Request Request an Appointment Call Call Us Forms Forms Map View Map Google Google Facebook Facebook

Orthodontic Options: Braces vs. Invisalign vs. Mail-Order Aligners

February 7, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drrauchberg @ 3:06 pm

braces and invisalignIn decades past, individuals with misaligned teeth only had one option for straightening out their smile. They had to visit an orthodontist to receive traditional metal braces. Today, metal braces are still a popular choice for both adults and adolescents. But other options are available as well, including Invisalign and mail-order clear aligners. Let’s take a moment to discuss the pros and cons of each of these choices.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are a tried and true method for straightening teeth. They’re capable of addressing mild to severe orthodontic problems, and modern braces are more comfortable than ever before. There are even a few discreet options available for patients who are concerned about aesthetics.

One of the downsides to traditional braces is that, even if you choose a tooth-colored option, they’re still quite noticeable. They also come with a few food restrictions. For example, eating extremely sticky foods is unwise.


Invisalign has helped countless individuals to gain a more attractive, healthier smile through the use of a series of custom-made clear aligners. The biggest draw of Invisalign is that the aligners don’t call much attention to themselves. They’re also removable, which allows their wearers to eat and drink practically anything.

Invisalign may not work for everyone; it’s usually best for mild to moderate cases of misalignment. Another potential downside is that since the aligners are removable, some patients may forget to wear them as much as they should.

Mail-Order Aligners

Some companies allow you to send them an impression of your teeth, and they’ll simply mail custom, Invisalign-like aligners to you. The main selling point of these services is that they tend to cost less than orthodontics you receive from a dentist. However, you should not let budgetary concerns overshadow the bigger issues. There are several reasons why you should think twice before you try mail-order tooth aligners:

  • The results they produce are usually not as aesthetically pleasing as what you would get from Invisalign or traditional braces.
  • An orthodontist’s job is not just to straighten your teeth; it’s to look for other underlying structural issues and support you throughout your treatment. With mail-order aligners, you miss out on a professional’s personalized guidance.
  • An impression that you send to the aligner company may not reveal the whole story about your teeth. Only an in-person professional exam can do that. If there are orthodontic issues below the gum line, using mail-order aligners could actually make such problems worse.
  • If your mail-order aligners make your teeth worse or cause other problems, you’ll end up paying, not just for them, but for regular orthodontic treatment as well. Therefore, your effort to save money could actually end up costing you more.

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, the bottom line is simple. Skip the mail-order aligners, and visit a professional who can help you choose between other, more reliable options.

About the Author

Dr. Allie DeGeorge is our on-staff orthodontist at Rauchberg Dental Group. She is well-qualified to provide a variety of orthodontic treatments, including both Invisalign and traditional braces. If you would like to speak to Dr. DeGeorge about achieving a straighter, healthier smile, contact our team at 973-334-3777.