Some online orthodontist firms have made their treatment services to appear so easy. For example, you might be told just to take a selfie showing your teeth or get them scanned. Within several months after that, you receive an email containing aligners – there you have your teeth. That sounds simple, right?
However, before you decide to work with a direct-to-consumer orthodontist, there are a number of things to consider and questions to ask according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
This is a precaution because it has been established that not all direct-to-consumer orthodontist companies involve the in-person evaluation in the supervision of your treatment.
An in-person evaluation, as well as in-person supervision during the treatment process, is very important. There’s always more to orthodontic treatment than just moving or changing the visible parts of your teeth. You, therefore, need to be very careful when seeking the services of orthodontist companies online.
Orthodontic treatment primarily involved the transfer of biological material – which if not performed properly could result in potentially irreversible damages that can cost you a lot of money. Such irreversible damages may include changed bites, tooth and gum loss, among other dental problems.
The following are some of the questions to consider when dealing with online orthodontist companies:
1. Does the company take comprehensive diagnostic records such as x-rays before the commencement of treatment? If yes, find out about the following:
- Does the fee include treatment and x-rays of teeth and jaws?
- Do the treatment fees and fees include taking photographs of your facial profile, mouth, and teeth?
- Does the treatment fee also include taking of digital scans?
2. Will you receive any in-person visits to an orthodontist or dentist as part of your treatment fee? If yes, find out how many, what happens during the in-person visits and if there will be a licensed dentist to supervise the visits. If no, decide if you will be comfortable with an orthodontic treatment that lacks any in-person visits.
3. How will you know if your gums and teeth are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment? You should be able to know who is making that decision and how they arrive at it. In case the one making the decisions is an orthodontist working on your treatment, find out who is paying for the assessment.
4. Is the company providing only one type of treatment, for instance, invisible aligners? If yes, will you know if that’s the best treatment option considering your unique situation? If no, how is the decision made for the best treatment method for your condition and who is and who is calling the shots?
5. What are the probable risks related to your orthodontic treatment?
7. Who will be responsible for identifying any issues that might come up during the orthodontic treatment? Is it you or the doctors? If it is someone not involved in your treatment who will pay for the check-ups?
8. In case an issue develops during the treatment process, how will it be dealt with? Who will be responsible for handling it?
9. In situations where a dentist or orthodontist is involved in your treatment, how will you be able to contact them during the treatment process?
10. In case of an emergency in the course of treatment, does the orthodontic company have a dentist within your area that can attend to you personally? If not, who will pay for the costs related to seeing a different orthodontist or dentist?
11. Does the orthodontic treatment comply with the laws of your state? You should understand your state laws regarding orthodontist treatment.
In general, there are several orthodontist online companies in the United States. However, it is always important to consider some of the things mentioned above before opting for their dental services.