All You Need to Know About DIY Clear Aligners
The world of orthodontics and teeth-straightening got a new dimension with the advent of clear aligners around a couple of decades ago. Companies like OrthoFX offer teeth-straightening treatment based on in-person doctor consultation and online delivery of clear aligners along with remote monitoring of the treatment. However, some companies sell clear aligners through e-commerce, with the entire treatment procedure being remote and based on a DIY (do-it-yourself) model. While it may sound interesting, it would be beneficial to know the details before taking the plunge.
What are DIY clear aligners?
DIY clear aligners are also known as mail-order clear aligners. Similar to regular clear aligners, these are also a series of aligners meant to gradually straighten your teeth. They are directly shipped to the customer/patient without any face-to-face consultation with a doctor or physical evaluation of the current teeth alignment. Most of these products are comparatively cheaper and promises a much lesser treatment time.
What is the procedure?
Potential customers take pictures of their mouth, jaws, and impressions of their misaligned teeth, and ship them to the company selling the product. Based on these images and impressions, dentists or orthodontists at the other end prepare the aligners and send them to the customer via mail. The remaining treatment is remotely followed up by customer service without any in-person dentist appointment.
What are the risks involved?
Although teeth-straightening with DIY clear aligners looks easy to avail and use, it is not the best choice. With several challenges and risks, the format is not recommended by most experts. Here’s why:
- Only a trained orthodontist is equipped to take images and impressions of your teeth and diagnose the issue before suggesting a treatment. Self-diagnosis and taking dental impressions all by yourself could result in a flawed outcome, thereby affecting the actual treatment. Faulty aligners could result in little or no movement of the misaligned teeth.
- DIY clear aligners mostly fix a few front teeth and are not much effective in bite correction. If the bite is not corrected along with teeth-straightening under expert guidance, there are possibilities of further complications.
- In case you need more trays to fix your teeth alignment than what was initially sent, you are in for a dead end.
- DIY clear aligner packs do not contain retainers to be worn after the treatment, leading to the teeth shifting back to their original position.
- There are no follow-ups through face-to-face doctor consultation or specialized remote monitoring by experts.
DIY clear aligners could seem like an easy procedure for teeth-straightening without much hassle, but the product has its downsides. We suggest you discuss with a dentist/orthodontist regarding the product and make an informed choice to get that beautiful smile.