With society becoming more and more digitized and people relying on technology, some daily tasks have become much easier. Any item or service can be accessed with the click of a button. But, should dental care be given the same level of online accessibility as ordering food? Do-it-yourself orthodontics have been becoming more and more popular, with people needing orthodontic surgery opting for the cheaper option with less in-person visits. The American Association of Orthodontists have reported that nearly 13% of its member orthodontists have seen patients who have tried DIY orthodontics. But, orthodontists have been cautioning against this option for what irreparable damage that can be caused to your teeth and mouth.
What is DIY Orthodontics?
Every time you visit a mall, you’ve probably seen pop-up stores or vendors that offer digital impressions. Using these digital impressions, the technician at the pop-up provides you with a DIY dentistry kit, which includes a set of clear aligners for you to pop in your mouth. From there, that is where your interaction with this technician will end. You will be on your own, with your orthodontic care left to yourself. In some cases, people with dental problems who need braces are creating their own DIY braces, which provides a whole host of issues connected to the pressure applied to the teeth. They use a method called gap banding, which includes using regular or orthodontic rubber bands to close the gaps between the teeth.
The reason many patients opt for this option as opposed to conventional orthodontist visits is the price. You can save up to 50% by choosing do-it-yourself orthodontics. You are also saving time by not having to run over to the orthodontist on a regular basis. Do-it-yourself orthodontics allow people to get the work they always wanted, with more convenience and less expense. But, convenience does not equate to quality – and there are some areas in which cutting costs can ultimately result in greater expense, not to mention serious health issues.
Why DIY Orthodontics are Dangerous
The main concern orthodontists have about DIY dentistry is whether a person should undergo a complex medical procedure without the supervision of a medical professional. The complexities of dental care extend beyond just what the eye can see, so correcting purely from an aesthetic basis has led many orthodontists to question the effectiveness of DIY orthodontics. The list of drawbacks includes shrinking gums, jawbone damage and lost teeth.
By avoiding meeting with an orthodontist altogether, you are potentially preventing the diagnosing of a serious dental issue that a non-medical professional cannot detect. For example, you could be suffering from periodontitis, an inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 50% of people have some form of periodontitis. If your teeth are realigned in an affected area, it can lead to further breakdown of the bone without the possibility of rebuilding. From there, a tooth can be pushed out of the bone and lost entirely.
If you are opting for do-it-yourself orthodontics purely for cosmetic reasons, you can be left with a worse smile than when you began. Applying too much pressure to the teeth can cut off their blood supply to the teeth – which can “kill” the teeth and cause them to fall out.
Why You Should Choose an Orthodontist over DIY Orthodontics
To put it plainly, you could be putting your life in danger by handling your own orthodontics. You are deciding to do complex procedures for which orthodontists have been educated over several years before they are permitted to practice professionally. You are putting yourself at the risk of a life-threatening infection that can spread throughout the body.
Finally, using teeth aligners at home will not give you the desired cosmetic results. The aligners are all molded according to your first scan, which doesn’t take into account how your teeth are moving during the process.
Your teeth and health are too important to risk to a DIY solution that seems easy and inexpensive.
Wiewiora & Dunn Orthodontics provides diligent care at every stage of the process. Learn more on our blog about such topics as whether you should choose Invisalign or braces and why you should never skip an orthodontic appointment.
Contact Wiewiora & Dunn today.