Orthodontist vs. Teledentistry 2024: Can Apps Straighten Your Smile?


Following the recent closure of Smile Direct Club, a popular online teledentistry company, many questions have arisen about the safety and effectiveness of app-based teeth straightening. Can these apps truly give you a beautiful smile? Should you seek a traditional orthodontist instead?

While the allure of online smile solutions is undeniable, understanding the potential hidden costs and risks involved with teledentistry is crucial before embarking on this journey. Dive deeper in the next section to unveil the secrets behind a safe and effective smile transformation.

Teledentistry in Canada

Smile Direct Club NBC News: At NBC News, we faced two stories about Anna Rosemond and Tom Harwood that used online aligners based on the structure that the websites sent to them, and after a while, they would experience bite problems. They had to ask outside orthodontists for help, spending more time and money to fix the problems.

Other teleorthodontic companies may have a similar approach to Smile Direct Club, sending dental aligner kits to patients’ homes. Individuals should send their mouth picture after receiving aligners at a specific period, in the case of Smile Direct Club, for example, every 90 days.

Till now, everything sounds ok. But a dull ache settled in Anna’s teeth, gradually turned into the sharp pain. So she decided to seek help from an orthodontist outside, and the orthodontist found a cross bite issue, possibly caused by the online aligners.

And Tome Harwood is another case; he used online aligners from Smile Direct Club, and after using them for three months, he said his orthodontist told him he might lose two or three bottom teeth and the same in front teeth.

These are only two examples of complaints against Smile Direct Club, unfortunately, they are not limited to these two stories. We’ll definitely hear more similar stories of complains against other similar companies if they have the same approach as Smile Direct Club.

Teledentistry apps invest too much bucks in advertisements with exiting titles like “Get a beautiful smile at a very cheap price, fast time!” But there’s a fact here: when you go through an orthodontic treatment, your dental condition should be checked precisely by an orthodontist to be sure your treatment will go smoothly.

These apps give you a dream of a perfect smile, but this dream can easily turn into a nightmare. The easy and safe treatment they advertised can cause pain and potentially long-term problems, require months of corrective treatment to fix the damage, and, in some cases, may even cause irreparable damages, like bone loss, teeth loss, etc.

Our advice:

  • Teledentistry can be convenient, but it’s not always safe.
  • Skipping in-person consultations can lead to misfitting aligners and dental problems.
  • Prioritize your dental health, choose a qualified orthodontist for proper care.

Teledentistry in Canada

Orthodontist vs. Teledentistry Apps: Key Aspect Comparison

Aspect Orthodontist Teledentistry Apps
Cost Generally higher upfront cost, but may be spread out over longer treatment Potentially lower initial cost, but hidden fees or corrective treatment can cost more in the long run
Convenience Requires regular in-person appointments More flexible, treatment can be done at home
Level of Supervision Direct supervision by a qualified orthodontist throughout treatment Limited or no in-person supervision, relies on app and remote monitoring
Potential Risks Lower risk of misfitting aligners, bite problems, or long-term damage due to personalized plan and close monitoring Higher risk of misfitting aligners, bite problems, gum issues, bone loss, and irreversible damage due to lack of in-person assessments and adjustments
Long-Term Outcomes Higher success rate with lower risk of complications, leading to a healthy, stable smile Higher risk of complications, potentially requiring corrective treatment and compromising long-term dental health
Transparency Open communication with orthodontist allows for informed decisions and adjustments Limited communication with app support, potential for hidden fees or lack of clarity about risks

Why Choose an Orthodontist for Your Perfect Smile?

Dreaming of a dazzling smile you can confidently share with the world? While online options might seem tempting, consider this: when it comes to straightening your teeth, investing in an orthodontist is investing in your smile’s health and happiness. Here’s why:

  1. Expert Guidance: Orthodontists don’t just see teeth, they see the bigger picture. Through a thorough examination, including X-rays and in-depth analysis of your jaw structure and bite, they craft a personalized treatment plan that’s right for you. It’s like having a roadmap to your perfect smile, ensuring every step is smooth and effective.
  2. Peace of Mind with Professional Care: With an orthodontist, you’re not alone in this journey. Regular checkups allow them to track your progress, fine-tune your aligners, and address any concerns. It’s like having a watchful guardian for your smile, ensuring it blooms safely and beautifully.
  3. Experience Matters: Orthodontists are the dental superheroes of straightening smiles. Their years of specialized training and vast experience equip them to tackle any unique challenges your teeth might throw their way. Unexpected twists and turns? No problem! An orthodontist has the expertise to navigate them all.
  4. A Smile that Lasts a Lifetime: Skipping professional supervision with online options can be risky. Improper fit or adjustments can lead to long-term issues like tooth damage, gum problems, and even bone loss. With an orthodontist, you minimize these risks, investing in a healthy, stable smile that shines brightly for years to come.

Remember, your smile is your most radiant accessory. Don’t settle for quick fixes or uncertain outcomes. Choose an orthodontist, choose expertise, choose a smile that brings you joy and confidence every single day.

Why Choose an Orthodontist for Your Perfect Smile?

Addressing Your Concerns about Traditional Orthodontics

We understand that choosing the right path for your smile can raise questions. Let’s tackle some common concerns about traditional orthodontics:


  • Financing options: Yes, traditional orthodontics can have a higher upfront cost, but many practices offer flexible payment plans (like York Orthodontics) to spread the investment over time.
  • Long-term savings: Improperly treated teeth can lead to future dental issues, which can be costly to rectify. Investing in proper orthodontics upfront can save you money in the long run.

Treatment Duration:

  • Advanced technology: Using advanced technology can inform you of your specific bite problem, leading to a tailored treatment plan. Addressing the exact problem plays a great role in the overall treatment timeline.
  • Phased approach: Treatment can be broken down into stages, allowing you to see progress quickly and feel encouraged throughout the process.


  • Modern materials: Braces and aligners are now more comfortable than ever before, with smoother edges and customized fitting.
  • Pain management: Your orthodontist can offer pain management options to minimize any discomfort you might experience.

Traditional Orthodontics

Remember, open communication with your orthodontist is key. Discuss your concerns and preferences to find a treatment plan that fits your budget, timeline, and comfort level.

It’s also important to consider the value beyond cost. Traditional orthodontics offers professional supervision, personalized care, and a lower risk of long-term problems, ultimately leading to a healthy, confident smile that lasts a lifetime.

Don’t let concerns hold you back from achieving your dream smile. Talk to a qualified orthodontist today and explore the possibilities!

Don’t let your smile become a cautionary tale.

We at York Orthodontics believe your smile deserves the expert care and personalized attention of a qualified orthodontist. So don’t gamble with your oral health or settle for less than the best. Remember, your smile is an investment in your confidence, your health, and your future. Schedule your FREE consultation today, and let us create a safe, effective, and customized treatment plan just for you.