Mail-Order Aligners vs. Invisalign: What You Need to Know

Invisalign aligners were the first of their kind to hit the market more than 20 years ago. in that time, they have continually led the field in innovative and nearly invisible orthodontic care. Recently, new brands have emerged that offer direct-to-consumer clear aligners that are mailed to the customer at their home and do not require them to see a licensed orthodontist in the office.

Mail-order aligner brands offer the “convenience” of at-home DIY treatment, but how do they really compare to proprietary invisalign treatment guided by licensed orthodontists?

read on to find out.

Are mail-order aligner brands cheaper than invisalign aligners?

Not really. Mail order aligner brands offer a “full” 6 month clear aligner treatment for around $2000. But there’s a catch: That price doesn’t include the necessary parts of the treatment, including the cost of x-rays, diagnostic records, additional aligners for refinements or more complex cases, aligner grip attachments, or final retainers, though. mention the direct ones, supervision in the office by a certified orthodontist. Because only mild to moderate cases can be completed in 6 months, additional aligners may be needed to finish treatment, which must be paid for separately or you risk producing unsatisfactory results.

Some invisalign providers offer a mild to moderate case treatment option for around $2400, which includes all aligners and retainers. The additional costs required for effective treatment with mail order aligners mean you may end up paying much more than the original price.

lower prices also mean lower quality materials. Mail order aligner brands don’t have access to proprietary invisalign technology like smarttrack™ material, so they use generic plastic for their clear aligners.

Finally, insurance options are limited for mail-order aligners (a small reimbursement, if any), while in-office invisalign treatment is more likely to be covered up front and a larger portion covered from when you see a licensed physician during your office visit. this can make a significant difference in the cost of aligners.

In short, mail order aligner brands are not actually cheaper than invisalign treatment. With all the extra costs needed for effective treatment, less insurance coverage, and lower-quality materials, the true difference in value is clear: you’re paying more, for less.

You’ll get more total value from doctor-supervised invisalign in-office treatment than from mail-order aligners, due to both the comprehensive care of invisalign aligners and the peace of mind you get from seeing and talking with your doctor during appointments. visits. .

do mail order aligner companies use invisalign aligners?

No. Invisalign aligners are only available through licensed and trained orthodontists in an accredited practice. invisalign aligners have a range of state-of-the-art materials patented exclusively for use with your treatment, including smarttrack™ material, smartforce™ accessories and itero® scanning. these proprietary tools are used only in association between licensed dental professionals and alignment technology, for patients receiving in-office treatment. mail order brands use generic plastics and technology for their clear aligners.

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do mail order aligner brands take x-rays?

no. X-rays are a necessary part of orthodontic treatment, so to purchase X-rays, mail-order aligner companies have customers pay out-of-pocket for X-rays at their dentist’s office, at a separate cost from treatment with clear aligners. .

In contrast, patients who receive invisalign aligner treatment at an orthodontist’s office receive x-rays as part of their included costs.

does insurance cover mail order or invisalign clear aligners?

If your private insurance includes orthodontic coverage, then it should cover a substantial portion of your invisalign treatment. The coverage will be upfront or monthly and can be billed directly by the orthodontic office, saving you the time and hassle of negotiating with your insurance provider.

rather, because mail order aligner brands do not offer direct supervision by a licensed orthodontist, or office visits, and because of frequent consumer complaints about the effectiveness of the treatment, your insurance provider may decline coverage or cover a smaller portion.

In addition, the insurer will provide any coverage on a post-purchase reimbursement basis, for which you are responsible for claiming. According to one mail-order brand, “you may receive a refund after you purchase your aligners.”

As you can see, the difference in insurance coverage between invisalign therapy and mail order brands is significant and can have a huge impact on the cost of your invisible orthodontic treatment.

what is the difference between mail order and invisalign clear aligners?

there are many differences between the two treatments, especially the clear aligners: invisalign aligners are made from patented smarttrack™ material, which is specially designed for use with orthodontic aligners, for more predictable movement and faster, more reliable results.

mail-order aligners do not have access to this technology, so they rely on generic plastic, which can affect the effectiveness of results. They may brag that their aligners are made with bpa-free plastic, but all plastic aligners are bpa-free, no matter the brand.

can mail order aligners treat the same conditions as invisalign treatment?

no. Mail order aligners are limited in the orthodontic conditions their aligners can treat. Without the direct supervision of an orthodontist, they can only treat mild to moderate cases where the teeth do not require complex movements.

