Is DIY Orthodontia Truly a Bargain?

Is DIY Orthodontia Truly a Bargain?

We get it; everyone likes to save money where it makes sense, and good braces are not cheap. However, the do-it-yourself aligners advertised by mail can deliver unexpected results… and by unexpected, we mean potentially dangerous and painful.

But Really, Would You Tattoo Yourself?

The promises are alluring—a beautiful smile at a fraction of the cost – no office visits required. It sounds like a good deal – freeing up your time and your money. Why not give it a try?

Here’s why… we’ve all seen the awful tattoo fails on social media. People who have tried to save money on tattoos that are left with some pretty unattractive artwork decorating their body – forever. Tattoos, like orthodontia, can be fixed but it is a costly mistake to repair.

A perfect smile and some extra cash in the bank isn’t always the result you get with DIY aligners. You might actually end up needing additional, expensive procedures to repair unwanted results.

Teeth are for Chewing and Biting

We’ve seen a few “oh no” patients since the “braces by mail” fad took off. The most common complaint, after trying these aligners is that the teeth just don’t seem to work properly anymore. Meaning, they are not properly aligned for biting and chewing. This is what teeth are for! (Well, besides a splashy smile!) But what’s scary is that in some cases, teeth actually become loose, requiring an immediate dentist visit.

Long-term problems can show up much later (such as tooth loss). It’s a big deal; saving now could cost you thousands later.

What you’re being advertised, isn’t always what you’ll get! If you read through the offer completely and you review the limitations and qualifications, you could discover that they only cover a reduced treatment period or a certain number of trays. It might not include retainers or check-up appointments during the retention phase of treatment. This matters because shortcuts, especially unsupervised ones, are less expensive, but only in the short term.

Remember, they think you value your dollars and time above quality and durability. Is that true?

Love Your Smile

A good orthodontist works with you until the malocclusion is corrected, the bite is aligned, and you have a smile you love.

At OBC, patients understand that orthodontics is an investment in your oral health, your smile, and your self-confidence. It’s definitely not the best idea to take your smile and your dental health to the lowest bidder.

Aligners by mail don’t allow for any “special case scenarios” – and let’s face it, we’re all a little unique. When you decide to orthodontically treat yourself, you’re unaware of the circumstances your orthodontist might see immediately in an office visit that could alter your treatment regimens. An in person exam allows the orthodontist to inspect the condition and general health of your gums, tissue, and bone that could impact the success of the aligners. Also, office visits include an inspection of your mouth and allow your doctor to see how your jaw functions throughout treatment – not just at the end when we have to potentially “undo” damage – if possible.

The End Goal is a Functional and Beautiful Bite

Orthodontia involves more than pretty, straight teeth; it includes a healthy and functional bite. If your back teeth no longer touch properly, a posterior open bite occurs making chewing difficult and uncomfortable. Can you see why we think it’s a bad idea?

If you still think DIY aligners are a good idea to save time, call us about OBC Express. We can get you started quickly and send you on your way with reduced, but crucial check-ins. This works especially well for adults who have finished growing.

Do-it-yourself aligners carry risks that you need to be aware of. Remember, DIY teeth straightening may cause irreversible damage that you can’t cover up with long sleeves, like you can a bad tattoo.

If you have questions, please come in and let us take a look. Call our office at 703-263-0575.