Choosing an orthodondist

Seeing an orthodontist for braces is most commonly thought of as a dental treatment for children and young teens — indeed, the average age among orthodontics patients is 10 years old.

However, a great deal of people reach adulthood without ever getting the teeth braces they need. Many of these adults, looking to improve the appearance and health of their teeth, look into the various types of orthodontics for adults.

One of these forms of adult orthodontics that has recently emerged — and is quickly gaining in popularity — is the mail-order invisible aligning kit.

According to the New York Times, ordering these kits online saves the hassle of visiting an orthodontist every few weeks for new aligning trays, and this method cuts about half the cost of getting invisible braces from an orthodontist’s office. When the average cost of invisible aligners from an orthodontist ranges anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000, this translates to massive cost savings.

It’s relatively easy for an individual to use these kits on his or her own. The patient mixes up the putty provided in the kit, puts the putty in two trays, then takes a mold of his or her teeth. These teeth molds are then sent back to the remote-aligner company, where custom aligning trays are manufactured and mailed to the patient’s home.

“It shouldn’t have to cost a small fortune to straighten your teeth,” Doug Hudson, one of the founders of SmileCareClub, a company offering these at-home orthodontics for adults, said.

Critics of at-home tooth-aligning kits say invisible aligners aren’t for everyone, and using them without an orthodontist’s supervision could compromise the success of the treatment, according to the New York Times. The Food and Drug Administration now considers these aligners to be prescription devices, and the American Association of Orthodontists advises that these at-home aligning kits only be used after a consultation with a professional orthodontist.

Despite this method’s potential risks, more and more people across the country are flocking to this convenient and cheap form of orthodontics for adults.

What do you think about these at-home kits? Are they a great value, or could they be harmful to one’s dental health? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. More on this.