Invisalign vs Mail Order Braces – Worth it?

Invisalign in Plymouth has taken a sharp increase in the last ten years or so, and has become the industry leader in orthodontics. But in the last few years the major uptake of mail order brace companies such as Smile Direct has also shot up in popularity. And with this in mind we’re going to be looking at why this is and if the saving is really worth it.

What Is Invisalign?

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, we’re going to take a look at exactly what Invisalign in Plymouth is. When you think about braces you might well automatically go to the traditional wired braces. Not only are these very obvious, but the upkeep of them can be time consuming. This is why Invisalign was developed an orthodontic system that used the same principles to move teeth, but that was much more subtle when wearing and easier to live with day to day.

Invisalign uses clear plastic trays that sit flush to the teeth, you are given a new set of trays every couple of weeks and slowly move through all the stages until you reach your desired result. Magic!

As yes Invisalign is only available through registered practitioners and you are supervised throughout the whole treatment by an orthodontist.

What Is Smile Direct?

Smile direct is what the industry is calling ‘mail order braces’ they work on the same principles as Invisalign in that they use a series of braces to push your teeth into a new position. They are clear plastic trays and are also totally removable.

The major difference is that you don’t technically ever need to see a dentist in the flesh. The whole treatment is done online. You can either visit a 3D scanner to get the measurements for the trays made, or if there isn’t one accessible to you, you make your own moulds at home using a kit they send. You’ll be monitored online through an online dentist.

Let’s Talk Money

So, let’s not paint this too much. Basically, people are opting for mail order braces because they are cheaper and in some cases this can be literally THOUSANDS of pounds in savings. With the economy the way it is and the cost of living rising, the first thing to go is going to be luxury items like cosmetics dentistry – unless a cheaper solution is found and I suppose this is what this is. However this comes at a cost. Recently heaps of research was done by the BBC exposing the bad results of the brand Smile Direct. The articles revealed that patients were literally being left with irreversible damage to their teeth.


You might well be wondering why this is, because as stated the braces work on the same principle. The problem is patients need to be examined before and whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment. Think about it, there must be a reason why orthodontists go to school for three years to learn how to do this. It’s because it’s complex and there’s heaps of potential issues that can occur during orthodontic work.

Think Twice

Having a smile you feel self conscious of is really tough and can leave you feeling super low. But having a smile that doesn’t even function due to damaging orthodontic work is literally life altering. If you really want to change your smile then maybe take some time to save a little or explore all the options available to you.