How to Choose the Best Invisalign Orthodontist
Should you pick the cheapest Invisalign orthodontist?
Does it really matter which doctor you choose if they’re all using the same product anyway?
Is it safe to use one of the “do-it-yourself” mail-order Invisalign companies?
These are all good questions and we will answer each one below...
Choose an Experienced Invisalign Orthodontist
When it comes to straightening teeth, experience matters most. Invisalign is a tool, much like paint or a paintbrush.
If you’re going to hire someone to paint the interior of your home you will likely find several contractors all using the same paint…
…yet each one will create very different results and will have different prices.
Who should you choose?
The guy who just started painting last month and who only “dabbles” in it from time to time? Or perhaps the painter who’s been painting homes every day for the past fifteen years?
Does experience make a difference? After all, paint is paint. So the real question is, “Why choose the more experienced, and likely more expensive, painter?”
There are three major reasons:
- The experienced painter will be more efficient. What takes the professional a few hours will likely take the amateur several days to complete (and how many days are you really willing to wait it out?)
- The experienced painter likely have a great reputation and there will be incredible guarantees to along with their work.
- The final result will be the same level of quality between the novice and the expert.
Everyone wants the most beautiful, perfect outcome possible (for everything from your home to your teeth), and anyone offering too cheap of a price will be forced to take shortcuts and compromise in order to make it worth their while..
If you’ve ever needed a home repair or update, you know already that not all contractors are the same. They’re all putting paint on walls, but the results…
…and your experience during and afterwards…
…will be totally different based on who you hire for the job.
With Invisalign, we are talking about something considerably more important and complex than paint on walls—but the same rules apply.
You want someone with experience to ensure that your teeth are looking and feeling as good as possible for the rest of your life.
How Can I Find an Experienced Invisalign Orthodontist?
Invisalign has made it possible for consumers to find an experienced orthodontist near them using their “Doctor Locator” Tool.
To use this tool, simply:
- Type in your zip code
- Hit search
- And look at the Invisalign doctors in your area.
You can sort these search results by distance and “Tier Level”.
“Tier Level” is a metric that shows how many Invisalign patients the doctor sees each year. Top tier doctors will be the more experienced ones.
As a general rule, you are best off when choosing a doctor who is in one of the following tiers:
Doctors in these tiers will be those who consistently treat large numbers of Invisalign patients each year and have a very high satisfaction rate.
Is it Safe to Use One of the “Mail Order” Invisalign Companies?
There is a new trend in the orthodontic field – something no other generation before has ever experienced – called “mail order Invisalign”.
(They are also referred to as at-home aligners, or DIY orthodontics.)
With this model, you take your own molds of your teeth at home (with little to no instruction), mail in the molds of your teeth…
…and then the company eventually mails you back a box of clear aligners that are supposed to fit nice and snug.
A few of the most well-known companies that offer this include Smile Direct Club, Smilelove, byte and Candid. (There are many others besides these as well.)
These companies sell at-home aligner treatment at ultra-cheap prices. (About half of what you might spend at an orthodontist)
It’s important to ask yourself, “How safe it really can be use “mail-order” Invisalign?”
How do these companies charge so little for what looks like the same product?
There is an answer – by eliminating the doctor from the equation.
Without having to pay for an orthodontist, a facility, employees, and all the other things required to run an orthodontic office, they can afford to charge a lot less.
Your next question might be, “How can these companies make clear aligners without a doctor on staff?”
Well, this is how it works:
- After you mail your teeth molds to the company, a computer will scan your molds and then a computer algorithm will digitally move your teeth.
- A doctor that works for the company will briefly evaluate the computer simulation and press “accept” on his keyboard.
- Your aligners are then manufactured and mailed to your house.
- Once you receive your aligners at your house, you’re more or less on your own.
As you may suspect, orthodontists (and dentists) are not big fans of these mail-order Invisalign companies.
From the outside it may just look like we’re “protecting our turf”…
…but there are real concerns to these value-driven forms of Invisalign.
Some of these concerns include:
- There is no physical exam by a doctor. At no point in the process will a human look at your actual teeth to identify things like gum disease, jaw joint problems, growth status, and stability of your bite.
- There is no ongoing supervision.
Moving teeth is a delicate process, where unexpected shifts and changes can take place along the way. If you’re being treated by an orthodontist, these issues can be spotted and dealt with early on—before they turn into big problems.
With at-home solutions, there is no one watching for potential problems like excessive tooth mobility, bone loss, or root resorption to name a few. (By the way – all of these problems can make you lose your teeth!)
- The treatment results are usually below anyone’s standards for their own teeth.
With at-home solutions, there are big limitations. Many of the tools, techniques, and appliances orthodontists use to deliver the best result won’t be available to you.
This means that the final treatment result will be far below an orthodontists’ standards…
…but more importantly, it will be far below yours too.
After all, if you’re already looking for orthodontic options, that means you take the health of your teeth seriously. Can you afford to settle for anything less than a job well done?
If you do a bit of searching online you will likely find many horror stories of patients who used DIY aligner companies…
Some of these stories include bad results, a painful bite, the teeth looking worse after treatment, and even some cases of patients losing teeth!
