SmileUnion is a do-it-yourself aligner product. An impression set is sent home, self-made impressions are sent in and the aligners are sent by post. According to its own description, SmileUnion is only suitable for the correction of small deviations of the front teeth, as only short therapy times are provided and there is no possibility to bond so-called attachments onto the teeth for complex tooth movements.

In terms of price, like all do-it-yourself products, they are very inexpensive, but forego a dental examination and comprehensive orthodontic treatment planning. Clearly, cutting short medical care creates price advantages, but at the same time brings risks for patients.

Like all do-it-yourself aligners, SmileDirectClub undercuts usual prices in orthodontic practices by 30-50%. Since there are hardly any savings to be made on production, savings must of course be made elsewhere, and that can only be in the practices – primarily by minimising doctor contact and care by non-specialist dentists. Of course, this can also result in a number of disadvantages, which we have summarised in our warning note.

Further information:

Warning note do-it-your-self aligners:

Orthodontic treatments are always also dental procedures. Who is responsible for accompanying dental diagnostics in do-it-your-self aligner treatment? Who takes care of bad fillings/crowns, caries, periodontitis and temporomandibular joint disorders? Who makes patients fit in their dental care so that damage does not occur? Care is often not provided by orthodontists, but by non-specialist dentists – who guarantees that they have sufficient mastery of the specialist field of orthodontics?

Since do-it-your-self aligners all do not use attachments (small bonded buttons for precise anchorage) to the teeth, complex tooth movements are basically ruled out with these products. The result will be that the teeth will regularly be tilted (expanded) outwards to a great extent, which can lead to receding gums and exposed necks of teeth in the long term. Who takes responsibility for this?

The care is usually provided via an app. An app cannot be used to make the enamel reduction that is often necessary to gain space, nor can it be used to bond on the fixed retainers that are necessary for stabilisation after the treatment is completed.

Patients with very simple positional deviations can therefore possibly save some money with do-it-your-self aligners, but in return they receive greatly reduced care and may pay with limited quality of results and all the disadvantages of remote care. This is certainly not the orthodontic treatment of the future!

Critical thoughts on do-it-yourself orthodontics:


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