West Haven


Custom Aligners vs. Mail Order Aligners

You’ve probably seen commercials advertising simple and convenient mail-order aligners. They’re clear aligner trays that you can get through the mail. You wear each tray for a set amount of time, and by the end of your treatment, the claim is that your smile will be straighter without the “inconvenience” of visiting a dentist’s office.

Of course, we wanted to look into this claim further. In this post, we’re going to compare mail-order aligners with the SDC custom aligner option we offer at Shoreline Dental Care. We know your time is valuable, so many of you are going to like that you can access an orthodontic treatment without having to schedule in-person appointments. We’re not going to lie, though, mail-order aligners raise a huge red flag for us…. and for the American Dental Association (ADA).

Let’s look a little deeper into the Pro’s and Con’s of both options:


  • You can create your own dental impressions at home and send them in.
  • No regular office visits are required.
  • Typically cost less than traditional braces or other clear aligner brands.


  • There’s no in-person oversight from a dentist, only virtual check-ins.
  • There’s a lot of room for error with the DIY dental impression kit.
  • Many users have reported serious issues after treatment, including teeth falling out, cuts to their gum tissue, and an inability to chew properly.
  • The criteria for being accepted are very loose and doesn’t screen for active dental decay, gum disease, or other conditions that would normally disqualify someone for treatment.
  • There are currently hundreds of active lawsuits against these companies from dental boards and dissatisfied consumers.


  • We begin with a digital 3D scan of your mouth, which means no messy impressions that can make some patients gag.
  • Because of the precise nature of the 3D scan and customized trays, our aligners are effective at shifting teeth both vertically and horizontally, and can even rotate them if needed.
  • The aligners are comfortable to wear and can be easily removed for eating, brushing, and flossing.
  • The medical-grade polyurethane resin is virtually unnoticeable to others.
  • Custom aligners from Shoreline Dental Care can address a range of issues, such as open bite, overbite, underbite, crossbite, overcrowded teeth, gapped teeth, and protruding teeth.


  • Custom aligners require occasional in-person check-ups with your dentist to review progress.
  • Can be a little more expensive than mail-order aligners (but it’s still less than traditional braces for many patients).
  • You may have to wear the trays slightly longer — typically around 12 months — to see the final results.

When we create your custom aligner treatment plan, it’ll be 100% personalized to you! We don’t create ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment plans as the DIY companies do. We are all about providing highly-personalized experiences for each patient because we believe that’s how we achieve the greatest results.

When you start treatment with Shoreline Dental Care, you can rest assured that we’re looking out for your best interest, including your health, your happiness, and your budget.

We don’t want you to take risks with your smile! Your smile is too precious. If you’re considering aligners, but you’re hesitant to start, please reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you and help you make the best decision for your smile.

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation with Shoreline Dental Care today.