This is not just us being sensational for the sake of entertainment—The American Dental Association has stated clearly that “The ADA “strongly discourages” the practice of do-it-yourself orthodontics because of the potential for harm to patients.”
A useful analogy to DIY orthodontics is trying to cut your own hair…
…you could probably do it—but you may not like the result. (Oh, and by the way… at least your hair can grow back!)
You only get one set of teeth, so why risk your dental health just to save a few bucks?
Plus, unlike haircuts, Invisalign treatment is something you only have to pay for once… if it’s done right the first time.
The Cheapest Invisalign Orthodontist is Probably Not the Best Value In The End
The most experienced orthodontists calculate their fees to allow for the best care possible and so they don’t have to resort to cutting corners and taking shortcuts just to reduce costs.
We personally never use any materials or techniques that are “probably good enough.”—Because teeth aren’t just something you’ll want to “fix just a little bit.”
The Top Ten Items To Consider When Looking for The Best Invisalign Orthodontist
Here are ten more items you should consider when choosing an orthodontist for you or your child…
1. Are they a specialist?
Dentists can and do provide Invisalign treatment. So what’s the difference?
Orthodontists are specially trained dentists who take on several extra years of training in order to straighten teeth. There’s a lot more to straightening teeth than simply clicking a button and handing you clear aligners.
All orthodontists are dentists, but only 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists.
Look for the seal of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Only orthodontic specialists can belong to the AAO.
2. Do they treat children and adults?
Invisalign is not just for adults!
While the majority of our Invisalign patients are adults or older teenagers, Invisalign works for some kids as well.
We have treated children as young as 7 years old with Invisalign. Many parents are finding out how easily Invisalign can work for kids age 7 and up.
3. Do they provide the first visit free of charge?
Most orthodontists offer free examinations for new patients so they can get expert advice about treatment needs, options, and timing before making this important investment.
During your first exam and consultation, make sure you feel like your questions are being answered, your concerns are being addressed, and you are being well-educated about all of your treatment options.
4. Do they offer guarantees? If so, what are they?
No matter which Invisalign orthodontist you choose, ultimately you are not making a small investment…
That being said, wouldn’t you want to ensure your orthodontist is going to stand behind their treatment?
5. Are they using the latest technology and treatment options available?
Invisalign today differs a great deal from even a few years ago. 3D Digital scanning of your teeth dramatically increases the precision with which we move teeth with aligners…
…which ultimately shortens treatment time and gives you the best results.
Gone are the days of messy molds or impressions of your teeth. With Premier Orthodontics you will receive the most up-to-date Invisalign technology available to make sure your experience is as easy and comfortable as possible.
6. Does their quoted fee include retainers?
Each Invisalign orthodontic office charges differently for Invisalign.
The best Invisalign orthodontists will offer you a contract that clearly spells out the expenses for your Invisalign treatment before it begins. (It shouldn’t read like a lawyer wrote it.)
You should ask your Invisalign orthodontist about what retainers cost and also if there are any other hidden fees.
At Premier Orthodontics, there are no hidden fees and your first Invisalign retainer is included with the cost of your treatment!
7. How much experience do they have using Invisalign?
Invisalign gives different rankings to doctors based on their level of experience treating patients with Invisalign.
Doctors that are ranked Diamond and Platinum are in the top 1% of Invisalign doctors…
…this means that they treat more patients with Invisalign than 99% of the other Invisalign doctors in the world.
By choosing a doctor who is in this top 1%, you can be confident that they are comfortable treating a wide array of cases and will be able to give you the best treatment possible.
8. Do they make you feel special and comfortable?
Regardless if you are reading this article for your own Invisalign treatment or for your child’s treatment, the best Invisalign orthodontists will make you feel comfortable.
At Premier Orthodontics, we strive to make you as comfortable as possible before, during, and after treatment.
9. Do they have a great reputation?
With the internet, it takes one click to pull up ratings and reviews from patients to determine the best orthodontist in your area…
Simply go to Google and search for orthodontist reviews and ratings in your town.
Additionally, look on the website for video testimonials from actual patients.
10. Are they flexible with payment options?
Once you are comfortable and you know specifically which orthodontist you want to treat you or your child, the next question is, “How much is this going to cost and how am I going to pay for this?”
At Premier Orthodontics we have flexible payment plans—with interest-free financing starting at $97 per month!
We help you understand different payment options, from maximizing your insurance benefits or your flex spending accounts.
How to Know What Questions to Ask
If you have a specific question not answered anywhere in this guide, or have a personal and confidential question, you can—with complete assurance of privacy and courtesy—contact us personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (480) 361-4600.
Now that you understand how to pick an Invisalign orthodontist, let’s answer the question that most are probably wondering…
Click below to continue reading in Chapter 5.
Schedule a Free Invisalign Consultation For You or Your Child
You can schedule a 100% free consultation for Invisalign you or your child with Premier Orthodontics to find out if Invisalign is the best choice for you.
An initial exam and Invisalign consultation is 95% about getting your major questions and concerns answered directly from a professional, like: