DIY anything is tempting and inviting. We do it in various areas of our life, and it turns out fine most of the time. But when it comes to orthodontic treatment, the situation is entirely different. We understand that do-it-yourself orthodontic treatment has exploded over the years due to unrealistic advertisements, online videos, and unverified blogs. These channels teach people how to mount braces, veneers, and aligners without professional help. Unknown to many, the chance of success is lower, and the risk of worsening the situation is significantly higher. Read on to find out why.
No supervision means no treatment
Most DIY treatments can be purchased over the counter and are administered without supervision. Under normal circumstances, when a patient visits a dental clinic, a dentist will make a mold of their mouth and send it to the lab for aligners or veneers to be manufactured. Depending on the procedure you want, you may need to take x-rays or even need to address the root of the problem instead of masking it.
The problem with a DIY approach is that it does not involve any form of clinical examination and evaluation, which is a red flag.
One of the things you must understand is that not everyone makes a good candidate for all dental procedures. A supervised treatment will sometimes need to address the root cause of the problem before fixing it. For example, you can’t have a dental implant if you grind your teeth, and you can’t use veneer to cover a decayed tooth. In this case, you can suffer from undetected dental problems that will get worse over time.
It costs more
The most obvious reason why most people choose DIY treatment is that it is cheaper. However, cheap could sometimes mean spending more in the long run. Imagine a botched case of dental braces. The heightened risk of orthodontic complications and dental risks down the track means you will spend a huge amount on corrective procedures to reverse or repair the damage.
If the DIY orthodontic treatment causes damage to the underlying roots of your teeth, tooth loss, gum recession, etc. You can either choose to live with the condition or ask a professional for advice, which will cost more. Consider the cost of extracting non-restorable teeth, repairing bone damage, and addressing infection, and you’ll realize you save more money when you visit an orthodontist.
Jaw and gum damage
People sometimes use household items to move their teeth or fasten them to where they think they should be. Some materials they use include superglue, rubber bands, paper clips, hair elastics, etc. Unfortunately, these items are not sterile and don’t work for the teeth since they are not medical-grade. Put differently, they may degrade or break down due to the acidity of the saliva.
When many people see orthodontic treatment, they only picture teeth straightening and dental corrections, which is far from the truth. The reason is that it involves the movement of the teeth with the bones and gums. Braces, for example, are designed to reduce pressure on the teeth, gums, and bite and align the jaw. But since DIY treatment does not take this into consideration, improper interaction between your teeth and jawbone can cause wear and tear. Not only this, but it can cause fractures and cracks and affect the shape of your mouth.
Teeth loss and infection
DIY treatments can destroy your teeth at the root. As mentioned above, a professional treatment ensures proper interactions between the teeth, bones, and muscles. In a situation where the DIY treatment is attached too tightly, it generates and applies constant pressure on the teeth, restricts blood flow, and affects the unseen yet important parts of the teeth.
Another thing people who practice DIY treatment need to worry about is using non-medical grade materials. Non-sterile materials increase the risk of infections. To make things worse, they use bonding agents like superglue that can damage their enamel and cause chips, fractures, and cracks. Some of these bonding agents contain chemicals and additives that leach into the saliva and cause harm.
When these materials cut and injure the tissue, the accumulation of bacteria will cause an infection that can spread into surrounding facial tissues and further complicate your dental health or become life-threatening.
Patients don’t have the experience and knowledge dentists have. So, when they proceed with their teeth aligners, they only attempt to fix what they can see. One of the common problems of moving and shifting your teeth is that you could move them into the wrong position, and when one tooth moves, the other will also move. This causes issues like gaps and overcrowding that can weaken the jawbone structure or teeth enamel.
Unsatisfied result and emotional trauma
Let us assume you are successful with moving your teeth with DIY treatment. The question is, will they move at the right angle or in the right direction? Understand that doing it yourself is the same as experimenting with your teeth. At the hand of a professional, the result will often need to be reviewed and modified until they can achieve a perfect fit. In essence, quality treatment is only possible at the hands of a specialist orthodontist.
Sadly, most people become heartbroken when their DIY treatment does not deliver the results they were promised. Patients with complex dental conditions will further complicate their appearance, and one mistake can lead to emotional trauma. For example, dental inflammation can cause anxiety and affect neural behaviors and motor activities.
DIY orthodontic treatment is advertised as fast, effective, and affordable. As appealing as it sounds, it can be harmful to your health and cost you more in the long run. Do-it-yourself treatments put you at risk of several oral conditions that can affect your mental health. If you want to improve the appearance and performance of your teeth, contact us at Sbenati Dentistry London, Ontario, and our team will discuss available options with you.