Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a cheap fix for misaligned teeth? Unfortunately, such a product is unlikely to ever exist due to the intricacies of orthodontics and the complexities of our teeth and jaws.
There is a growing trend of “DIY orthodontics” that include homemade remedies and made-to-order clear aligners that do not require supervision by a qualified dentist. While social media ads and YouTube videos purport to offer an alternative to medically sound orthodontic treatments, Dr. John McDonald strongly cautions against these unproven and potentially dangerous products.
Professional orthodontic treatments are not quick fixes and no one would describe them as cheap, but Invisalign and traditional braces deliver proven results, and, just as importantly, the cosmetic treatments will not damage your teeth or cause undue discomfort.
What are the potential dangers of DIY clear braces?
DIY clear braces do not require clinical examinations and is usually only recommended for cosmetic adjustments. (How can you know if your dental alignment is only cosmetic? You can’t. Only a dentist or orthodontist can.) Patients may visit a retail store to submit oral scans or mail a self-administered dental mold to the company that manufactures DIY braces. This shortcut removes an important step, the most important step, from ortho treatment. Only a trained and experienced orthodontist can lend professional guidance to the diagnostic part of orthodontic treatment.
Dr. John understands the oral health needs and cosmetic goals of all of his patients. Technology cannot replace the dentist-patient relationship, and a computer cannot replace the years of experience that dentists like Dr. John have acquired.
DIY braces also do not take into account the overall oral health of a patient. Placing clear aligners over teeth that have unaddressed cavities and gums that may have symptoms of periodontitis can jeopardize the health of your smile. Undergoing treatments that significantly move teeth without considering the impact that infected gums or decayed teeth can play is a recipe for disaster.
Individuals who choose DIY braces also do not have the benefit of tooth-colored buttons that help guide teeth through complex movements. The manufacturers of self-administered braces will not tell you what orthodontists know: Certain tooth movements are not possible without the aid of these attachments.
Using DIY braces removes the benefit of interproximal reduction, as well. Individuals with extensive tooth crowding often require small amounts of natural tooth structure to be removed for best results.
Benefits of Professional Orthodontics
Patients who undergo orthodontic treatments with Dr. John Mc Donald can expect proven results, delivered along a pre-determined treatment timeline. If you choose Invisalign, Dr. John will periodically monitor your progress through regularly scheduled check-ups. During these visits, patients have the opportunity to ask Dr. John questions about their treatments and progress. He and our team can provide insight and tips during these short visits.
It is not unusual for clear aligner treatments to require reimaging and the manufacture of a completely new set of trays at some point during treatment. Dr. John will closely monitor the fit of your Invisalign aligners to ensure that treatment is moving along as scheduled and whether you require revisions.
Work with a Proven Orthodontist
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it often is. Cutting out trained dental professionals to reduce the cost of teeth straightening may be tempting. DIY braces are not endorsed by professional medical organizations, probably due to the risk of injury or even tooth loss. If you have questions about the benefits of DIY clear braces vs professional orthodontic treatments, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. John by calling (503) 585-5400.