DIY Invisalign: Why Online Aligners Should be Avoided


diy invisalign

The rise in popularity of Invisalign in recent years has been paramount, due to its discreteness, comfort, and robustness. Their ability to treat even some of the more severe malocclusions has given Invisalign an unwavering name but for some, the cost of Invisalign is just not feasible.

Many people feel that having the perfect smile is the key to ultimate confidence, but for most, the cost of Invisalign is just a dream. This is why so many people are turning to other forms of invisible aligners, to try and imitate the same results, at a fraction of the price.

However, cost-saving is not always the answer when your oral health is a risk.

What are Online Aligners?

Online, DIY aligners are exactly as they sound, an Invisalign alternative that is cheaper and requires almost no outside intervention from a dentist or orthodontist. There are many names online for these companies and the products they offer, including home straightening, clear aligners, teeth aligners, invisible braces, and retainers. 

They promote a fuss-free approach including a ‘do it yourself kit’ at home to make impressions of your teeth, which is then sent off to create your treatment plan. This fuss-free approach usually doesn’t include check-ups with a dental professional, or even a pre-assessment in person, to check that these aligners are suitable for the candidate, not to mention whether the patient has any underlying conditions that may influence the effectiveness of the treatment, therefore possibly rendering it useless. 

It is understandable to feel the pinch about undergoing Invisalign treatment, but the cheapest option is not always the best, and you could end up paying more in the long run through damage to teeth and gums.

What is the Difference Between Invisalign and Online Aligners?

There are many differences between Invisalign and other, cheaper forms of invisible aligners, most importantly being the materials used. Invisalign trays are made from medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers, which were chosen due to their safety classification and a long history of FDA approvals for long-term use inside the human body. It is unclear what the online aligners are made from, although similar Invisalign uses higher-quality materials.

Online aligners are not able to take X-rays and 3D images of your teeth to map out your treatment plan like Invisalign. If the online aligner company claims to use this technology, it will usually be something that you will have to pay for and get X-rays carried out at your dentist, which can be pricey.  

Online aligners are also limited in the conditions they can treat. Without direct supervision by an orthodontist, online aligners are only able to treat mild to moderate cases, they are also unable to use attachments, which are small holds that are attached to certain teeth to give the aligner a better grip. Invisalign can treat much more complex cases under the supervision of an orthodontist.

Online Aligner Dangers and Why They Should be Avoided

One of the most prominent reasons for avoiding online aligners is the lack of supervision. The supervision of an orthodontist under treatment ensures that your treatment is working along the path that was mapped out by 3D scanning, that your oral health remains intact and that no damage to your teeth or gums is being caused. Here are more, in-depth reasons why online aligners are a danger to your oral health and should be avoided: 

Lack of Professional Supervision.

The absence of professional supervision is the most dangerous aspect of at-home aligners. Firstly, creating moulds of your teeth at home is incredibly difficult and can lead to ill-fitting aligners which can be too loose, too tight, and painful. Patients can receive up to 20 trays at a time which are completely unmonitored, except for ‘online check-ins’ and a lot of complications can arise in this time. Secondly, no professional adjustments are made currently, which is commonplace with Invisalign. For example, some patients may need interproximal reduction for overcrowded teeth, which includes fine filling between teeth to make room for movement. If the space isn’t made, then the teeth can end up moving further out of alignment. Without individualised attention, users risk complications that may not be immediately apparent but could manifest in the long run. 

Misdiagnosis and Unforeseen Complications.

To gain accuracy through at-home impressions of your teeth is very difficult and can easily lead to a misdiagnosis, leading further to oral health issues. Misaligned teeth are often indicative of underlying dental problems that only a qualified orthodontist can properly diagnose and address. Due to this, online aligners are not a solution for specific or complicated dental issues and could lead to the dental issue getting worse and encountering unexpected complications during treatment. From poorly fitting aligners to unforeseen dental issues, the lack of in-person supervision increases the risk of complications that could be both painful and costly to rectify. 

Incomplete Treatment and Wasted Investment.

Orthodontic treatment is a long-term investment and if your case requires more than just a simple adjustment, then online aligners may fall short. A failure to address all necessary adjustments can result in relapse, where your teeth gradually revert to their original positions. There are no safeguards in place to ensure that you will be satisfied with the result, leaving you out of pocket and still in the same position or in some cases, worse off. 

Potential Health Risks.

It is understandable to search for a more affordable alternative to traditional orthodontics, but it is not worth the possible long-term side effects on your oral health, which could in turn cost you more money trying to rectify. Without professional oversight, there's a risk of developing issues such as gum disease, root damage, or bite problems, and online aligners give no assurances about this. 

Why You Should Choose Invisalign for Your Invisible Aligners

At Northenden House Orthodontics, we believe that Invisalign is one of the best forms of orthodontic treatments available today and whilst we understand it is costly to undertake the treatment, we offer payment plans and discounts for payment up-front, which will hopefully help you in deciding to perfect your smile under the supervision of professionals.

Some reasons we believe you should choose Invisalign as your invisible aligner:

  • A thorough and realistic treatment plan is ensured through in-person assessments.
  • The best possible results are guaranteed with a qualified dental professional throughout your treatment.
  • Accurate and precise aligners are created with the best possible and most comfortable fit using the latest 3D iTero Intraoral scanners.
  • A set number of trays are created for you to take home and swap out every 2 weeks, alongside in-person appointments to discuss any issues or concerns.
  • Extra steps can be taken to ensure the precise movements of teeth including adding extra attachments such as tooth-coloured bonding to provide extra grip for the aligners. 

Invisalign in Manchester at Northenden House Orthodontics

We are a specialist orthodontist in Manchester that has been providing high-quality, orthodontic care for over 40 years. We have chosen Invisalign as our most popular hidden brace system due to its ease of use and comfort. We find that patients at our orthodontists in Manchester love Invisalign and all dental professionals have undergone extensive training in the latest technological advancements, to make sure that we can deliver your Invisalign treatment safely and conveniently to you. 

If you want to talk to us about Invisalign, contact Northenden House Orthodontics today and book a consultation.

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  • Mohammad Malik
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