Katy Invisalign vs. At-Home Teeth Straightening Kits

dentist holding Katy invisalign tray

 

If you have crooked teeth, bite issues, or other concerns about your smile, you might wonder what your options are. Katy invisalign is becoming more and more popular because it’s more discreet than traditional braces, using a clear plastic aligner you wear on your teeth for at least 22 hours a day, but can remove for mealtimes. 

Invisalign has been around for over 20 years now and offers effective treatment for many people. However, several other companies have popped up offering at-home or remote treatments with aligners similar to invisalign. They claim many things, including lower cost, more convenient care without needing to see a dentist in person. Is it too good to be true? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between invisalign treatment from a qualified dental professional versus teleorthodontic options that claim you can treat alignment and bite issues completely remotely.

What is Katy Invisalign?

patient putting Katy invisalign tray on teeth
Katy invisalign therapy can help correct many issues with your teeth.

First, it’s important to understand what invisalign is. Invisalign is a clear, hard plastic aligner that is molded to your teeth. It applies pressure to your teeth to help move them into different areas of the mouth. Invisalign can address many concerns about your smile, including:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite

This treatment works by visiting a Katy invisalign professional to start the process. The first step is getting a complete exam to identify the underlying issues, treat dental problems that need treatment before invisalign, and create a game plan for treatment. If you’re a good candidate for invisalign, then our dentist provides custom-made clear aligners and gives you instructions on how to use them, while also overseeing your treatment from start to finish. You generally come in for a checkup about once every four to six weeks so our dentist can check progress and make sure your teeth are healthy.

Is Katy Invisalign the Same as At-Home Teeth Straightening Kits?

There are many companies that offer remote invisible braces similar to invisalign through the use of at-home home kits and remote dentistry. You have probably seen ads online for several companies in this space. 

Each one is a little different, but generally the first step is to take an impression of your teeth at home. Some remote aligner companies offer in-person scans of your teeth or have you see a dentist near you to take scans or molds of your teeth. Then, they send you aligners and follow up with treatment remotely, typically through pictures that you take of your teeth and send them on a recurring basis. Generally there’s little to no in-person interaction with a dentist, the treatment is usually fully remote through online portals and apps. Many people call these in-home teeth straightening options DIY aligners, though that’s not exactly true. There is typically a dentist somewhere approving your treatment. 

Differences Between DIY Aligners and Katy Invisalign from a Dental Professional

So, what are the differences between at-home aligner companies and Katy invisalign solutions? Believe it or not, there are actually many differences between these two options, some of which could put your smile at risk. Here are some of the primary differences between professional invisalign treatment and at-home teeth straightening kits:

Costs for Treatment

One of the biggest reasons many people are looking for at-home aligners is because of the cost. It’s true that most of these companies offer treatment for less than traditional Katy invisalign treatment. For instance, one company claims to cost about 60% less than the average costs of invisalign treatment. However, keep in mind that the cost savings come from fewer in-office checkups from your Katy dentist, and many believe you get what you pay for when it comes to aligner therapy.

Katy Invisalign Can Help with More Severe Issues

Most of the at-home aligner treatment companies claim that they can help with mild to moderate issues like crowding. Katy invisalign, on the other hand, can correct more severe issues. Therefore, if you have a difficult or complex case, then invisalign may work better for you. While aligners aren’t right for everyone, invisalign from a qualified professional can typically address a wider range of problems. Our dentist can also determine whether clear aligners can get you the results you need or whether you need braces instead. 

Pre-Treatment Dental Exam from a Katy Dentist

When you come in for Katy invisalign treatment, the first step is a full exam. This is to look for underlying issues that might make treatment more difficult or could put your dental health at risk. For instance:

  • Cavities: Using aligners with untreated cavities isn’t generally recommended. This is because tooth decay can negatively impact your teeth. Also, if you happen to miss a little food or not brush thoroughly enough before putting your aligner tray back in after a meal, it could trap the food on the affected tooth, which could make the cavity worse. Invisalign doesn’t cause cavities, but it’s best to get them treated before you start aligner therapy.
  • Loose Crowns or Fillings: Aligners put pressure on your teeth to move them into a straighter position. If you have loose dental restorations like crowns or fillings, this could affect your treatment. 
  • Resorbed Roots: Resorbed roots are where your body actually breaks down the tooth root. If you start aligner therapy without knowing about resorbed roots, it could lead to major issues because of the pressure put on the teeth.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease can damage the tissues surrounding your teeth, including the bone which holds the teeth in place. Like resorbed roots, it’s essential to know if you have gum disease before you start Katy invisalign treatment. Our dentist may recommend treating the gum disease before attempting to straighten the teeth. 

By contrast, there is typically no dental exam before starting at-home aligner therapy. You might sign a waiver saying that you’ve been to a dentist recently to check for any issues with your teeth, but it’s up to you to make sure you know if anything is wrong and to report it before you receive your aligners in the mail.

Creating a Treatment Plan for Your Teeth

With Katy invisalign therapy, your dentist uses dental impressions, x-rays, and other information to note where your teeth are, where they should be, and then develop a plan for your aligner therapy. This whole process is managed by a qualified dentist or orthodontist. 

By contrast, most of these at-home aligner companies start by sending you a DIY tooth molding kit. This involves mixing putty together and taking an accurate impression of both your bottom and top teeth. Then you send those molds back to the company for evaluation. One of the main risks of this process is that if you don’t do the impression properly, it may affect the aligners you receive for treatment. For instance, you might end up with more pressure on one area than another, which can delay treatment, cause pain, or even negatively affect the alignment of your teeth. In some cases, you might visit a location where a sales associate takes a scan of your teeth instead. 

Katy Invisalign Offers More Oversight

By far the biggest difference between Katy invisalign and home aligners is the oversight for treatment. With invisalign, you come in to see the dentist regularly to check the position and condition of your teeth. The dentist makes adjustments to your treatment plan as needed in case your teeth don’t move as expected. The dentist looks at all your teeth like a normal exam to make sure everything looks good before you start your next set of trays.

However, with at-home teeth straightening companies, usually the oversight involves taking a photo of your teeth and uploading it to your account. Some wait as long as 90 days or more for this first photo-based checkup to make sure your treatment is going as expected. The dentist leading your treatment looks at the photos and may alter your treatment based on the photos. However, like the at-home impressions, this relies on you to get good, clear, and complete pictures of your teeth and mouth, otherwise your treatment might be negatively impacted. So, this is another thing to keep in mind when trying to decide between invisalign therapy from your dentist or an at-home straightening option.

Visit The ToothBooth for Quality Care for Your Smile

When you need top quality dental care, choose our team at The ToothBooth. We offer comprehensive care, from dental exams and invisalign to TMJ treatment to help you keep your smile healthy and looking great. We are proud to serve the entire Katy community and offer affordable prices to all our patients. As family dentistry pros, we offer dental care for the whole family, from toddlers to grandparents. Call us now at (832) 437-0841 to book an appointment!