How Safe are Aligners with Impressions You Take Yourself?

You may have seen ads that say you can straighten your smile yourself with invisible aligners. Essentially, you would take an impression of your teeth on a mold and send it to the company. After a few days, you receive customized aligners that should straighten your teeth. As a prosthodontist, I have undergone several years of training for restorative dentistry. Such training involves being precise to the millimeter. Here are three ways taking impressions of your teeth might not be the best idea.

1. The impressions are not done correctly

A common instance is the mold is not done appropriately. No fault of your own: trays should be customized to the bite and a perfect impression is tricky to achieve even when a professional orthodontist does it. Getting it right the first time is unlikely, especially since you are unaccompanied by an orthodontist.

Why does this matter? It matters because these impressions will form the shape of your aligner—what you will be wearing for at several months. Your teeth could shift as a result of having improperly designed aligners, requiring expensive treatment to reverse.

2. The people who approve impressions are not necessarily dentists

“Dental professionals” are the people who review the impressions you take at home. It is strange that the term “dental professional” is used rather than a more qualifying title. Therefore, whoever should be a check on your molded impressions may not be a licensed orthodontist.

3. There is no way of knowing whether invisible aligners may be the best course of treatment!

Dentists provide a comprehensive assessment on your oral health. If there is gum disease, weakened gum bone, or any issue that needs attention, a dentist can create a complete treatment plan to address these deficiencies. This includes coordinating with prosthodontists, periodontists, and endodontists. The misalignment of your teeth may be due to one of many reasons. Self-directed, unsupervised treatment with invisible aligners is not recommended.

The mouth is a mosaic, and experts go through many years of training to be able to get the details just right. Be wary of offers that may be too good to be true, especially when it comes to something as important as your teeth. If you want to learn more about our Invisalign treatment, please follow this link that shows our approach to invisible aligners.