woman holding aligner

What You Should Know About At-Home Aligners


Have you heard of SmileDirectClub? It promises at-home orthodontic treatment with clear plastic aligners, similar to Invisalign, at a much lower price point. What’s not to love, right?

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for––and with SmileDirectClub, you might be paying for a mouthful of problems. In the most recent development in its ongoing battle with the DIY aligner provider, the ADA is now asking dentists and orthodontists to report poor clinical outcomes from direct-to-consumer aligners through the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system. 

You may think mail order aligners and Invisalign are the same product in a more convenient and less expensive package. The difference between the two is that with Invisalign, you’re getting an evaluation from an orthodontist before starting treatment. With SmileDirectClub, you simply need to self-report your dental history and the condition of your teeth. There’s no exam needed, no x-rays taken, but a dentist will review your case virtually, without ever seeing you in person.

We shouldn’t have to tell you that having your orthodontic problems diagnosed by someone who’s never even spoken to you is not the best idea. Nor is undergoing orthodontic treatment with professional oversight that comes in the form of looking at patients’ selfies every few months. DIY aligner providers like to call themselves disruptors in the field of orthodontics, but orthodontic exams and oversight are in no need of disruption––it’s a matter of basic standards of patient care. 

What could go wrong with DIY teeth aligners? The stakes are higher than you think and damage may be expensive to fix or even irreversible. Potential poor outcomes include:

    • Loose teeth
    • Tooth loss
    • Receding gums
    • Bite issues
    • Chronic pain

We know that the cost and convenience of DIY aligners are compelling arguments for overlooking the risks, but we hope that after reading the linked articles, you’ll change your mind.

The Invisalign Difference


When you choose Bigman Orthodontics for Invisalign treatment, you’re not just getting clear plastic aligners to straighten your teeth. You’re also getting:

    • A thorough exam and x-rays to make sure Invisalign is right for you. If it’s not, we’ll talk about other options. 
    • Treatment oversight––because sometimes teeth don’t move as expected. When this happens, we’ll catch it and get things back on the right track. 
    • The ability to fix bite issues in addition to crooked teeth. 
    • A professional who’s there to answer your questions, handle orthodontic emergencies, and guide you through your treatment. 
    • Unparalleled customer service. Many of the consumer complaints about mail order aligners involve issues with refunds, shipments getting delayed, and an inability to talk to someone to resolve these problems. You’ll never have to worry about that with us.

Learn More About Invisalign Treatment


If you’re considering clear plastic aligners to straighten your teeth, we recommend Invisalign over DIY mail order options. Contact Bigman Orthodontics today at 925-735-1515 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your treatment goals.