Blog Education

The Dangers of DIY Teeth Straightening

14 Jun, 2022

Being able to straighten your teeth from your living room without having to leave the house sounds super convenient right? But before you consider going down this road to straighten your teeth, it's important to see what's behind the curtain and make sure you are aware of the risks involved in this “convenient” teeth straightening method. 

CHEAP, CONVENIENT, SIMPLE

We get it. It’s cheap, it’s convenient, it's simple, after all, you’re just incrementally moving your teeth’ position. What could go wrong? Beyond the quality and limitations of this method of teeth straightening, there are a range of other risks associated with teeth straightening from the comfort of your living room with at-home aligners. 

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Zero dentist involvement - no mouth examination, x-rays or intra-oral photos

Before aligner treatment even begins it is absolutely critical that your mouth receives a full examination from a qualified dentist or orthodontist to ensure that you have no underlying problems like tooth decay, undiagnosed infections, abscesses, gingivitis or Periodontal disease (inflammation of the gums), or extra/ missing teeth. If any of these are present, wearing aligners will only lead to further complications or simply not work as intended. 

Low-quality treatment plans

An at-home impression kit is no substitute for the wonders of modern medicine and medical equipment. Your dentist, upon checking you have none of the above-mentioned conditions, will take 3D scans and x-rays of your teeth providing your dentist with a complete picture of not only your mouth, but also your entire jaw’s situation. At this point any bite issues, jaw issues or bone issues will also be picked up. Furthermore, it is these scans that are provided to Linea’s in-house dental team to plan your treatment. Compared with an at-home impression kit, these scans are far more comprehensive with less distortions and allow for a far more accurate treatment plan to be created. 

Lack of support

Once you have begun your aligner treatment with a DIY brand, there is generally a complete lack of accountability and responsibility. Linea has seen countless patients who have previously opted for a DIY aligner brand only to find that their aligners do not fit correctly, their teeth are not moving correctly or they have extreme pain. However, when they contact the DIY brand, they find that their calls for help go unanswered. Face-to-face interaction with your dentist and your dentist having a clear understanding of your situation allows for any questions, queries or concerns to be addressed. Furthermore Linea patients have an added level of accountability and responsibility with Linea’s dental team who are available 7 days a week. 

Lack of crucial procedures

For any cases slightly more severe than the most mild of cases, a patients treatment may require Inter-proximal Reduction (IPR) and/ or attachments. IPR involves very lightly and gently shaving a minuscule amount (invisible to the naked eye) from the sides of several teeth, creating extra space for the teeth to move smoothly into, while attachments are little ‘handles’ made of clear filling material that are placed on to the surface of certain teeth. They work just like a handlebar to give more grip to the aligner which helps give more control and precision over tooth movement, allowing us to move teeth up & down, or to rotate teeth where required. DIY teeth straightening brands are unable to provide these treatments and thus are severely limited to only being able to treat the most mild of cases – patients often have to accept compromises to their smile. 

Risk of serious complications

Over 2,600 unhappy customers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau due to poor results with at-home aligners. Some customers saw no improvements at all, whereas others saw their conditions worsen due to wearing the aligners, as well as other problems like tooth damage or chipping gum damage, jaw misalignment, gum recession, or serious pain.

Without direct supervision by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, it may take a long time for a customer to realize their aligners aren’t working properly, and by then there may already be permanent damage to the teeth and gums. Because of these risks, Orthodontics Australia has issued an advisory warning against using at-home aligner brands to straighten teeth.

KEEP SAFE, KEEP SMILING

Dentists and orthodontists have spent countless many years honing their skills and perfecting their art. Why take the risk of causing irreparable damage to your teeth? Linea clear aligners provide that all important dental oversight and supervision while at the same time making your smile journey convenient.

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