In a matter of a few years, clear aligner treatment has seen rapid growth due to more awareness and accessibility across India. The business of aligners could have suffered in the COVID 19 times but through rigorous advertisements and promise to offer complete aligner treatment at home by various companies, kept the aligner market growing steadily. However, not all the promises were kept true as people started to face complex problems after falling into the hoax of getting the teeth straightening treatment at home.
Advertisements and online promotions by aligner companies promised people everything from an intraoral scan to delivery of aligner sets at home. But soon the customers realized that they have been misguided as problems like unsteady teeth, improper alignment, inflamed gums, unfit aligners and more started to surface. Their complaints fell on deaf ears as nobody from the treating companies responded proactively. A Pune resident, who readily signed for the home-aligner treatment after seeing an online advertisement and paid the advance too, complained as to how after two months of treatment her teeth were left unsteady and untreated. The companies did not respond even after several calls. The same happened with an Almora, Uttrakhand resident, who fell for a company that promised regular technician visits and proper online dental consultation in a six-month-long process, however, his treatment was left on its own fate once
he started to face dental issues.
In traditional braces or aligner treatment, an expert orthodontist guides the patient on every stage of the teeth alignment treatment. Even a minor issue in brackets or wires is dealt with utmost attention as negligence of the same would disturb the teeth alignment process. This care and attention cannot be delivered at home by untrained technicians. As more and more cases started to report from all across India, the Dental Council of India issued an advisory where it has blamed the private companies and their rigorous advertisements for luring people to take up at-home teeth alignment treatment. In the public notice issued, it is said that engaging dentists and offering in-home services to the patients bypassing the professional expertise of the dentists, the companies were violating the provisions of Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act 2020, among others.
Various doctors showed concerns as they believe that home teeth alignment treatment can never be a complete alternative to fixed braces/aligners done at an orthodontist’s clinic especially for complex dental problems that need regular monitoring. The doorstep treatment is a poor workup according to Dr. Chetan Jayade, a Hubli-based orthodontist as the treatment is often offered without recording proper x-ray and the lack of understanding about the patient’s dental condition leads to irreparable loss. Mumbai-based Orthodontist Dr. Arun Nayak said, a condition like crooked teeth cannot be treated at home, and it is best done by a trained orthodontist. It is not as simple or safe as the huge greedy corporations make it out to be.
The patients must be really careful when choosing the clear aligner treatment, as falling for companies that promise quick results in the comforts of their home can lead to irreparable dental problems in the future. Teeth alignment may sound like a simple dental procedure but after all, it is a medical treatment that should be done at a dental clinic under the expert guidance of an orthodontist. Well-established, authentic, and credible companies like 32 Watts and Invisalign are a few of the clear aligner companies that keep their promises and take complete charge of the treatment.