Dentists must attend nearly a decade of school before they are allowed to perform dental operations, such as extractions. Much of that time is spent learning from dentists who have practiced in the past or are still practicing.
While medical concepts aren’t beyond the understanding of most people, doctors don’t just tell patients what they have. They also perform complex surgeries, anticipate problems with treatments, and ensure that the patient is safe throughout and after the procedure. So, no practicing dentist will tell you that over-the-counter treatments can provide the same quality of care that a dentist can, but are certain DIY treatments “good enough” for most folks?
There has been a growing market in recent years for at-home dental kits that purport to realign your teeth (like braces). Dentists say that they are seeing more and more patients who have attempted DIY braces using nothing more than paper clips. However, some companies are now selling DIY kits resulting in a showdown between state dental boards and these companies.
The battle lines break down as predicted. Dentists oppose the DIY kits while the companies that manufacture them are filing antitrust lawsuits against the state dental boards. Which side is correct?
Claims made by DIY dental advocates
DIY dental advocates, whose videos you can find on YouTube, show others how they aligned their teeth using a combination of rubber bands, paperclips, or for advanced DIYers, 3D printing technology. The DIY folks say that the approach is more cost-effective and just as effective. However, that assumes that everything works just as advertised. If, in fact, you can realign your teeth personally using paper clips and rubber bands, you may have indeed saved your insurance company a few bucks (if you have insurance). In reality, DIY braces often don’t end up working as well as professional braces, and, if the DIY braces cause damage, you will need to have even more extensive treatment. This means in the end you may not save any money.
Risks of DIY braces
The biggest risk is that you pull the tooth away from its root causing the root to be absorbed back into the body. The tooth falls out and cannot be repaired because it no longer has a root. The risk of causing TMJ or TMJ-like symptoms also increases. Further, the process of shifting teeth must be done slowly. Those who use DIY methods may be able to temporarily shift their teeth, only to see their teeth shift right back into their original locations.
Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist Today
It may sound like dentists don’t like competition from at-home kits, but the truth is, there are safety and efficacy concerns when it comes to DIY braces. Save yourself the time and money by calling an experienced and licensed dentist today. Peak Family Dental Care is always willing to discuss treatment options and costs with our patients. Contact us today in Cottonwood for help.