The Risks with Mail-Order Teeth Aligners

4 months ago
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Orthodontic treatment has evolved quite rapidly over the last couple of decades, with advanced and discreet treatment options such as Invisalign and lingual braces becoming increasingly popular. What hasn’t changed, however, is the high degree of difficulty and planning involved with orthodontic treatment along with the health and financial risks if these treatments aren’t carried out thoroughly.

Unfortunately, the rise of technology has led many adults to seek alternative and unconventional treatments to achieve the smile they’ve always wanted at a fraction of the price. While there are many bogus DIY braces floating around on YouTube, a new wave of self-administered aligners are hitting the market that are very similar to Invisalign aligners. Internet companies are bypassing orthodontists altogether and sending the mail-order kits directly to consumers which are they believe will save them time and money.

As there are many health and financial risks associated with undertaking this DIY treatment, today we’ll be shedding some insight into the topic and discussing why close supervision by your orthodontist is always required when undergoing orthodontic treatment.

How do DIY aligners work?

Consumers typically purchase DIY aligners through online dentists who posts them an aligner kit with instructions. The consumer takes a mould of their teeth which is sent back to the online company who will make a series of clear aligners based on the patient’s impressions. These aligner kits are much cheaper than their traditional counterparts and as a result, many people with orthodontic issues are buying them.

What are the risks with DIY aligners?

The problem with do-it-yourself treatments is that there is no supervision from a trained orthodontist. When prescribing patients Invisalign treatment, orthodontists use advanced 3D software to create a series of aligners which are based on numerous factors, not just teeth impressions. The tooth movement process is very complex and it’s common for orthodontists to adjust their plan mid-treatment to account for issues along the way.

When using DIY aligner kits, consumers are putting themselves at risk with poorly fitted aligners which can cause damage to the roots of their teeth, tooth loosening, and gum recession. Without an initial consultation with an orthodontist before treatment, and without any supervision during treatment, patients put themselves in great danger which can lead to irreversible and expensive damage.

Why should you see an orthodontist?

Moving the roots of your teeth into a different position is naturally very complex and requires extensive planning and ongoing supervision by a trained expert. Safety is the highest priority with any kind of healthcare treatment and only those with the appropriate training and qualifications should be managing them. Some of the reasons why you should consult an orthodontist when seeking Invisalign treatment include:

X-rays and examinations

One of the biggest problems with DIY aligners is that patients need to have a comprehensive examination along with x-rays of their gums and teeth to ensure they’re healthy enough to undertake orthodontic treatment. Patients may have underlying issues with their teeth and gums which must be resolved before any orthodontic treatment can commence.

Accurate impressions

Invisalign aligners use advanced 3D software along with creating a mould of patients teeth to ensure each aligner is perfectly fitted and will move teeth safely in the desired direction. The accuracy of the initial impression is paramount to the success of the treatment, given that even miniscule inaccuracies will result in poorly fitted aligners.

Attachments

One of the most essential aspects to successful treatment with Invisalign or other clear aligners is using small buttons or bumps on several teeth which allows the teeth to grip to the aligners and move in the desired direction. Without using these attachments, certain tooth movements aren’t possible.

Mid-treatment refinements

Everyone’s teeth move at different speeds and in different ways and it’s paramount that an orthodontist monitors your progress and makes the necessary refinements depending on your circumstances. Any minor issues can be treated as they develop to ensure you achieve a healthy and confident smile at the end of treatment.

At the end of the day, orthodontic treatment is a healthcare procedure which should be undertaken and closely monitored by a qualified professional. Achieving the smile you’ve always wanted takes proper planning to ensure treatment is safe and effective.

If you’re interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign aligners, get in touch with the professionals at Clear Smile Orthodontics on the Gold Coast by phoning 07 5593 3733.

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