DIY orthodontics risks

The risks of “DIY” orthodontic treatment

Installing new tile in your bathroom. Changing the oil in your car. Fixing a leaky faucet. Do-it-yourself projects can be a wonderful experience, leaving you with a sense of accomplishment and saving you money to boot. But straightening your teeth? Some things are best left to professionals–and your smile is one of them.

The idea of “DIY” orthodontics may sound appealing. The popularity of quick-fix mail-delivered services for orthodontic treatment has risen steeply over the last few years. It certainly sounds easy enough–take a selfie or get your teeth scanned, send it in, and voila! Your aligners arrive in the mail and at the end of the treatment, your teeth are straight. At least that’s the plan.

Yes, these services are often advertised as cheaper and faster than a treatment plan developed and supervised by an orthodontist, but there are also significant risks that you should consider before opting for what is likely a paint-by-numbers treatment over one that is customized just for you.

There may be no one to supervise your treatment

In some instances, “do it yourself” orthodontic aligner companies do not involve any sort of in-person evaluation or supervision of your orthodontic treatment. Treatments may be advertised as doctor directed, but you may not be working individually with an orthodontist at all.

Our smile is typically the first thing that others notice about us–and we only get one smile to work with. Any sort of orthodontic treatment, whether it’s “DIY” or managed by a professional orthodontist, involves the movement of teeth and other biological material in your mouth that impacts your overall facial profile. If this treatment isn’t done correctly, it can lead to expensive and potentially irreversible damage–anything from tooth and gum loss to bite and jaw alignment issues.

Only orthodontists complete dental school and become fully licensed as a doctor, followed by years of additional specialized education and training on the safe and healthy movement of tooth and jaw alignment. It’s safe to say that orthodontists are the true tooth and jaw alignment experts. And who wouldn’t want an expert overseeing every aspect of their orthodontic treatment?

Your treatment will probably not be customized

A one-size-fits-all approach may work for (most) accessories, but it doesn’t work for teeth–and especially not for orthodontic treatment.

Your teeth and mouth are as unique as you are. That’s why thoroughly examining your teeth, upper and lower jaws, and overall facial and oral structure is critical to developing a custom treatment plan that meets your individual needs. Orthodontists use panoramic x-rays, 3-D mouth scans, and other types of imaging to identify concerns and potential problems that may be hiding below the surface. Using this diagnostic information, your Great River orthodontist can personalize treatment and care, advise on effective treatment options so you select a method that will deliver the best results based on your unique facial and oral structure, and monitor the progress of your smile transformation to ensure you achieve a beautiful, straight smile–without sacrificing your long-term oral and dental health.

Is there any type of medical treatment that you’d be willing to undergo without an in-person evaluation first? Or without supervision from a medical professional? If your answer is no, DIY orthodontic treatment is probably not for you.

Other questions to consider

If you’re in the midst of exploring your orthodontic treatment options–DIY or otherwise–here are some questions you may want to consider.

  • If the company provides virtual or in-person access to an orthodontist, do you know who they are? Do you have any way to research their credentials or patient reviews?
  • Are multiple treatment options available or is only one type offered (such as clear aligners)? If you only have one choice, how do you know that is the best option for your individual needs?
  • Are your teeth and gums healthy enough for orthodontic treatment? If not, what can you do?
  • Are there any health risks associated with your orthodontic treatment?
  • Who do you contact if you have any issues or discomfort during your orthodontic treatment? What if a dental emergency arises?

You don’t have to rely on a voice at the end of a toll-free number for orthodontic guidance. By choosing a customized treatment plan supervised by your Great River orthodontist, you can rest assured that you’ll get answers to all these questions and more.

Schedule your free consultation today

Great River Orthodontics offers high-quality orthodontic treatment in a caring, supportive, and fun environment. We work with patients of all ages, including adults, because you’re never too old to have the smile of your dreams!

From traditional braces to Invisalign® clear aligners, you can count on your Great River orthodontist and specialized team to listen to your needs and provide the best orthodontic solution and service for you. No dentist referral is necessary.

Your free consultation will include:

  • One-on-one time with a doctor
  • Digital x-rays and photos
  • iTero® 3D scan of your teeth and gums
  • Financial options including $0 down and 0% interest-free financing

Best of all, your Great River orthodontist will be there to answer questions, monitor your treatment, and provide guidance every step of the way. To get started, contact us today.