Can I Get the Same Results from Orthodontic Bands and Invisalign?

My friend posted a link on her Facebook page about a new product that is supposed to get rid of gaps between teeth. I’ve talked to my dentist about closing my diastema, and he wants me to get Invisalign. My friend wants to try the new thing, and I’m thinking about starting it with her, as kind of a New Year’s resolution makeover. Basically, you just put these special bands around the teeth you and change them out every day. Supposedly, the gap closes within three months. It’s way cheaper than Invisalign. The company is selling the bands for around $40, and they guarantee results. Is it too good to be true or do they work just as well?



Dear Brooklynn,

The bands that you mention have actually been on the market for years, but they aren’t approved by the FDA as a dental treatment. Various companies have sold them, and they’re usually mail-order (or online), originating outside the United States.

Invisalign works more slowly, and moves teeth in a standardized fashion. The system relies on very precise measurements to ensure that the teeth land in exactly the right place when treatment concludes. Conversely, the bands tug on teeth in an unnatural way and pull them inward. Although the gap may close, you’ll be left with crooked teeth. Moreover, their position can change your bite so your teeth don’t come together correctly, and can cause serious damage. On top of this, Invisalign treatment concludes with a period of stabilization, so the teeth stay in place. If you go with the bands, your teeth will start moving again as soon as you stop using them.

The companies that market the bands get away with it because they’re not based in the United States, and it’s difficult to hold them accountable. Most people will just cut their losses and consider the money lost when treatment doesn’t work out as planned, which means they can keep pocketing $40 per person for bands that cost them pennies. When their reputation becomes damaged, they just create a new brand and start the process over again.

Mark this down on the list of scams you didn’t fall for, and warn your friend of the pitfalls. Invisalign is a good option, but if you want speedy results, you might want to look into porcelain veneers. Best of luck to you with your New Year makeover.

This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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