I keep reading about this product Orthly that replaces Invisalign at just a fraction of the cost. Is this legitimate?
If you’re asking if there’s an Invisalign substitute called Orthly which costs less than Invisalign, then the answer’s yes. But, if you’re asking if it’s a safe replacement, the answer is no.
Here are some of the concerns.
1. The designers have no dental training. They make that clear themselves. “Orthly does not practice dentistry nor do any employees in the company.” So, you’re talking about an app, designed by a college student who was just looking for a cheaper way to straighten his teeth. Does he understand how to move the roots of teeth without causing them to come loose?
2. You only see a dentist a couple of times. This is actually where they save their money. With Invisalign, you’re under the care of a dentist every two weeks. The appointments are designed to make sure nothing is going awry or needs to be addressed with your teeth. They’re designed to protect your teeth.
While an orthodontist working with Orthly can request you send pictures of your progress. That’s practically useless. How can a photo possibly measure things like mobility, root absorption, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene? If these problems crop up, you can lose your teeth.
3. They accept no responsibility for what happens to you. They state, “We partner with licensed, board-certified orthodontists and we ensure that they are the ones who lead the treatment process.” Those are the ones who will face liability, while Orthly rakes in the money.
So, which do you choose? That’s a personal decision. Obviously, I have strong feelings about the issue, but that is borne out of fear of low-income patients, desperate to straighten their teeth, getting themselves into situations where they end up losing their teeth, with no money left to replace them and zero recourse.
If you’re wanting to straighten your teeth, but struggle with the ability to afford it, talk to your dentist. Many of them will work with you financially.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Ryan Noah.