In today’s technological world, we are inundated with information and accessibility, meaning that we can do things for ourselves that we would never have had the option to do before. This is an undeniably positive aspect of our lives when it comes to home improvements or beauty tips, however, when it comes to our oral health, this access to information can quickly fall short of the mark.
The appeal of gaining a straighter smile without the inconvenience of traditional braces is undeniably alluring but what these DIY aligners fail to provide is just how damaging taking your oral health into your own hands can be.
What Are Do It Yourself Aligners?
Do It Yourself, teeth straightening aligners are an Invisalign alternative that is cheaper and requires almost no outside intervention from a dentist or orthodontist. They promote a fuss-free approach including a ‘do it yourself kit’ at home to make impressions of your teeth, which is then sent off to create your treatment plan.
This fuss-free approach usually doesn’t include check-ups with a dental professional, or even a pre-assessment in person, to check that the aligners are suitable for the candidate, not to mention whether the patient has any underlying conditions that may influence the effectiveness of the treatment, therefore possibly rendering it useless.
Why Have Do It Yourself Aligners Become So Popular?
These Do-It-Yourself aligners promote a list of “conveniences” that promise to gain you the smile you’ve always dreamed of, including:
- No need for contact with an orthodontist – the process will begin with an online assessment, where the individual will provide photos, answer questions, and carry out an impression of their teeth with an at-home, DIY kit, which is then posted and in return, you will receive your custom aligners, right to your doorstep.
- Affordable and accessible – the absence of in-person visits, shipments straight to your door, impressions created at home, and the elimination of office overheads contribute to reduced costs in these DIY aligners.
- Speed and effectiveness – mild to moderate cases of misalignment are the target audience of these DIY aligners, making them a viable option for many individuals, meaning that these minor issues can be fixed quickly and easily.
The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Aligners
One of the biggest dangers with these DIY aligners is the lack of supervision. The supervision of a qualified and highly trained orthodontist ensures that your treatment is working, your oral health remains intact, no damage to your teeth or gums is being caused, and your treatment follows the path mapped out by 3D scanning. Here are more, in-depth reasons why DIY aligners are a danger to your oral health and should be avoided:
Lack of Professional Supervision
The absence of professional supervision is the most dangerous aspect of DIY aligners. Firstly, creating moulds of your teeth at home is incredibly difficult and can lead to ill-fitting aligners which can be too loose, too tight, and painful. Patients can receive up to 20 trays at a time which are completely unmonitored, except for ‘online check-ins’ and a lot of complications can arise in this time. Secondly, no professional adjustments are made, for example, some patients may need interproximal reduction for overcrowded teeth, which includes fine filling between teeth to make room for movement. If the space isn’t made, then the teeth can end up moving further out of alignment. Without individualised attention, users risk complications that may not be immediately apparent but could manifest in the long run.
Misdiagnosis and Treatment Risks
To gain accuracy through at-home impressions of your teeth is very difficult and can easily lead to a misdiagnosis, leading further to oral health issues. Misaligned teeth are often indicative of underlying dental problems that only a qualified orthodontist can properly diagnose and address. Due to this, DIY aligners are not a solution for specific or complicated dental issues and could lead to your dental issue’s getting worse and encountering unexpected complications during treatment. From poorly fitting aligners to unforeseen dental issues, the lack of in-person supervision increases the risk of complications that could be both painful and costly to rectify.
Unsupervised Tooth Movement
Orthodontic treatment involves carefully planned tooth movement to achieve a balanced and functional bite. DIY aligners lack the necessary monitoring to ensure that teeth are shifting correctly and at an appropriate pace. Unsupervised tooth movement can lead to issues such as root resorption, where the roots of the teeth shorten, compromising their stability. Also, moving teeth too quickly or without proper guidance may result in a misaligned bite, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, and other complications that can be challenging and costly to rectify.
Inadequate Monitoring of Oral Health
Orthodontic treatment goes beyond just moving teeth; it involves monitoring the overall health of the teeth and gums throughout the process. DIY aligners may not provide the necessary tools or protocols for regular check-ups, potentially allowing oral health issues to go unnoticed until they become more severe. Regular dental visits are crucial during orthodontic treatment to address problems, ensure proper hygiene, and adjust the treatment plan as needed. DIY aligners lack this essential component, putting individuals at risk of developing complications that could have been prevented with professional supervision.
Invisalign: A Trusted Alternative
At Chorley Orthodontics, we believe that Invisalign is one of the best forms of orthodontic treatments available today. Invisalign trays are made from medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers, which were chosen due to their safety classification and a long history of FDA approvals for long-term use inside the human body.
Invisalign treatment is carried out under the safety of a professionally trained orthodontist, who understands the treatment and the human, skeletal form. An orthodontist can take 3D images and X-rays of your teeth to see if you are eligible for Invisalign beforehand and address underlying issues that would have gone undetected had you not seen an orthodontist prior. With Invisalign and the help of a trusted orthodontist, more severe cases can be treated.
Seeking Invisalign in Chorley?
We are your expert orthodontist in Chorley, with a team of highly trained professionals providing high-quality, orthodontic care for over 40 years. We have chosen Invisalign as our most popular hidden brace system due to its ease of use and comfort. We find that patients at our orthodontist in Chorley love Invisalign and all dental professionals have undergone extensive training in the latest technological advancements, to make sure that we can deliver your Invisalign treatment safely and conveniently to you.
We understand Invisalign can be costly, however, we offer payment plans and discounts for payment up-front, which will hopefully help you in deciding to perfect your smile under the supervision of professionals. If you want to talk to us about Invisalign, contact Chorley Orthodontics today and book your free consultation.