Since 2020, there has been a rise in the number of dental patients seeking to straighten their teeth at home. This is not only due to issues relating to social distancing, but it has also been found by many to be more convenient and affordable as now, you can purchase invisible aligners online. But is it always suitable to do so? This article will compare online invisible aligners to those used by dentists and orthodontists via the surgery, so you can decide which would be better for you.

At-home aligners

At-home aligners rely on the person ordering the aligner kit to take an accurate dental mould of their teeth. This can be rather tricky, and once the mould has been taken, it is sent back to the invisible aligner supplier to begin the printing process using a 3D printer. In this sense, it is very similar to Invisalign London, but relies heavily on the patient being able to take an accurate depiction of their teeth rather than a trained dentist.


Many people have found it simple to use an aligner or set of aligners that have arrived through their front door and much like the in-surgery options, the home-based aligners rely on you taking photos of yourself and sending them to the dental supplier so they can assess whether or not it is working. It is also deemed to be more affordable for many people.

Potential issues

Some of the potential issues that come from using at-home aligners have already been discussed, but particularly, the reliance on the patient being able to take an accurate dental mould of their mouth. This is tricky, to say the least, and can result in a bad or poorly formed first aligner. It can be harder to get access to dental help if you need it should there be an issue with your aligner.

In-surgery aligners

In surgery aligners are quite similar, except you will have a dentist or orthodontist overseeing every step. Rather than taking a dental mould, an intraoral scan will usually be used to create the first aligner in the series, which is undoubtedly more accurate. The process takes around the same length of time as it does with at-home aligners, but also has the additional cost of attending dental appointments.


The core advantage of using in surgery aligners is that you will have access to a professional dental team at all stages. There will be fewer errors altogether and any issues that occur with the aligners will be likely dealt with quickly and will not prolong the length of time that you are undertaking the treatment.

Potential issues

Many people find that using aligners overseen by a dental professional is more expensive, but depending on where you undertake this treatment, your dental team will likely be able to offer you financing options. Also if using at-home aligners without dental expertise, it could result in worsening the misalignment being treated.


To conclude, in the majority of cases, it is preferable to have a dental team or orthodontist oversee your treatment, so if you are worried about getting your teeth straightened correctly, you should opt for in-surgery options.