DIY Braces – are they worth the risk?


We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people looking to improve the appearance of their teeth with options such as clear braces and clear aligner therapy which has led to DIY braces and at home teeth straightening options appearing everywhere, promising dentist quality results at a fraction of the price. The convenience of mail order braces seems unbeatable, allowing you to straighten your teeth without the need for regular dental appointments. Unfortunately, things that sound too good to be true most often are! DIY solutions can cause more damage to your teeth in the long run.

With this in mind there are some things the team at Valley Dental Practice want to make you aware of regarding your choice of teeth straightening.

What are mail order aligners?

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_02Companies have started to offer cheaper alternatives to attending the dentist or orthodontist for your teeth straightening procedures, through mail order businesses. These companies will send you an at home impression kit to take impressions of your teeth. Once these are sent back, they will be reviewed by one of their technicians, who determines if you are suitable for these aligners. If so, aligners are sent back to be worn for a prescribed period.

This may seem very similar to the process of teeth straightening through your dental surgery, but there are some very big differences.

  1. Teeth straightening requires supervision.

Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by a dentist or orthodontist. The dentist or orthodontist can monitor how your teeth are moving and if necessary, they will adjust your treatment plan to ensure your teeth move at the most safe and efficient rate. If teeth are moved without a thorough assessment of the overall health of the teeth and gums, it could lead to tooth loss which can cause expensive and lifelong dental problems.

  1. Training

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_03Dentists have years of training and they will identify and treat serious oral health concerns before they even consider offering their patients’ teeth straightening treatments. Serious oral health problems, like gum disease and cavities can be overlooked with home kits because there is not a lot that can be seen from a few photos or impressions. Mail order aligners do not use x-rays to see the structure below the gum line and with mail order aligners there is no way of knowing what level of training the people assessing your photos and impressions have. To complete any tooth movement without the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist is very risky.

  1. More expensive in the long run

Moving teeth too fast or with poorly fitting aligners can result in serious problems. A dentist adjusts treatment along the way to correct any orthodontic errors that crop up. Mail order aligners instead operate along the lines of wear it and hope for the best. This can mean that having paid for your mail order aligners, you may then have to pay even more to see a dentist or orthodontist to repair the damage caused.

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_04Aligners are a medical device. Their use and care require a trained, experienced professional dentist who is an expert in their field. Straightening your teeth and aligning your bite is a considerable commitment. Your dentist or orthodontist has taken the time to learn all aspects of the science behind orthodontics. Why trust your smile to anyone else?

If you would like to find out more about teeth straightening, call Valley Dental Practice today on 01255 220322 and book a consultation.

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