The increased popularity of clear teeth aligners over the last couple of years brought the much-needed shift in orthodontics. Today, you don’t necessarily have to spend much of your money and time getting the perfect smile.
However, even with the convenience it provides, this method may not work best for everyone. Some patients may lack the right skills to make perfect impressions, and you may also require a professional to take a look at your teeth before getting the aligners. To resolve these and other possible roadblocks, some brands have opened up physical locations known as orthodontics studios.
This post takes you through all you need to know about orthodontics studios and highlights some of the best teeth aligner studios of 2022.
What is Digital Orthodontics?
Digital orthodontics, as the name suggests, is the practice of using advanced technology to collect information, analyze potential teeth or jaw problems, and use digital platforms to create a customized treatment plan.
Most dental clinics now use the power of digital orthodontics to provide better and more efficient treatment to their patients. Most teeth aligner providers often remove the need to visit the dentist as part of their unique selling points. You can get an in-depth overview through our comprehensive teeth aligners guide.
However, as time went by, it became more clear that most patients would actually prefer to have a one-on-one interaction with a dentist before they embark on their treatment. This paved way for the creation of orthodontic studios by these companies to cater to the needs of all their patients.
What is an orthodontic studio?
An orthodontic studio is a physical location (shop) where patients can walk in and get dental consultation from qualified orthodontists. Through these studios, dentists have a personalized look at your condition and conduct in-depth scans of your teeth and jaw to devise an ideal treatment plan.
The difference between an orthodontic studio and an orthodontic clinic is that the former is only used for consultations, scans, and treatment formulation. Moreover, only dentists hired by the company or that are affiliated with the aligner brand work in these studios.
On the other hand, an orthodontic clinic is where you can get all dental services, including orthodontics, teeth whitening, teeth cleaning, regular dental checkup, surgery, and emergency dental services, among others.
What to expect at your in-studio appointment
Whereas most teeth aligner companies try to remove the need to visit a dentist during your treatment, there is still a void that needs to be filled. This is where aligner studios come in. Here are some of the things you would expect at your in-studio appointment:
Not everyone would know how to take perfect impressions of their teeth using the DIY materials provided. Through 3D scanning, an orthodontist is able to take cleaner and more accurate scans of your teeth, making it possible to create customized aligners that fit in perfectly.
In general, the total waiting period between making your order online and having your custom aligners created is generally long. It could take days or even weeks. This is because you have to consider the shipping times and the time it takes for orthodontists to review your putty molds. In some cases, you may be required to retake the impressions, which restarts the process over again.
Digital dentistry at aligner studios cuts down the waiting period, and you get accurate scans taken within a short period, and your scans are used to create your aligners right away.
A better understanding of your needs
While orthodontists from top aligner brands will take you through an extensive interview process and determine your treatment based on your impressions, it is never enough. This is because the patient may only think that they require teeth alignment, yet there could be an underlying issue not easily detected by them.
Moreover, when ordering your aligners online, you may not know the best solution for your needs. This is because most companies have different variations, including night-time and clear aligners for teens.
At an aligner studio, an orthodontist will first examine your teeth. Using state-of-the-art technology, they can easily detect any underlying dental issues you may face.By doing so, they are able to prescribe the best treatment based on your condition and needs
There is nothing invasive about the 3D scans taken at aligner studios. You also don’t have to put up with putty in your mouth, which some users often find a little irritating.
Regardless of the online teeth aligner brand you settle for, you may never really experience the personalized care that you get when dealing in-person with an orthodontist. You are able to get all your questions answered, as well as get a better tracking of your treatment.
5 Best Teeth Aligner Studios of 2022
While many companies are introducing the teeth aligner studio model, there are some of the best teeth aligners that completely stand out from the rest. This is partly because of their ease of access, the quality of services, and the overall cost.
Here are five of the best teeth aligner studios of 2022 to consider:
Attention: On September 29, 2023, SmileDirectClub initiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Despite this, the company has expressed its intention to sustain regular operations while undertaking efforts to reorganize its debts, seek a buyer, or secure additional funding. The founders have injected $20 million into the business and are conditionally prepared to contribute further funds to ensure uninterrupted fulfillment of commitments to stakeholders throughout the restructuring process. It should be noted, however, that the success of the reorganization is not assured.
SmileDirectClub has been operational for over six years, offering their patients top-notch teeth aligner treatment. The company is one of the leading clear teeth aligner providers globally, with a solid presence in many countries.
You can access their aligner studios — commonly referred to as Smile Shops — in various countries, spread across North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. When you click on their website, you can select your region and country, and you’ll be shown the list of Smile Shops near you.
AlignerCo stands out as one of the best cheap teeth aligners in the market, offering effective and reliable results. Moreover, the brand identifies itself as having the clearest aligners in the market.
Although it is a fairly new company, AlignerCo has also joined the bandwagon that provides personalized care to its patients through its AlignerCo Smile Studio. If you are based in or near New York, AlignerCo’s dental studio may be worth a visit. Easily schedule an appointment through their website.
Straight Teeth Direct
Straight Teeth Direct is a UK-based teeth aligner company with a reputable track record. Their products are available in various parts of Europe and other countries in North America, Asia, and others.
While the company operates almost fully remotely, you can also get personalized care and 3D scans taken at their Central London studio. Moreover, the company often organizes events where people can simply walk in and get dental consultation and scans of their teeth and jaws taken.
PlusDent is a Europe-based teeth aligner company with a solid presence in many countries. The company is one of the leading UK teeth aligner brands that excel in offering personalized aligner treatment.
Unlike many other online-based clear aligner brands, PlusDent does not use impressions, and you’d be required to visit one of their numerous advanced orthodontic studios to get your 3D scans taken by a professional and certified orthodontist.
Uniform Teeth is a boutique-styled orthodontic line of studios that focuses exclusively on treating patients with custom-made clear teeth aligners. The company combines high-quality in-person orthodontic care with state-of-the-art technology to help analyze and plan for the ideal treatment plan.
The company offers its services through its four aligner dental studios, two in San Francisco and two in Chicago.
Simply book your appointment via phone call or through their website.
The best teeth aligner studio depends on your location, preferences, and budget. Most top aligner studios provide almost similar services, so convenience is key in selecting the best one for you.
Although taking impressions at home provides more convenience, 3D scans are more accurate and are done by professional orthodontists, hence more reliable and time-saving.
Many top teeth aligner companies have been able to satisfactorily serve thousands of patients without having them visit their aligner studios. Teledentistry has made it possible for patients to receive orthodontic treatment without visiting a dental clinic.
You are free to ask for the images taken in the studio for your own records and help you keep track of your treatment progress. Although most studios will not automatically send them to you, you can always request, and they will share the images.