Orthodontist vs Do-It-Yourself Braces

- 03/05/2020

As a busy mom do you often forget to “do something for yourself?” This is the perfect time of the year to make a resolution to do something that makes you feel good! Whether it be getting to the gym more often, eating right, or getting that smile you have always desired! Braces or Invisalign isn’t just for kids anymore. More and more people are getting braces or doing Invisalign as an adult.

Braces, or Invisalign, also known as orthodontics, is sometimes on that New Year’s resolution list for adults who either did not go through the process as a child, or stopped wearing their retainers after previous orthodontic treatment and have experienced shifting. Many companies have come on the scene recently who are offering “Do-It-Yourself tooth straightening” with clear aligners. These options are very appealing to busy adults who would rather save time and money by skipping the idea of regular appointments with the orthodontist. The advertising can be quite convincing, and the pricing and convenience can be very appealing. Believe it or not, the cost of the treatment offered by the DIY companies is very close to the cost of having the same treatment done in a licensed orthodontists office. The most importance difference being, you are under the supervision of a doctor, and proper diagnosis and treatment planning are also included.

Although price and convenience of the DIY systems may be appealing, “buyer beware.” These aligners are moving teeth through bone and gums, and changing how the teeth meet together for biting and chewing. Yes, in appearance these aligners look and feel like the aligners you would get from your orthodontist, but the action behind them is very different. Keep in mind that braces or aligners are just a tool that can be used on any tooth to make a movement happen. In an orthodontic office, the trained professional who has been through many years of higher education is making decisions based on proper diagnosis, and treatment planning with photographs, x-rays, and an in-person examination. That information is used to plan proper tooth movements, position the teeth in a healthy way within the bone and gums, and create a proper bite that is protective and healthy for the long term. The orthodontist monitors movements throughout treatment and ensures that the patient achieves a healthy and predictable result.

The Do-It-Yourself products out there are typically not providing any doctor supervision or review. The plan for tooth movement and implementation of the plan are typically based on computer algorithms which do not take any pertinent health or dental condition information into account. It is even possible to enter these treatments with current dental decay or undiagnosed periodontal conditions that can be worsened by the planned tooth movements.

As licensed professionals, orthodontists are legally responsible to ensure that all active dental or gum disease are treated prior to starting orthodontic treatment. It is our job to DO NO HARM and to improve the condition of the patient. You owe it to yourself to make the right choice for your healthcare. Do you really want to trust your oral health to a computer algorithm? Our office offers a complimentary consultation for you to discuss your desired results, and to have a licensed board certified Orthodontist give you his diagnoses after providing an in person exam.

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