Questions to Ask About Direct-to-consumer Orthodontic Treatment

The American Academy of Orthodontists has published brochures and questions to inform comsurmers about online orthodontic companies who make their treatment sound as simple as taking a selfie. Some will ask you to include your selfie with an impression of your teeth or get your teeth scanned. Next, you receive aligners in the mail, and after so many months – straight teeth! It’s just not that simple!

Who Is Supervising Your Treatment?

In some instances direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies do not involve the in-person evaluation and/or in-person supervision of your orthodontic treatment by an orthodontist.

Orthodontic treatment involves the movement of biological material, which could lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites, and other issues if not done correctly.

Is Your treatment Customized for You?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to orthodontic treatment, which is why a thorough examination of the teeth, their position in the jaws and the relationship of the upper and lower jaws is imperative to developing a custom treatment plan.

Orthodontists closely study dental records such as panoramic x-rays to evaluate any concerns or potential problems that may be hiding below the surface.

What other transforming medical treatment would you undergo without an in-person, pre-treatment evaluation, or ongoing in-person supervision from a medical professional?

A Few Questions You May Want to Consider:

As part of your treatment, are comprehensive diagnostic records like x-rays taken before your treatment?

As part of your treatment fee, do you receive any in-person visits to a dentist’s or orthodontist’s office during your treatment?

Do you know your orthodontist or dentist? Like any treatment, it helps to know who is caring for you. For example, is their name listed on the company's website or elsewhere?

Is only one treatment type offered (such as invisible aligners or a certain appliance)?

How do you know if your teeth and gums are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment?

What are the possible risks (financial, health, etc.) associated with your orthodontic treatment?

Who can you speak with at the online orthodontic company about your orthodontic treatment?

Who is responsible for detecting any issues that may occur during your orthodontic treatment?

If an issue arises during your treatment, how will it be handled, and who will be responsible for handling it?

If a doctor is involved with your orthodontic treatment, how can you contact him or her over the course of your treatment? How can you contact him or her if an emergency arises?

If you are injured or have another dispute involving your orthodontic treatment, how is it handled (litigation, arbitration, etc.)?

If you are injured or have a dispute involving your orthodontic treatment, what rights do you have against the person or company involved with your orthodontic treatment?

Does the treatment model comply with the dental laws in your state?

Trust an AAO orthodontist

The AAO is a professional association of orthodontists dedicated to, among other things, “improving the health of the public by promoting quality orthodontic care, the importance of overall oral healthcare, and advocating for the public interest.” Your health and well-being are extremely important.

Remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device – orthodontic treatment is a professional, medical service. When your care is personally supervised by an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, you are assured that your orthodontist spent years in a post-doctoral residency program focused on providing orthodontic treatment to patients.

Before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider doing some research and having an in-person consultation with a member of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation

Before you commit to orthodontic treatment, it’s essential you understand your options. It’s just as essential you find a practice where you like and trust the doctor and team, and where you’ll receive the highest level of care. That’s why we offer complimentary consultations.

Please call to schedule your orthodontic consultation at our Pleasant Hill, CA office. We welcome patients from Martinez, Walnut Creek, and surrounding communities.

Dr. Martin and our team look forward to meeting you. It will be our pleasure to create a healthy, beautiful smile you’ll share with confidence!

Jennifer L. Martin, D.D.S.
401 Gregory Lane, Suite 126
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Phone: (925) 676-8485


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