Invisalign® Treatment vs Direct to Consumer Treatment Options

Have you been considering Invisalign treatment, but aren’t sure what the differences are between doctor supervised treatment and direct to consumer options?

Check out some frequently asked questions and helpful answers below!

What’s the difference between doctor supervised treatment and at-home options?

With at-home options, a comprehensive team is not able to assist you in the process. The team at Northern Virginia Orthodontics is trained and certified to perform a wide range of dental procedures. We put a great deal of care and attention into ensuring that Invisalign® treatment safe and effective for you. You have entrusted us to take the best possible care of you and your dental health, why place your long-term dental health in someone else’s hands now?

I’ve been researching direct to consumer options for straightening my teeth, what do you think?

If someone does not see your teeth as part of an in-office physical exam, then how are they able to treat your teeth? The danger of direct to consumer aligners is the lack of supervision before and during treatment. Your treatment plan will not be based on information from X-rays, skeletal structure, and full scans of teeth. With the care of our orthodontic professionals, we conduct a physical exam before treatment to confirm you are a good candidate. We then conduct routine appointments throughout treatment to ensure your teeth are moving in pursuant to your treatment plan and at the safest, most efficient rate.

invisalign treatment

I’ve heard I can get “Invisalign” treatment from a direct to consumer provider for a lot less money – is that true?

No. Invisalign aligners are manufactured by Align Technology and are distributed only to top Invisalign trained dental professionals.

I just need a little bit of movement to get the perfect smile. Could I just do the direct to consumer option?

While having straighter teeth may be your main goal, the consequences of unsupervised orthodontic care can be severe, including damage to your bite, your teeth and your gums. Poorly fitting aligners can also result in pain and discomfort to your jaw, the loss of teeth, cuts to the gums, and an inability to close your mouth and chew properly.

For patients with minimal crowding, NVO offers Smile Express by NVO. This is a great option that also costs 50% less than traditional Invisalign treatment and only require two in-office visits.

invisalign treatment

Why should I pay the price for supervised orthodontic care if I can get a similar treatment for less through the mail?

Doctor supervised orthodontic treatment is not similar to at-home treatment. Unsupervised teeth straightening can cause irreversible damage including loose teeth that sometimes cannot be saved. The cost of replacing teeth can be thousands of dollars of dental work.

At-home direct to consumer options seem so easy; I can just do this on my own. I can take the impressions and send in pictures, that seems easy to me. Don’t you agree?

Our staff is highly trained before they are able to take impressions. Imperfect impressions must be returned by dental labs and retaken. Impressions that are not accurate can result in poorly fitting aligners that fail to move your teeth as desired and lead to more significant issues.

I’m considering direct to consumer options so that I don’t have to come to the office as often as doctor supervised orthodontic treatment. 

What are you going to do if you experience any complications/issues along the way? We take pride in giving you the results you want, and stand by our work. It is our responsibility to be with you throughout your entire treatment journey. Your progress should be tracked by an orthodontist. The lack of supervision during treatment can compromise your treatment experience and outcome, cause delays in between, and ultimately results in more money spent should you develop more significant issues. I advise you to focus on reviews of the various direct to consumer providers and educate yourself on the experience of others.


Fill out and submit the form below, and a scheduling specialist will be in touch with you shortly to finish reserving your complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to help you transform your smile with Invisalign treatment at NVO!

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