New orthodontic treatment options have become increasingly popular in the past few years. One of them is at-home clear aligners, which you might know as DIY invisible aligners. Although several companies offer them online for purchase, and their apparent advantages over traditional orthodontic care might sound tempting, think twice before committing. Wearing clear braces without professional supervision can cause more damage to your teeth than you might imagine. Keep reading to learn what DIY clear aligners are and why you should always go to an orthodontist before starting any treatment.

What Do Clear Aligners Do?

Clear aligners, often known as invisible aligners, are dental appliances that straighten up crooked or misaligned teeth. They are custom-made plastic trays, similar to a mouth guard, that move the teeth to their desired position gradually. They are a nearly undetectable, removable alternative to clear braces, built for comfort and flexibility.

There are now two different ways to get orthodontic aligners. In-office and at-home clear aligners: 

  • In-office aligners are prescribed after an orthodontist’s complete examination of the patient’s teeth alignment. They supervise the entire process and require follow-up visits to ensure everything works as it should.
  • At-home or DIY aligner systems are usually obtained by mail, with little to no supervision of a dentist or orthodontist for routine exams. This option poses a considerable risk to the patient. The treatment is done remotely, without proper guidance, which can be detrimental to your oral health and leave you with worse difficulties than you already had.

Why Should You Only Get Clear Aligners Through a Licensed Orthodontist?

Any form of dental treatment involves a lot of specialized procedures that only orthodontists can perform. Clear braces aren’t the exception. This is why you should only get professional treatment from a licensed orthodontist:

Monitor Underlying Dental Issues

Patients with DIY aligner kits use them without knowing how healthy their teeth are or whether moving their teeth is safe. Before a licensed orthodontist recommends clear aligners, they perform x-rays or tests to ensure that the patient has zero underlying dental issues. 

Some people with undetected tooth decay or gum disease wear DIY aligners without knowing that the treatment won’t work for them due to their conditions. If these issues aren’t treated before starting treatment, they could cause long-term harm to the gums and the supporting bones. In some cases, this damage can even cause tooth loss.

Regular Dental Visits 

With DIY treatment, there are no follow-up appointments or any specialized monitoring by an orthodontist to examine your progress or detect potential dental problems 

Unmonitored Orthodontic Treatment Can Cause Irreversible Damage

The main concern regarding at-home aligners is the potential for permanent damage to the teeth they can cause. The patient puts on the aligners themselves, not knowing what the correct alignment for the teeth is, in which state they are, or how to identify if something goes wrong in the process. This could irreversibly affect the gums, crook the teeth’ alignment, or worse.

Expertise Over Apparent Convenience 

Orthodontists do more than straighten teeth. They improve the facial profile, soft tissue, bone, teeth’ health, and promote a healthy and functional bite. Orthodontists also look at the impacts of teeth grinding, clenching, airway difficulties, and sleep disorders that aren’t addressed with DIY orthodontics. What might seem like an opportunity to “save money” with at-home aligners could end in an even more expensive and potentially permanent treatment to repair the damage they caused. 

Clear Braces in McAllen, TX

Whether you need extensive treatment or you search for clear braces to fix your smile, quality should always come first when you choose to invest in your oral health. At Senan Orthodontic Studios, we offer comprehensive and custom-tailored treatment that ensures you will get a premium level of oral care as well as a beautiful smile. Our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Senan K. Ziadeh, has over 20 years of professional experience and will give you exceptional personalized attention for all your dental needs. Schedule an appointment online or call 956-627-0955 today!

Dr. Senan K. Ziadeh


ABO Diplomate

Dr. Senan Ziadeh, a board-certified orthodontist, brings over two decades of experience to his practice, Senan Orthodontic Studios, in McAllen, Texas. His illustrious career spans three continents, where he acquired a vast array of post-doctoral degrees, including a Doctorate of Science in Dentistry (DScD) and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Orthodontics (CAGS), culminating in his recognition as a Diplomate by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Alongside his professional accomplishments, Dr. Ziadeh is a dedicated family man, enjoying diverse activities from traveling to music.

Dr. Senan K. Ziadeh BDS DDS MScD DScD CAGS Ortho ABO Diplomate