The Dangerous Trend of DIY 'Orthodontics'
Roughly twenty years ago, "Invisalign revolutionized tooth movement with clear tray technology." Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign's set of clear trays are nearly invisible, and many treatment plans ended up shorter than the timeframe for wearing typical braces.
Now, more companies are attempting to make DIY braces a mainstream commodity. SmileDirectClub, partially owned and manufactured by Invisalign, allows patients to bypass dentists and orthodontists all-together by sending a monthly progression of clear trays through the mail to customers for up to 70% less than typical braces.
There was even a recent Buzzfeed article about a college student who 3-D printed his own set of clear trays to correct some crowding within 16 weeks. Clear trays, no doctors, AND cheaper? It sounds too good to be true, and in fact it is.
One of the big issues with the DIY orthodontics is the lack of oversight. A dentist or orthodontist's expertise and supervision is often necessary to prevent maladies such as TMJ, distorted facial structure, and worsened malocclusion.
There have been cases of irreparable harm following the use of DIY aligners, including patients who have lost teeth and had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to correct the issues that DIY aligners have caused.
Overall, DIY braces can be dangerous. So if you're considering DIY aligners, come in to Neal Family Dental today to discuss the pros and cons of at-home braces and learn about the potential long-term ramifications of following this route.
Neal Family Dental
Alan Neal, DMD, FAGD
333 NW 3rd Ave, Canby, OR 97013