because you can pull out your phone, order it, and it will be at your front door in two days or less. We love all things instantaneous and low-hassle.
That value — convenience — has bled over into how we view our healthcare, as well. If you want a brighter and straighter smile, why make an appointment with an orthodontist when you can order a whitening kit online or a clear aligner from a van in a mall parking lot? That’s a choice you can make as a consumer today, and we understand that. But if you want to know why you should come to an office for orthodontic treatment, we have some thoughts.
First things first: You the patient, with all of your concerns about how you’re going to pay for your treatment and what it will look like when it’s done, are not just a set of teeth to straighten. You are a person that we want to walk alongside with our expertise and care. One of the first things you’ll notice is that we use X-rays and cameras to get a 3 dimensional image of your mouth, your teeth, and your bite. This allows us to create a treatment plan for you that is customized to not only straighten your teeth, but also make sure that your bite is aligned. If your bite and jaw are not properly aligned, you may wind up with chipped teeth and headaches. While a clear aligner from a van may cosmetically straighten your teeth, it may also get your bite out of whack — which is a problem.
Second, with all that digitized information and the years of education and experience our orthodontists have, our office can do things that the van or online store simply cannot do cannot do. For example, your gums and teeth can move within the space of your mouth. So if the space is too tight, or what we call “crowding,” there are ways to alleviate the tightness. We can shape your teeth through something called “interproximal reduction” which slenderizes your teeth just a smidge to help them slide into place as your treatment progresses. This makes for a healthier mouth, particularly for the teeth and gums. This isn’t something you can do at home, and the rates of relapse due to the overcrowding are pretty high with the clear aligners you can get online or at the mall.
Accurate, Effective Care
Third, the reason that clear aligners provided through your orthodontist (like Invisalign or 3M Clarity Aligner) have the same benefit that you’d get from traditional braces is because an orthodontist will actually place a small attachment, which is the same color as your teeth and hardly noticeable unless someone was looking for it. An orthodontist places these in strategic positions to guide the clear aligners, which will, in the end, give you both a straight smile and the correct bite. These are the two things you want from orthodontic treatment. Without these attachments, there is no precision or accuracy for moving your teeth. These specific attachments are only available through a trained professional — not online.
At Smiles by the Bay, we believe you are important as a person and a patient. We want to help you get the best smile and bite possible. We know you have a lot of options available to you, and we’re not interested in dragging down our competition — whether other orthodontists or convenient on-line options. But we ARE interested in making sure you are satisfied with your smile and your wallet. We also understand that convenience is still important to you. That’s why we now offer free Virtual Consults, so you can find out what your options are before you come in for a full consultation.