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Mythbuster: You can’t straighten teeth safely without X-rays? Not necessarily!

There’s a myth floating around out there that you cannot straighten your teeth safely without getting X-rays first. That’s not entirely true.

SmileDirectClub uses a 3D scan or impressions instead of X-rays to plan your orthodontic treatment. Finding a place to go for a scan is easy – you can make an appointment for a scan either at one of our SmileShops or with one of our Partner Network dentists.

Alternatively, you can order an impression kit to get your Smile JourneyTM started.

This is a change from traditional orthodontics, where X-rays are typically done first. But studies show that X-rays are not necessary for all orthodontic cases.

What we recommend

While some oral health treatments do require X-rays, aligners typically don’t.

“In short, you can absolutely get started straightening your teeth safely without X-rays,” says Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, Chief Clinical Officer at SmileDirectClub.

Here’s why: Dental X-rays have been shown to expose the head and neck to radiation, which can increase the risk of cancer in the brain, thyroid, and other parts of the body.

In some cases, your treating doctor may need additional information to approve you for aligner treatment. On occasion, X-rays from your local dentist may be requested.

“A 3D scan or an impression with one of our kits almost always eliminates the need for X-rays when planning your treatment,” Dr. Sulitzer says. “You save money and skip a dose of unnecessary and possibly unsafe radiation.”

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