Orthodontists receive two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school, and are specialists in straightening teeth and aligning the bite. General dentists are not as qualified in bite alignment, so why would the general consumer consider a DIY approach?
Believe it or not the do-it-yourself trend that has taken over YouTube and social media has grown to include orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontists is urging the public to be aware of internet videos and websites which encourage straightening teeth with rubber bands, dental floss, or other objects which can be ordered online.
Most recently the Washington Post included a story about a college student who borrowed some library books on dentistry and use of a 3D printer to create and use his own set of Invisalign-type plastic aligners. After publishing his before and after photos, he has received hundreds of requests from strangers asking for orthodontic services. Dr. Kim-Berman, director of graduate orthodontics at the University of Michigan explains that his aligners did not include his back molars, which could create significant problems such as a disrupted bite.
DIY dentistry has moved beyond rubber bands and foreign objects to sophisticated, but naive Invisalign knock-offs. Parents should be aware of this trend and watch for discussion of it among their children and their friends.
“Attempts to move teeth without the regular supervision of an orthodontist can result in permanent damage to teeth such as tooth loss, root resorption, tooth decay or other serious and costly problems,” said Dr. Robert Varner, president of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Fishbein Orthodontics has many insurance options and payment plan options to assist everyone with achieving the smile of their dreams. Contact us for a free consultation before you consider any self-straightening.
Plant a garden, paint your room, change your own oil, but leave any and all medical procedures to the professionals. Be safe … and keep smiling.