Direct to Consumer Orthodontic treatment is now available. Let’s learn more about what this involves and review the findings of the American Association of Orthodontics on this matter.
Several companies have designed clear aligner tray systems which are sent directly to you at home. You take your own impressions and you’re all set. Sounds convenient, right? Unfortunately, convenience does not always equal quality.
The AAO reports their findings in a paper titled, American Association of Orthodontists Discusses Patient Health And Safety Information Regarding Direct-To-Consumer Orthodontics.
The American Association of Orthodontists (“AAO”) has Serious Concerns about Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics
Their report states the following:
- Over 935 “Customer Complaints” have been posted on the Better Business Bureau’s website for SmileDirectClub, LLC (“SmileDirectClub” or “SDC”)
- Claims have been made that Direct to Consumer services do not constitute the practice of dentistry, however, on May 8, 2019, a federal court in Georgia found that a direct-to-consumer company’s – SmileDirectClub’s – “acts of taking digital scans of a patient’s mouth for the purpose of having a dentist or orthodontist approve of a treatment plan for correcting a malposition of the patient’s teeth falls squarely within the definition of the practice of dentistry” under Georgia’s laws.
- SmileDirectClub’s current Consent and History form requires a potential patient to agree to the following: “I further understand that my clear aligner therapy treatment will only address the alignment of my teeth and will not correct my existing bite condition. In order to correct the current condition of my bite, I will need to seek more comprehensive treatment via my local dental professional. Because I am choosing not to engage the in-patient services of a local dental professional, I understand and accept that my teeth will be straighter than they currently are but may still be compromised.”
Each Person’s Needs are Unique
In order to develop a treatment plan for a prospective patient at Remington Orthodontics, a complete set of digital diagnostic records is taken, including x rays, photographs, and scans (digital impressions). These records are analyzed to determine the ideal treatment plan and the findings are discussed with the patient in detail, including diagnosis, recommended treatment, risks and limitations, time in treatment, and fees. Any questions that arise can be reviewed together prior to beginning treatment. There is no one size fits all orthodontic treatment. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
The AAO believes it is in the best interest of patients to have orthodontic treatment conducted under the direct and ongoing, in-person supervision of a licensed orthodontist.
Stay Smile-tastic!, My Friends!