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What to Do If You’re Unhappy with Your Mail-order Aligner Kit Results

mail order aligner issues

La Habra/Chino Hills, CA – Starting your orthodontic journey is exciting, but for some patients who choose mail-order aligner kits, that joy can turn into disappointment quickly. Dr. Robert Gire has discussed the dangers of these kits before, but now he discusses where to turn if you’ve chosen one of these systems and you’re not satisfied with the results. 

“More companies are offering mail-order orthodontic care, and orthodontists are seeing the results of these kits every day,” says Dr. Gire. “For many patients, these kits don’t provide the results they were hoping for, and they are left wondering what to do next.”

Disappointment with Mail-Order Aligners: What’s Next?

If you are one of these patients, it’s important to address your issues quickly so that they can be addressed and corrected as soon as possible. Dr. Gire suggests the first step should be reaching out to an orthodontist in your area for an in-office consultation. A trained orthodontist can pinpoint what your issues are, and create a plan to address them before they become worse.

Navigating Challenges with Mail-Order Aligner Kits

You can also reach out to your mail-order aligner company to see if they have any recourse for you. Unfortunately, a few of the more well-known companies have recently filed for bankruptcy so you may not hear back. This can also be difficult because you may not know exactly what your issues are. If you aren’t trained in orthodontics, you may realize something is off, but not know how to pinpoint exactly what the issue is. And trying to make adjustments mid-treatment could create even bigger issues.

The Limitations of Mail-Order Aligner Kits

One of Dr. Gire’s biggest problems with these at-home aligner companies is that at no point during the process are patients seen in person by an orthodontist. These companies rely on photos and impressions taken by the patients themselves or a remote scan. This issue coupled with no X-rays or digital images can lead to inaccurate diagnoses or recommendations that don’t consider other issues that could impact treatment, such as issues with bone structure or periodontal disease. These issues alone can create problems and lead to less than desirable results. To better understand the difference read Dr. Gire’s article about mail-order aligners vs. aligners from orthodontists.

Because you aren’t seen by an orthodontist, there is no one to check on your progress and make any changes that may be needed to your treatment plan. Sometimes, orthodontists find that treatment plans need to be altered because a patient’s mouth isn’t responding the way it should have. But, if you are not seeing an orthodontist for regular check-ups, how can these issues be detected?

The Importance of In-Person Orthodontic Care

“I understand the allure of mail-order aligner kits,” says Dr. Gire. “It seems lovely to be able to perfect your smile entirely from the comfort of home. But, there are too many risk factors to leave orthodontic treatment entirely in the hands of a remote professional. How can patients be sure their aligners fit properly if they’ve never worn them before? How can patients be sure their bite is also being corrected? How can patients be sure their teeth are moving at the proper rate?”

While some people may claim they’ve had positive results from at-home aligners, individual experiences vary greatly. If you find yourself dissatisfied with the results, it’s crucial to take proactive steps. Communicate with the aligner company, follow guidelines diligently, and most importantly, seek professional help. A trained and board-certified orthodontist can get your smile back on track before any lasting damage can be done.  Remember, your oral health is a priority and addressing concerns promptly will contribute to a successful orthodontic journey.

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