3 Reasons Orthodontics Is a Service and Not a Commodity
What You Need to Know As a Patient
Imagine you board an airplane, but the pilot isn’t sitting in the plane with you. He’s in a location far away monitoring your flight through a screen like a drone pilot. A little unsettling, right?
This is becoming a reality in the field of orthodontics. Except instead of a pilot, it’s your orthodontist, and instead of a plane, it’s, well, your teeth and bite.
More and more people are DIYing their oral care by ordering aligners online or going to a corporate provider who oversees treatment through pictures on a screen.
As a practicing orthodontist with over 20 years of experience, my primary concern is my patients.
Orthodontics is changing and there’s confusion around what you should do as a patient. Does it matter which provider you choose? Do you need to see one at all? Let’s talk about it.
Today I’m going to tell you 3 reasons orthodontics is a service and not a commodity, so you have all the facts when making the best decision for your family’s treatment.
1. Lower cost equates to lower quality.
A commodity is defined as a basic good that is interchangeable with other goods of the same type. (1) This isn’t the case with most services.
When you go to a 5-star restaurant, do you expect to pay the same price as when you go to a drive-through? Of course not! You’re usually happy to pay a higher price for high-quality food and a premium experience. At the drive-through, you don’t know where your food is coming from, who prepared it, and you’ll probably taste the difference in quality.
The same goes for orthodontics.
When you buy an aligner online, you should not expect the same results you get when working with a professional. The “drive-through” route may help some patients make very minor adjustments, but it will not evaluate the best course of treatment to give you a lasting, healthy smile. Only an expert can do that.
2. Braces are more than just brackets and wires.
Did you know that braces alone don’t really fix your teeth? Braces – like aligners – are just a tool we use. The quality of results however is directly related to the provider’s expertise, judgment, and compassion. You have to rely on their experience to recommend, plan, and execute the appropriate treatment.
What are some of the issues we use our judgment to treat?
Crowded and overlapped teeth
Misaligned bite (can affect speech and chewing)
Problems with jaw growth
Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
Breathing issues from poor jaw development (snoring and sleep apnea)
If braces were just brackets and wires, and that was all you needed to treat the patient, then orthodontics would be a commodity. The price or where you got them from wouldn’t matter so much.
3. It’s about your beautiful smile, but ALSO your health.
Taking care of your teeth is about more than a confident smile – even though this alone is a crucial aspect of orthodontics. It’s also about your health.
Did you know that oral health is the gateway to your overall health? (2) Problems with your mouth can affect the rest of your body. This is why it’s so important to invest in premium care.
If orthodontics is treated as a commodity – and the ortho you choose doesn’t matter, or you don’t need to see one at all – you could be leaving yourself vulnerable to issues that go beyond crooked teeth, like tooth loss or even heart disease.
What About the High Cost of Seeing An Ortho?
Seeing a specialist is a big investment. Ordering aligners online will of course cost significantly less than seeing an experienced orthodontist. As with any service, you, the patient, pay for the quality of care which will be forfeited with the lower-cost option.
As a professional who entered the field out of my desire to help people, I feel strongly about providing high-quality, expert care for my patients. I know that a beautiful smile and health are ultimately what’s important. We want you to know that this is what you’re investing in when making your decision on where to seek treatment.
The Bottom Line: The Orthodontist You Choose Matters
At the end of the day, you as a patient are spending money on your smile. You deserve to work with a doctor who cares deeply about giving you the healthy, gorgeous smile you dream of.
You deserve a pilot who sits in the driver’s seat – not somewhere far away – and is highly invested in your wellbeing.
It’s been my priority since first becoming an orthodontist 20+ years ago to build strong relationships with my patients while providing the best possible orthodontic care. I’m lucky enough to say I love what I do!
Are you looking for an orthodontist in Northern Virginia? I’m here to help you every step of the way. You can request your appointment with me here.