Mail-order aligners also cannot use attachments, small clips that attach to certain teeth to give the aligners a better grip. invisalign attachments help align even complex cases, but without them, mail order aligners have limited effectiveness. therefore, invisalign treatment can resolve many more types of cases, as well as more severe cases, than mail-order clear aligners.

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how long do mail order aligners take to straighten teeth?

While many mail order aligner brands boast results in 6 months, this is not necessarily the case. only mild to moderate conditions can be corrected in 6 months; more complex conditions may require a longer treatment time.

Without the direct supervision of a licensed orthodontist, it can be difficult to assess how long a case may take to complete treatment. if problems do arise, they may not be noticed at first, which can cause delays in treatment or, in some cases, damage your teeth.

Are aligners by mail faster than invisalign aligners?

not. mail-order brands market their aligner treatment by saying “results in 6 months.” but this is only true in some cases. more complex cases will take more than 6 months and may require many more aligners than those included in the original price.

invisalign treatment can achieve results in 6 months, but also treats complex cases faster by using newer patented technology optimized for precision movements and effective results. also, mild cases can be treated in less than 6 months. with invisalign therapy or braces.

Are aligners by mail faster than braces?

no, this treatment is not faster than metal or ceramic braces. braces offer some of the fastest and most effective treatment methods: the robust device used in braces treatment can safely move your teeth faster than most other treatment methods, including at-home clear aligners. Additionally, braces can treat more complex cases than invisible mail-order braces, including high canines, severe crowding, or complex crossbites.

Are mail order clear aligners better than invisalign aligners?

no. Mail order aligners can treat fewer types of dental conditions, rely on older technology, and cover less in cost of treatment than invisalign therapy. , after he failed to straighten his teeth or, in some cases, permanently damaged them.

The American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, and most orthodontists recommend Invisalign treatment over mail-order aligners, and the AAO has even issued a warning against using these at-home treatments that offer no direct medical supervision. .

Do orthodontists recommend aligners by mail?

The American Association of Orthodontists has specifically warned against treatment with mail order clear aligners. Mail order aligner brands lack direct office supervision by an orthodontist with license. Consumers have filed nearly 2,600 complaints against the leading brand of mail-order aligners for lack of adequate results. Due to growing concern about this problem, the American Association of Orthodontists has issued a warning about the dangers of orthodontic care by mail.

the aao urges caution regarding home treatment, where your case is overseen by a doctor you have never met and whose credentials you do not know, and who can only see you virtually. the teeth are not virtual; treating them virtually can have serious consequences. Some virtual visits are acceptable during the course of treatment if the doctor can also make regular office visits. Office supervision by a physician and the use of important office equipment, such as X-rays, are critical to properly aligning teeth.

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the american association of orthodontists is the largest orthodontic professional organization in the us. USA, and their recommendations are followed by orthodontists across the country.

can mail order aligners mess up your bite?

yes, over 2,600 dissatisfied customers have filed complaints with the better business bureau due to poor results with mail order aligners. Some clients saw no improvement, while others saw their conditions worsen due to the use of aligners, as well as other problems such as damaged teeth, chipped gums or severe pain.

Without the direct supervision of a licensed orthodontist, it can take a long time for a client to realize that their aligners are not working properly, and by then their teeth and gums may already have permanent damage. Because of these risks, the American Association of Orthodontists has issued a warning against using mail-order brands of aligners to straighten teeth.

should i buy invisalign aligners or aligners by mail?

Whatever orthodontic treatment you choose, be sure to make an informed decision about where to straighten your teeth. Orthodontic care is an investment – don’t waste your money on treatment that doesn’t work or last!

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you seek treatment from a licensed orthodontist: Whether it’s with braces or invisalign treatment, you’ll have access to industry-leading equipment and technology, and the direct supervision of an orthodontist with licensed and experienced, who will closely monitor your progress for accurate, safe, and effective results.

The aao also issued a warning about mail order aligners, due to nearly 2,600 complaints filed against the leading brand of mail order aligners for ineffective or harmful results. While the price tag and quick treatment time may seem appealing, it’s important to see what’s behind the curtain: You’re paying more for less, and you likely won’t be done in just 6 months.

For results you can trust and the technology it delivers, it’s best to see a licensed orthodontist.

smile for life with safe & effective orthodontic care

now you know the complete comparison between mail order aligners and invisalign aligners. It’s important to educate yourself before choosing orthodontic treatment – we hope these FAQs have helped you understand the real differences between invisalign and generic mail order aligners.

stay safe and keep smiling!

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