Asian female looking in mirror and holding retainer

Beware the Dangers of DIY Teeth Aligners!

You’ve likely heard of those mail order do-it-yourself clear aligners. A number of DIY teeth aligner companies have hit the market lately, promising faster orthodontic treatment at a cheaper price than professional treatment.

These companies do a great job of marketing themselves, but conveniently, they don’t mention the dangers of DIY teeth straightening or the potential aftereffects of at-home treatment.

We offer safe and effective orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® and SO Clear Aligners here at Spillers Orthodontics. Our experienced orthodontists design your custom treatment plan and monitor your treatment, unlike DIY teeth aligners.

Pros of DIY Teeth Aligners

Convenience- Treatment in your own home, conducted by yourself

Cost- Cheaper services due to no doctor planning or monitoring

Timeline- Treatments are typically 4-6 months

Cons of DIY Teeth Aligners

NO professional help
·There’s no professional exam for an orthodontist to determine if your teeth and gums are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment.
·No X-rays to see if there’s an underlying condition going on. What if you have short roots and this treatment will cause you to lose some or all of your teeth?

•No one to monitor your progress
·How will you know if your treatment is going according to plan? You don’t have years of training and experience under your belt to know how to monitor your own progress.

•No one to make adjustments if you’re off track
·An orthodontist does this at every appointment.

•You have to take the impressions yourself
·Impression taking is truly an art. It’s nearly impossible for an untrained person to take an accurate dental impression. This is why we use the iTero digital scanning system to take highly accurate, comfortable digital impressions in a few minutes.
·Digital scans are much more accurate than putty impressions that can shrink, swell or deform depending on the elements. If you take an inaccurate impression, or move the tray while it’s in your mouth and send it to the DIY company, they will create an inaccurate treatment for you—which is dangerous. If the impression you take yourself and send in isn’t 100% correct, you wasted time and money!

·Though DIY teeth aligner companies market themselves as more affordable upfront, this treatment can do more harm than good, and people often have to go to a real orthodontist to have their teeth fixed. They end up paying more than they would have if they’d gone to the orthodontist in the first place. These at-home companies are also infamous for tacking on unexpected hidden fees after the fact. With us, treatment fees are never hidden. We are fully transparent and the price you see at your first visit is the price you get!

•Skewed reviews
·Did you know a lot of the DIY aligner companies have their patients sign an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) that stops them from saying anything negative about the company? For patients who request a refund, they have to avoid speaking negatively of the company if they want to receive their refund.

·The retention phase is absolutely essential in orthodontic treatment. You can only maintain your beautiful end results if you wear your retainer after treatment. DIY teeth aligners charge an extra fee for retainers after treatment, and they recommend replacing them frequently. The costs add up! With us, retainers are included in your treatment costs because it’s a part of your treatment.

•Did you know DIY teeth aligners can move teeth so quickly they can detach from the bone? The speed at which a tooth can move is a natural, biological process that the body chooses, not the treatment tool.

•With at-home aligners, there’s a possibility of broken teeth, nerve damage, jaw joint problems, disintegration of joints, bone loss, loss of a tooth, and bite problems that affect the entire jaw. These can be irreparable conditions too!

•Mail order aligners typically treat the “social six” or the front six teeth. The real work for an orthodontist is getting all the teeth to fit together and work together properly, creating a healthy and functional bite. Seeing an orthodontist ensures you are consulting with a specialist who is trained to treat the face, profile, soft tissue, bone and teeth.

Orthodontists do more than straighten teeth. They work to create a healthy and functional bite, as well as optimize the facial profile, and the health of soft tissues, bones and teeth. Orthodontists also assess teeth grinding and clenching and the effects of it, airway issues, and sleep disorders that DIY teeth aligners can’t address.

Orthodontists undergo an extra 2 to 3 years of specialty training after becoming a dentist, in order for them to help you achieve not only a beautiful smile, but a healthy smile.

A great and Affordable Alternative to DIY Teeth Aligners

For minor tooth movement, Spillers Orthodontics offers SO Clear Aligners as an alternative to DIY aligner treatment for a comparable price.

SO Clear Aligners are the Spillers Orthodontics version of clear aligner treatment. Treatment ranges in price from $450 to $2,880.

We’re able to keep costs down for our SO Clear Aligners by bringing the latest 3D orthodontic technology here into our office and manufacturing the aligners in our in-house lab.

Here are some of the differences between our SO Clear Aligners versus DIY Teeth Aligners.

SO Clear Aligners


DIY Aligners


Can Treat Complex Conditions






Insurance Billed Directly






Comprehensive, Free Exam with X-ray






Treatment Designed & Physically Monitored by Certified Orthodontist






Traditional Impressions Required




Almost always


Associtate Risk Level






Before you commit to any mail order aligners, call Spillers Orthodontics at 478-953-2700 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We have offices in Warner Robins and Macon, Ga.

Dr. Spillers or Dr. Gordon will be happy to analyze your teeth and bite to discuss which treatment option is the best fit for you and your teeth. We look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

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