Woman inspects her at home teeth straightening aligners

Dear Asheville,

It’s time for us to have an important talk about at-home teeth straightening kits, one that we believe to be long overdue. At-home teeth straightening kits are growing in popularity at a rapid pace. With only a couple mouse clicks, virtually anyone can browse and purchase a multitude of options from different brands. In theory, this affords people the freedom to choose the best option for their needs; but in reality, it’s not quite that simple.

Straightening your teeth, whether at home or under the care of a dental professional, is a process that must be taken seriously and handled with care. You can really hurt your smile if your aligners aren’t cut out for the job, and not being able to consult a dental professional who is in tune with your teeth straightening journey can be nerve-wracking when your smile starts to shift in undesirable ways.

Our heart resides with Asheville and all of its wonderful denizens.

There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your healthy, happy smiles on the way to and from work, and, of course, every day at Blue Ridge Orthodontics. It is with this in mind that we urge you to take this letter to heart, and choose wisely when selecting an at-home teeth straightening kit for your needs.

Remember, if you decide to try Impressions, our at-home take on traditional Invisalign, a local orthodontist from our office will be with you every step of the way.

An Inherently Flawed Process

When it comes to at-home teeth straightening kits, the line dividing the pros from the cons can be hard to pin down. This is because many of the processes required to size and fit aligners are inherently flawed. The most common process involves the use of photos and a dental impression kit. The impression kit is designed to provide the aligner company with a mold of your teeth, thus allowing them to create aligners that fit you perfectly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work as it should, and if you are unable to provide a suitable mold of your smile, you may be required to purchase an additional kit.

On the surface, it may seem like avoiding an extra visit to the orthodontist is a positive, but if it results in poorly fitting aligners that are unable to straighten your teeth, this aspect of at-home teeth straightening kits is clearly a negative. Some of the other common drawbacks of these kits include:

Lack of Supervision

Many at-home teeth straightening kits recommend that you visit a dental professional prior to fitting to see if you have other, underlying dental problems that may require a different treatment. Those who ignore this advice will have little supervision over the course of their treatment, which means an undiagnosed issue could become very problematic.

No Course Correction

What happens if your aligners aren’t doing their job? Will you be able to tell? Most people don’t know what to look for when checking to see if their aligners are working. This job is best left to an orthodontic professional. Unfortunately, most at-home teeth straightening kits don’t give you the luxury of visiting an orthodontist to ensure that your aligners are working. For some, this could lead to months of improper alignment use that significantly disrupts their path to a perfect smile.


Another touted benefit of at-home teeth straightening kits is their ability to help you save on orthodontics costs. While this is true, you must also consider the value of peace of mind and knowing that your teeth are being aligned properly. On average, individuals will spend up to two years using aligners to correct their smiles — that’s a long time to be uncertain about the efficacy of your treatment. Fortunately, there are other options, such as Impressions, that straighten smiles faster (6-9 months on average) and pair the patient with an orthodontist.

Post-Treatment Costs

When an at-home teeth straightening kit fails, additional costs will be required to obtain the perfect smile. The economical price of at-home teeth straightening kits is arguably their greatest strength, but you could end up paying out of pocket for additional treatments if your aligners hinder your oral health. You can cut down on post-treatment costs by selecting an at-home option that also gives you access to an orthodontist.

Unreliable Help

When you need to consult a professional about your aligners, you may be distressed to find that your only option is an unreliable hotline. Your oral health is a serious matter that can’t be taken lightly. If you want access to professional help when you need it most, you will want to avoid at-home teeth straightening kits that don’t offer access to an in-person orthodontist who can answer your questions and address your concerns.

Higher Chance of Relapse

Studies indicate that short-term orthodontic treatments are less effective at combating crooked teeth than traditional options, like braces. Considering the fact that traditional teeth straightening methods involve an orthodontist throughout the treatment timeline, it’s understandable that methods that don’t require any form of direct interaction with a doctor would be less effective. Fortunately, some at-home teeth straightening kits do benefit from a fully realized doctor-patient relationship, which can result in superior outcomes. If you want to permanently straighten your smile, it helps to utilize a system that is designed to prevent relapse.

Safety Concerns

At-home teeth straightening kits are still relatively new to the market, and since there’s no dental professional monitoring your treatment, you can never be certain that your oral health is in tip-top shape. Improper use of aligners could lead to gum disease or tooth decay.

Why Impressions Is Different

Keeping it local is the Asheville way. Our city is a unique one, empowered by independence and driven by smiles. Over the years, Asheville has carved out a niche as one of the most popular destinations in the United States, largely because Asheville has so many great offerings that are only available in Asheville.

We are pleased to note that Impressions was created right here in Asheville for patients seeking an at-home orthodontics treatment that is safe, effective, and competitively priced. Impressions excels where other at-home kits falter because it addresses three primary concerns:

1) Quality of Assessment

Impressions utilizes a 3D iTero scan of the teeth to achieve highly accurate imaging. This helps to ensure that your aligners fit perfectly.

2) Quality of Product

Impressions is an offshoot of the Invisalign system, which means only the best materials are used when crafting your aligners. The last thing you want is a defective pair of aligners. We stand by our product proudly.

3) Quality of Care

The Impressions treatment was developed by a Diamond-level Invisalign provider. This assures the patient that they will have the best and most effective clear aligner treatment.

To see if you’re a candidate for Impressions, an at-home teeth straightening treatment option based out of Asheville, you can use this form.

We’re happy to answer all of your questions pertaining to at-home teeth straightening and look forward to helping more of Asheville’s wonderful citizens obtain the smile they desire. More importantly, we hope to give you the information you need to make an informed decision about your oral health. If we can effect change for the City of Asheville, we’ve done our job.


The Impressions Team