In this instant gratification/online world and times, the assumption is that with enough research online, etc, you can just order aligners to straighten your teeth just like you would order air freshener for example from Amazon. There are obvious differences with the major one being is an actual commodity (air freshener) and the other is really a service and in healthcare (aligners provided by an orthodontist), which needs to be provided by someone who actually has been rigorously trained to provide that type of treatment.
I often say that the reason why Leo Messi or Roger Federer make soccer and tennis look so easy is that it is all that they have done for years! Most DIY also known as Direct to consumer aligners or even aligner treatment provided by a general dentist do not have a Dr. Messi or Federer overseeing this treatment, which MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE OVERALL TIME IN TREATMENT AND THE ULTIMATE OUTCOME. The aligners are designed and delivered by the orthodontist. Further, they are actually made in our office, which reduces the overall time in treatment and the corresponding treatment fees.
The orthodontist knows when and where to add/use things like attachments and rubber bands and knows what to do when things do not go as planned such as when an aligner may not fit correctly. Your treatment fees with an orthodontist will likely be higher compared to the other options, but not always. What is always true is the quote of ‘You get what you pay for’, and YOUR SMILE SHOULD BE WORTH IT!
Note: Dr. Edward Altherr is a board-certified orthodontist in private practice serving Apex, NC, and the surrounding towns/cities of Cary, Holly Springs, Morrisville and Fuquay-Varina. Dr. Altherr’s training in orthodontics was at the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s program where we studied under many great orthodontic icons like Dr. William Proffitt and Dr. Camilla Tulloch. During his orthodontic training, Dr. Altherr’s research and further focus was on the orthodontic treatment of the mixed-dentition (mix of baby and adult teeth in kids between 6 and 14 yo). With his research and over 21 years of clinical orthodontic experience as of 2023, Dr. Altherr is considered an expert in mixed-dentition orthodontics and other areas of orthodontics like temporary skeletal anchors. This web blog is for educational purposes only. Dr. Altherr is licensed only in the state of North Carolina, and cannot diagnose and recommend orthodontic treatment over the phone or internet