Orthodontist Warns: Direct-To-Customer / Do-It-Yourself Ortho Treatment Is “A Terrible Idea”

“There are no shortcuts and the results can be disastrous.”

Devin(Issued Spring 2019) — One of Dr. Andrew Chase’s new patients at ARCH Orthodontics made his appointment following a very bad experience with invisible aligners from a popular Direct-To-Customer / Do-It-Yourself company. Dr. Chase emphasizes that Orthodontic treatment is not a product, but rather, it is a complex medical process. And, he says, “While upfront DIY/ DTC Orthodontic costs are less, they come with the HIGH
RISK of jeopardizing your health, smile and self-esteem – and ultimately can be much more expensive.”

He adds, “Just as you wouldn’t do your own Lasik surgery, you shouldn’t do your own Orthodontics. Under the guise of ‘affordable dental care,’ the public is being duped into thinking DIY / DTC Orthodontics is safe. What other transforming medical treatment would you undergo without an in-person, pre-treatment evaluation and ongoing in-person supervision by a medical professional? Why do DIY/DTC patients have to sign an arbitration agreement/waiver saying they won’t sue the aligner company and are blocked from joining any Class Action Suit against the company?

Orthodontists undergo 10+ years of education and training plus years of real-patient experience. Dr. Chase, practicing since 1998, says, “We’ve seen many patients who made the mistake of starting DIY aligners, but I urge anyone who made that mistake and now has misgivings to come and see us as soon as possible before you do even more damage.”

Another patient ordered cut-rate aligners through the mail – hoping for a quick fix at half the cost of professional Orthodontics. But it wasn’t long before he noticed issues: “I couldn’t bite down all the way. One tooth was hitting and keeping all the others from being able to close. The teeth prevented me from biting, chewing, and closing my mouth normally. That’s when I came to ARCH – and they came to the rescue!”

Dr. Chase says, “You don’t have the experience to know something is not going correctly, and long-distance businesses can’t properly align teeth based on your selfie and a piece of plastic. Skilled Orthodontists use high-tech tools and knowledge for the best outcome. Quality Orthodontics is not quick, easy, or inexpensive. Creating the perfect smile is an art form that requires education, training, and skill in the physics of moving teeth. Shifting teeth is a biological process involving bone dissolving and rebuilding as they move into new positions. You need supervision of an Orthodontist, in-person consultation, diagnostic records and ongoing follow-up.” Dr. Chase estimates that ARCH has created great smiles for over 30,000 patients of all ages.

The American Dental Association discourages DIY/DTC Orthodontics, and the American Association of Orthodontists has filed complaints with dental boards and attorneys general in many states related to online firms. Dr. Chase, former President of the Massachusetts Association of Orthodontists, says, “Bad outcomes can range from lingering problems with a patient’s bite to the complete loss of teeth, costing far more than the price of braces to fix. Even if you started down the wrong path, we have a talented team that can reverse the damage.”

This year marks ARCH’s 45th anniversary. ARCH, with 9 offices between Boston and Hyannis, offers free initial consultation and interest-free financing. Courtesy discounts are offered to anyone serving in the military and their families and veterans, and to municipal employees and their families in towns served by the practice. For more info contact: smilemaker@archorthodontics.com / 781-209-6776.

– By Stanley Hurwitz / stanhurwitz@gmail.com