Are DIY Orthodontic Systems Safe?

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Can you really get straighter teeth via mail order braces?

Clear aligner trays like Invisalign are one of the most popular ways for teens and adults to straighten their teeth without having to deal with metal brackets and wires, and for good reasons too. Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional orthodontics that offers a comfortable, visually appealing way of straightening your teeth in a fraction of the time.

So if shifting your teeth is so simple, why not try a do-it-yourself system without the orthodontist visits and a cheaper price tag?

Top Issues With DIY Orthodontics

Eliminating minor imperfections with your teeth like mild crowding or a spacing issue sounds easy enough, but there are a number of issues that consumers should be aware of when looking into DIY orthodontic solutions at home without the guidance of a trained orthodontist.

Your Teeth Are More Complex Than You Think.

Teeth are a part of a complex system that includes gum tissue, bone, and your jaw joint. When it comes to orthodontic treatment, the entire system must be examined to create a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. An orthodontist will examine the patient’s entire oral cavity as well as the head and neck regions, and takes numerous x-rays of the patient’s teeth, jaw bones and bite.

A DIY treatment relies on a mold of your teeth and pictures you take yourself on a smartphone to make an assessment of your teeth, completely missing any underlying issues or problems you could experience during orthodontic treatment, often leading to irreversible changes in your teeth.

Moving Teeth Is Complicated.

The human body is unpredictable in how it will respond to new movements and materials. When the body decides to react in a way not predicted by a standard algorithm, it is essential to have an orthodontist who is monitoring your treatment and can make corrections as you go before you end up with painful, irreversible damage. An orthodontist has three additional years of training in biomechanics after dental school – how many years of training do you and your smartphone have?

Straighter Teeth Can Be Temporary.

Most DIY aligner systems only move your front teeth by tipping the crowns of the teeth. If the teeth are being tipped into place and not moved in their entirety, they are far more likely to tip back when treatment is finished giving you temporary results.

Why Mail Order Braces Are Gaining Popularity

We all like to save money and get the best price. With mail order orthodontics, you’re saving money by not talking to someone in an office setting face to face and being examined. The process involves completing an online questionnaire and purchasing an impression kit for less than $100. In simple cases, some patients will achieve benefits, but this type of DIY treatment doesn’t address important issues regarding the bite relationship or the health of your jaw joint and gums.

When it comes to orthodontic treatments and the health of your teeth, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings true.

Orthodontists Warn Against Straightening at Home

Many orthodontists argue that an in-person exam is critical to looking for untreated cavities and underlying gum infections before beginning any teeth-straightening treatments, and physically seeing patients while undergoing treatments is just as vital to successfully straightening teeth the right way. DIY orthodontics risks permanent damage to teeth such as root shortening, bone loss, tooth loss, tooth decay and other serious problems.

Just because you can straighten your teeth on your own at home, doesn’t mean that you should.

Making Sure Your Straight Smile is a Healthy One

While we’re all for affordable orthodontic treatment, there are certain costs that just can’t (and shouldn’t) be avoided. By working with an orthodontist, you not only ensure that your treatment plan is appropriate for your unique needs, but are able to receive adjusted care for any unexpected treatment hiccups (which is always a possibility with orthodontic treatment, since it takes place over an extended period).

Consult with an expert orthodontist, like Thomas Orthodontics to see if Invisalign is the right option for you. If you’re going to invest the time and money into straightening your smile, your teeth are worth it to get results safely and correctly.

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