Can Aligners Damage Teeth? The Risks of Mail-Order Aligners

Aligners are a popular orthodontic treatment option for those looking to straighten their teeth. But can aligners damage teeth? The answer is yes, if not used properly. Aligners worn for a long period of time can seriously affect gum health, leading to problems such as periodontitis and gingivitis. A study conducted with aligners reported that aligners can weaken the roots of the teeth, which can cause slow resorption of the dental roots over time.

In some patients, aligners may also increase the risk of temporomandibular joint problems. The thickness of the plastic of the aligner slightly changes the way the teeth bite, which doesn't affect joints in most patients, but in those at risk of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, even the thin plastic of the aligners may be enough to impact the joint. Another danger of mail-order aligners is the lack of supervision during treatment. When you receive treatment with clear aligners in an orthodontist's office, it requires routine appointments to ensure that your teeth move at a safer and more efficient pace.

An orthodontist will adjust your treatment plan as needed throughout the process, but you won't get it when you use homemade aligners made by yourself. With mail-order aligners, teeth may move slower or faster than expected. You may develop gum disease or tooth decay during treatment, without any orthodontist or dentist being able to treat you because they can't see your teeth. Both are real concerns that a lack of oversight during orthodontic treatment brings to light.

Every day I see photos of patients' teeth that were damaged and their bites ruined by poorly designed aligners that were made at home without supervision. I would suggest to anyone that no treatment is much safer than unsupervised treatment. Invisalign can help align crowded teeth, moving each tooth 0.2 mm up with each new aligner, leaving more room in the mouth as the teeth are properly aligned. However, accessories and rubber marks can be used in conjunction with Invisalign to help move the teeth and jaw to the correct position and ensure a healthy bite.

The good news is that you get used to wearing plastic aligners on your teeth relatively quickly. Correcting the bite is one of the main reasons why people invest in braces and Invisalign, as it can cause numerous problems, such as damage to the gums and other teeth, alterations in appearance and pain when chewing. Mail-order kits only provide transparent aligners and can't meet everyone's needs, and they may not be able to determine if you're a suitable candidate for aligners. So what can you do to ensure that your mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw joints stay healthy while you undergo Invisalign treatment? Once you send them by mail, one of their technicians (usually someone who lives in a foreign country with a secondary education level or lower) reviews them and determines if the patient is suitable for these aligners.

Because of the high risk of tooth decay and gum disease, you must commit to practicing good oral hygiene during your Invisalign treatment. In fact, Invisalign should be used almost all the time, just for eating, drinking, brushing your teeth, and flossing. Invisalign can be used to make even the most crooked teeth look perfect, if the right conditions, time and consistency are in place. This will not be a cause for concern for all patients with Invisalign, but all patients should know what signs and symptoms to watch for during treatment with the aligner.

While it may seem that using mail-order aligners saves money in the short term, it's a dangerous option that can be very expensive in the long run. Most dentists, orthodontists, and even the ADA speak out against the use of mail-in aligners from Smile Direct Club and other similar companies.

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