Most fads won’t hurt you – bell bottom pants, avocado toast, the water bottle flip challenge – but using Do It Yourself (DIY) orthodontic aligner treatment and not consulting the top McKinney orthodontics specialists… just might.
Many people have heard about DIY orthodontic aligners and how easy it is to straighten teeth with no appointments for a lower price. It is human nature to want to follow the easiest path. But sometimes the easiest isn’t always the best.
The American Dental Association has taken a firm stance against companies that provide “mail order” aligners for teeth. Their concern is for the safety and health of patients’ teeth. One of the most popular DIY companies protects itself by having patients self-certify their dental condition and sign documentation to hold the company harmless for any negative consequences that may occur. And boy, do those negative consequences occur! Unbeknownst to many customers, when they agree to the program, they are agreeing to waive rights to any kind of recourse in the event of a negative outcome or circumstance.
Of course, there are customers who report success from such mail-order orthodontic aligners. They are the happier-than-happy patients portrayed in the ads. A quick Internet search will alert the public to possible/likely issues with do-it-yourself aligners.
The first and most glaring problem is the lack of personalized supervision of what is going on in your mouth from the top McKinney orthodontics professionals. Some DIY aligner companies will likely have you take a photo of your smile, or send you what is needed to take an at-home impression of your teeth & bite. Your aligners and treatment plan are created from this baseline.
There is a reason that the in-person top McKinney orthodontics experts at Smiles Hollywood use panoramic x-rays, 3D scans/radiographs of your mouth and other technology to determine the proper treatment plan for your mouth. A picture of you saying “cheese” or an improperly taken impression are not the ways to do that.
Even if the company has an in-person initial visit, there is no help as the process moves along. In our research, we have read story after story of patients who were treated like royalty up front, but when problems started to arise, customer service from the DIY aligner company fell off the map. When the upset patient would realize that this program was not going well, of course, they wanted to discontinue treatment and obtain a refund. One Youtuber described the experience of trying to get her money back as “the worst gaslighting relationship ever, except it was coming from a company.”
In addition, without professional in-person top McKinney orthodontics supervision of the process, underlying problems cannot be seen (gum infections, tooth decay, abscessed teeth, and gum recession). Gum infections can actually spread to other parts of the body, including the heart, which can have life-threatening implications. Popping in DIY aligners on top of other issues is a recipe for big problems. By the time it is bad enough to need to see a dentist/orthodontist, these issues have had plenty of time to progress.
You may not see the full top McKinney orthodontics story when looking in the mirror at teeth you feel just need “straightening”. There may be overbite, crossbite, gapped or rotated teeth that require a more nuanced approach than you can receive through the mail.
Without the direct supervision of a professional, DIY aligners can attempt to speed up the desired alignment too quickly or put more pressure on teeth than is prudent resulting in jaw and bone damage. Damage to the gums can cause them to loosen and recede, leaving teeth to become and then lose themselves. Needing tooth implants to replace teeth if this happens takes the shine off the DIY aligners initially perceived as “inexpensive”.
Dental professional Spring Hatfield, who is not a proponent of DIY aligners, wrote the following about the legality of companies doing business this way: “I have been asked by multiple concerned colleagues about how this process is legal. Honestly, I didn’t understand it myself. I investigated the legality of treating patients without physically seeing a patient; it turns out they (sic) are conducting this under the guise of teledentistry. Teledentistry is primarily used for consultation, treatment planning, and referral to the appropriate licensed dental professional to achieve optimal dental health. Teledentistry has the potential to improve access to care for the underserved population. What disappoints me the most is that this company can help improve oral health and overall health by simply using teledentistry in the manner it was intended. Or an even better option would be to have a licensed dental professional on-site to screen for possible dental disease. This would not only improve the patient’s health, but it could also improve treatment outcomes. It would be a win-win situation.”
Apparently, the current model these DIY aligner companies are operating under provides more profit. Because of the popularity of their “pitch” to get perfect teeth with their aligner program, their available legal resources are vast. Professionals and individuals who try to raise the alarm are quickly smacked down by a bevy of high-priced attorneys and threats of lawsuits or countersuits.
YouTube was very interesting for researching the personal stories of the DIY aligner experience gone bad. Customer service stories abound but are just the tip of the iceberg. Details about the medical/dental problems arising from this method of straightening teeth were hair-raising and gross.
Think of it this way: If you broke your arm, would you feel comfortable with someone sending you some bandages and plaster and an instruction sheet on how to fix your arm? Of course not. Our smile is often the first thing people notice about us when we see each other. This is why we should always seek the best professional help in caring for our oral hygiene. At Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics, Dr. Stephanie Crise and Dr. Jessica Downs work incredibly hard to make your smile and alignment the best they can be. Your teeth are the only ones you get and deserve proper care and professional attention!
Ultimately, DIY aligners are not appreciably less expensive than going to top McKinney orthodontics specialists when you factor in the peace of mind you get from knowing a professional orthodontist is overseeing your treatment. A patient typically only has to visit the orthodontist every 8-10 weeks for aligner treatment. At Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics, we have extended operating hours from 7:45 AM to 6:00 PM Mon-Thurs and until 6:30 PM on Tuesdays – so accommodating your schedule should not be a problem!
We recommend avoiding do-it-yourself orthodontics and hope that this information has helped lay out the facts. Come see our professional orthodontists at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics instead! Call us for a FREE consultation at 972-529-9700 or book online here!