Skip to content

Are direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies too good to be true?

In recent years, several online orthodontic companies (like SmileDirectClub, Orthly, Smilelove, Candid Co. and SnapCorrect to name a few) have grown in popularity because they make the orthodontic treatment process sound so easy. Just take a selfie and/or an impression of your teeth or get your teeth scanned. Receive your personalized aligners in the mail and after a few short months, presto, straight teeth! Right? The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recently put out an alert regarding the importance of researching these direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies to know all the facts before you proceed!

Your health care decisions are very important personal decisions and there are a number of factors and questions you may want to consider before you sign on the dotted line:

  • Does their orthodontic treatment and fees include a clinical examination along with comprehensive diagnostic records (like x-rays of teeth/jaw, digital scans of teeth or impressions, plus photos of face/profile)?
  • Will you receive any in-person visits to a licensed dentist or orthodontist’s office during the span of your treatment?
  • If a dentist/orthodontist is involved with your treatment, do you have access to their credentials, education experience and patient reviews?
  • How many types of orthodontic treatment do they offer and which one is right for your oral condition (such as invisible aligners vs traditional braces)?
  • Are your teeth and gums healthy enough to begin orthodontic treatment?
  • Are there any risks (financial, health, etc.) that might be associated with your orthodontic treatment?
  • If an issue or emergency arises during your treatment, how will it be handled and who can you directly contact?
  • If you have a dispute during your treatment, how will it be handled (litigation, arbitration, etc.)? Keep in mind, many state dental boards have their own complaint processes. Read more >
  • Are you asked to sign any forms that seek to release the company from liability? Understand what rights you have against the person/company before you begin any orthodontic treatment. Check your state’s dental laws >

For AAO’s complete list of questions, download their Consumer Alert pdf >

Remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device – orthodontic treatment is a professional, medical service. Orthodontic treatment involves the movement of biological material, which if not done correctly could lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites, and other issues.

Our goal at the RxSmile Frisco Orthodontics office with Dr. Greg Greenberg is to provide highly personalized and comprehensive orthodontic care for our families in the Frisco-Plano metropolitan area. If you need additional information or have experienced complications with do-it-yourself braces (DIY braces) or aligners and would like to make an appointment with Dr. Greenberg, please call 972-335-1300 Monday through Thursday, or submit an online appointment request and we will respond within one business day.

Back To Top